I wish most sensors were mains powered but we know that using batteries makes placing these gadgets in places where power is not readily available. As much as I try to buy sensors that can be powered by USB, I still have a house full of battery juice sucking devices. However, not all devices are equal. Here is my experience* on battery longevity:
Ecolink contact sensor 3+ years
Ecolink Z-Wave Plus Motion sensor 3+ years
Fibaro Multi Z-Wave Plus 2+ years
NYCE ceiling 2+ years
Aeon Labs contact sensor 1+
Iris contact 1+
Battery juice suckers (less than a year on one set of batteries):
Battery life of an individual device depends very much on how many messages it needs to send (how many reportable events it recognizes) and its physical location in the home. It’s really hard to compare two side-by-side just on personal experience unless they are physically in the same spot.
That’s why one person might report great performance from a specific model while someone else says it’s a battery sucker.
If you want to give personal experience reports, it would help a lot if you would indicate physical environment (Particularly temperature and humidity) and number of reported events per day. Otherwise it’s just really hard to compare one household to another.
I have an Ecolink Z-Wave (not +) PIR sensor that I bought and put into service as a motion sensor to detect entrance into the bedroom and trigger the lights at night in June of 2015, and it’s still running on the original battery
Several of my Iris sensors, contact and motion, are past 2 years old already. I just replaced the battery in one of the door sensors, and it was the original battery that came with it. Several of my motion sensors are in very heavy traffic areas, and those haven’t had a battery replaced in quite some time. My Keen vents vary like the weather here in the Carolinas. Some have lasted almost 2 years, while 2 chew through batteries in 3 months.
The built in DTH parameters are pretty standard, the one that fluctuates the most is motion, that’s why I pointed out low traffic and high traffic. If one has better experience with a custom DTH, it would be interesting to see. That points to possibly flaws in the provided DTH or in the custom one, unless someone purposely set the parameters to report every second, which is not unheard of, but usually understood that batteries will drain faster.
Sorry if I wasn’t clear. The external environment in which any battery powered device operates can affect battery life. A sensor in the attic is quite likely to have shorter battery life than one in the main house. I didn’t mean a sensor that measures temperature.
I understand that the enviroment (how many events the sensor reports) is the most important factor on battery drain. there are other factors too of course.
That being said, I have several Smartthing sensors (multipurpose, motion) and they all report temperature several times per hour (!) what a waste of energy. Even the Smartthings Button reports temperature!! really?? These are devices with small watch-type batteries. No wonder why their battery life sucks big time. Most of my Smartthings sensors needed new batteries within the first 6 to 12 months (mix of high and low traffic areas).
I recently bought open close sensors that use 2 AAA batteries (Besense Zwave+) and only report sensor status, and hopefully will last longer.
I unfortunately bought 5 Smartthing multi sensors back in the day when I bought my new ST hub, and on my god! the batteries in each of them doesn’t even last more than 4-6 months before I start getting midnight notifications to change them. I tried Duracell, Energiser, adding repeaters, etc. + the hub is in the middle of the house (as in 20 feet away from some of them). I have now bought some Aqara ones with the hope they last longer.
My sensors don’t do much all day, especially in Winter when the doors and Windows are shut, but lets give the benefit in doubt that that the doors and windows are cold, but still…
The zwave sensors I bought (2xAAA batteries) two of them are still 100% battery life and one is 88% since last October. They replaced ST multipurpose sensors that only lasted around 6 months, so the new sensors are a success story. The one by the kitchen I replaced with a Zooz wired sensor because it gets heavy movement and it’s been working perfectly. I will start replacing the other ST multipurpose sensors once I use all the spare button batteries I still have!
I use rechargeable batteries in all of my devices other than my Kwikset 914 which uses lithium batteries (the set in there now is about 3 months old) The v2 hub is about 3 feet from the lock.
Rechargeable batteries don’t last as long as Ni-Cd though. My Zooz 4 in 1 sensors eat batteries every 2-3 weeks. Odd thing about rechargeable batteries is they will report 100% battery then nothing. Buying Ni-Cd batteries for everything every few months vs swapping out rechargeable batteries every few weeks is a no brainer for this Dutchman.
I have found if a multipurpose sensor offers temperature reporting and you don’t need that data, it is better to disable it to extend battery life.