Motion sensor tripped by bugs, animals...beam sensor?

Hi, all.

I just got my SmartThings hub and a SmartThings motion sensor. I would like to have something that can detect movement on my deck before something gets to my door, but I am finding that small animals in by back yard are triggering it. I have experimented with having it point in different directions (mainly straight down from above the door and windows accessible from my deck), but the moths are setting it off.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how to address this? It seems the best way would be to have a beam sensor between the railings on the stairs up to my deck (which is the only way onto the deck without climbing the wall), but are there beam sensors that work with the SmartThings hub?

Thanks in advance!

Welcome to the forums. :sunglasses:

Outdoor motion sensors are always tricky. See the following topic. This issue is discussed in much detail.

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Thank you for the link! I read through some of the suggested fixes and a few of them seem more practical than others. I don’t think I can limit the field of view much for the small, round eye of the SmartThings motion sensor or it won’t see anything. I would really like to find a beam/trip sensor that would mate with the hub. But in the interim, maybe I will just accept that the motion sensor is too sensitive for the location I want and just use it to turn on a light. Then I will use a door sensor if the light turning on does not actually scare them away.

So any SmartThings-compatible beam sensor suggestions would be greatly appreciated! But otherwise, I have a good place to start here…and I am glad it is not just me! Thanks again!

I know the outdoor motion sensor FAQ is really long, but there’s a ton of information there. :sunglasses:

There’s no quick answer about trip beams, but several people have set them up. see post 19 in the FAQ – – it has a link to the trip beam information. There are a couple of different ways to make nonnetworked trip beams compatible with SmartThings, for example Arduino or the Fibaro multi channel controller-- just follow the links and you’ll see all the details and discussion.

Yes, I had specifically looked into #19 in depth. I have already done some of what is in there…I used to have a pressure mat (until DH ran over the cord with the vacuum cleaner…LOL!). And I am just being lazy in not wanting to set up the online logic for zone detection. I have several small lasers on order for a different project that will unfortunately use all of my Arduinos. I guess I will either try to find a wireless (DH-proof) pressure mat or build my own laser trip sensor with a new Arduino. I was just again being lazy and hoping that there was an OTS thing I could buy and directly integrate into ST. The lazy in me loves ST for how quick it is to get something up and running! :wink:

I am using an ECOLINK - (support will guide you this way I believe too). They are “better” than the smartthings sensors. You are able to tweek the sensitivity - very good instructions come with them to do this.

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If you haven’t had a chance to use custom code with SmartThings, it’s pretty straightforward. Basically just copy someone else’s code into your own account. Here’s the FAQ for that.

Mike Maxwell has an excellent zone manager for SmartThings which allows you to assign multiple sensors to one zone and then take action off of that. Very significantly reduces the number of false alarms. This is discussed in the outdoor motion sensor FAQ so you’ll see a lot of people are using it, but here’s the direct link:

You should be able to set it up in a few minutes. :sunglasses:

Mike even has a really cool universal device type handler which let you have one device report as a different kind, so you could even set up a zone with one contact sensor, the pressure Mat, and two motion sensors.

Quickest way to find that is to use the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki and look for sensors under DTHs.

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