Ideas for using the Smartthings multi sensor

Hi, I usually only look to make my home smarter when I have a problem to solve or practical use case already (probably obvious!) - but I’ve never managed to find a use for the multi sensor that came with my Smartthings starter kit when I first bought it.

So I’m looking for ideas to use this particular device please! Would love to hear how people have used it…:slightly_smiling_face:

It makes an ideal battery tester for various makes of battery so you can judge the best make to buy as replacements for other makes of equipment and only takes 4 to 5 weeks to test them

:thinking: :smile:

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Is it the kind that can sense vibrations? If so, then I put mine on my dryer! Any time it stops vibrating, I get a notification that the dryer is done. It’s in the basement and like a 50 year old machine, so there’s no chimes and I can’t hear it turn off. So it’s really helpful for me in that sense!


Quite a few people use the vibration sensor part of it to either detect when a motor starts or stops, as with the dryer that @dare2smile mentioned, or even just on a home office chair as a presence detector for someone being in the room. (The topic title is a clickable link.)

The multi can also be used as a tilt sensor. I know some people have taped one on the bottom of the rubbish bin because when the bin is moved they tilt it back. That way they can detect, for example, whether a teenager has put the rubbish out to the street yet. :wink:


Also, one of the differences about a device with an accelerometer, like the multi sensor, is it it can alert when the sensor itself is moved. So some people do attach them to high value objects like a home safe or a very expensive yard ornament, so that if someone tries to move the whole thing the multisensor can trigger an alert.

I even know one guy who put one in his tool box to keep his sons from walking off with it. :wink:


I actually thought I could use it in my recently installed outside postbox to notify us when we’ve got post, that would be a really useful and practical solution but I reckon my Nest Hello will be able to kind of do that by telling us the postman has been! Apart from days when it’s not the usual person but in our area he’s more reliable than the rain!

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Love the toolbox use case!

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You guys are making me realize the importance of creativity.
We could get double notifications
first if its moved and second time if the tool box opened.

I’m trying to think of ways to combine more than one multipurpose sensor could help or the motion sensor with multipurpose sensor.

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The multi sensor includes the separate magnet piece so it can also be used as a contact sensor. So you can get one alert if the object is moved and a different alert if it’s opened. :sunglasses:


Maybe little of the topic but has anyone had a problem with the sensor frequently reporting fault vibrations? I have mine on the front door and I tried to use in the way that when someone is knocking that my lights starts to blink in some of the rooms and I now I have lights show at least 4-5 times a day without any guest knocking on my door

I do. No one is in the basement (I have a motion sensor pointed at the dryer) and sometimes I get a text that the dryer is finished. I just try to chalk it up to a sighing old house.

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This is true for almost everyone who has tried knock detection. You can find a number of discussion threads in the forum if you search for “knock.“ sometimes it’s just the wind shaking the door a little bit.

There isn’t really anything you can do about this except if you are using a sensor which allows you to change the sensitivity, and unfortunately, the smartthings model does not.

A few people have been able to improve things by putting weatherstripping around the door, and you could try that.

If you really need knock detection a better option is to combine it with a second Kind of sensor so you can be more certain there’s a person there. Probably the most reliable would be to put a pressure mat under a welcome mat at the front door. Then only report it as a knock if there is enough weight on the mat at the same time that the vibration is detected.

United security pressure mat

Other people combine it with some kind of motion sensor or camera detection.

But a vibration sensor on its own is just reporting on vibration, regardless of what shook the door.

We had one community member who had a couple of kids and whenever they would run down the hallway past the door it would set off the knock alert.

So it’s just a matter of trial and error to see if it’s reliable enough for your own purposes.

Uh okay so I’m not the only one with this problem. I stopped using it as “knocking” sensor and I’m planing to add just ST button outside of my front door as a doorbell so that when its pressed I can have same thing happening as when it was knocking.

Thanks for the helpful info. Can you please direct me to the door sensors that can have their sensitivity adjust?