Motion Sensor Suggestion Needed (Yes, I've done my research here)

I know this topic has been discussed (countless) times but I’d love some suggestions on a motion sensor specific to my application.


  • Turn on garage ceiling lights when motion is detected in the garage.

  • Do NOT turn on lights if garage has enough light already (aka, I’m working in the garage during the day with the garage door open - plenty of light).

  • Report temperature

  • Great range. Can detect motion from someone coming in the door approximately 20-25 feet froms sensor.

  • Battery life!!! GOOD!!! It’s going high up in the air. Reachable by ladder only.

What Doesn’t Matter

  • Pet exclusions. No pets in the garage

From the research I did I was going to pounce on an iris sensor. However, a TON of amazon reviews showed HORRIBLE battery life.


Have to say I can’t disagree with the reports of a few duds eating batteries; that has been my experience with a couple purchased back in 2016 as well. But I’m happy with its performance (battery-wise and as a motion sensor) in other respects. And for a product with a 1 year warranty (if purchased from Lowe’s) you’ll likely know if you’ve got a dud long before the warranty runs out.

I almost exclusively have Iris motion sensors. They’re fast [subjective: fastest!] and run local. What they don’t have and what you want is the ability to detect light luminescence, so you’re either going need a separate light sensor with some rules of your own, or look for a different motion sensor. Range is OK, for my applications, and [subjectively] appear to be tied to battery life; never tested exactly how far though. I now have several CR2 rechargeable batteries for mine, which make battery life ever shorter than “normal” CR2 batteries as they have a lower initial voltage. Seeing that it is being mounted high in the air, you can run a 3V voltage supply to it via a wall-wart of some kind and eliminate the battery completely. Temperature, well, it leaves a lot to be desired, but then again what do you expect for the price paid. You can set + or - offsets to get it to report more accurately, but an offset of say +3 at 25C is NOT the same as say +3 at 7C - the dynamic range reported is NOT linear!


Iris doesn’t have a lux sensor. Aeon May be your best bet.

Or just install LED overhead garage lights like I did. They cost almost nothing to run and flood the space with light. I have my overhead lights turn on based on motion or any of the doors to the garage being opened. In order for the lights to turn off automatically, all of the doors must be closed and no motion for 5 minutes.

To solve the battery problem, I am using a traditional low voltage motion detector (Bosch ISC-BPR2-WP12) designed for a home alarm system, tied into an Arduino MEGA with a W5500 Ethernet Shield. Also attached to the Arduino are all of the door/window sensors for the house (using old alarm panel wiring and magnetic reed switches) as well as a DHT22 Temperature and Humidity sensor. I also have a pair of relays attached to operate the pair of garage doors. The Arduino runs my ST_Anything Arduino Library, which also supports simple LUX sensors. Best part, no batteries to ever change.


I say if you want temperature, go with the Iris sensor and get a converter so you can power it from wall wart.

If temperature not so important but sensor distance you could try the GE. It has the power from USB ability built in. Has pretty good range.

You could probably eliminate the light sensor with a garage door sensor and time of day rules. IE motion sensor triggers lights with exclusions for daytime and garage door open.

There aren’t really any devices that fit the exact specifications you’ve listed.

If you’re willing to go with one that plugs in and run it off an extension cord, the Homeseer HSM200 has a built in light and temperature meter. You can also use the light on it as a notifier light which can be convenient when you are working in the garage as it can display it up to seven different colors. So you could use it for a doorbell indicator or a timer or The dog wanting to go out or the mail arriving or other detectable events. Get the newest model which is Z wave plus.

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If you have a sensor that measures outdoor light, even indirectly you could condition lights coming on to doot open and illuminance from that sensor. Webcore will do that. Otherwise only a multisensor will do what you want.