New SmartSense motion sensors and sensitivity


With the new motion sensors, is there a way to adjust the sensitivity of the motion detectors in the devicetype?

I know that there’s no switch on the hardware to control sensitivity, but if there is some way to quantify the amount of motion and have that fed to the software, we could adjust the sensitivity in the software.

Would love to hear if this is possible.


Hmm… interesting idea, and theoretically doable…

But honestly, if you need adjustable sensitivity, why not look at the AEON Motion Sensor? Usually a lower price and more sensors… plus a sensitivity adjustment knob. I suppose the new ST is smaller and it’s shape does allow for some easier placement (like on a shelf or something), but the advantages of the AEON would make me lean much more towards that one.

Thanks for the recommendation, Chris.

I do prefer the smaller and more boxy ST since I’m mounting the sensors on the ceiling under my front and back porch, and with a little bit of painting of the cover, will be less obvious than the Aeon or EcoLink.

Just wondering how doable it is.


Gotcha… okay, well in that case I think I’d personally attempt to tackle it as part of a smartapp. I’d subscribe to the motion sensor and then build the app to watch for 3 or 4 motion events within x-number of seconds.

The problem with this is that at least with the older motion sensor the time out is pretty long I think like 15 or 30 seconds when motion stops before the sensor reports that motion stopped. So you’d have to look at the device type and see if that is changeable there. But that might be a firmware thing…

Goodness, the more I think about this the more potential issues I see.

I almost wonder if this might be something that is better accomplished from a “hardware” standpoint. I guess it would depend on how you were trying to use these, but if you only want to trigger motion is someone is actually on the porch vs. near the porch, maybe add a small cylinder as a sort of “blinder” on the sensor so that it can’t see horizontally at all, only (more or less) straight down.

Of course if it’s a question of: I want to know is something big (like a human) walks near my porch, but I don’t want to know is something small (like a squirrel) walks even directly under the sensor. If that’s your situation, then I dunno if there’s any solution for that.

I probably won’t bother with changing it if there’s no straight forward software control for it.

I own one now for the purpose of testing, and I do get a false alert once or twice a night, possible from the neighbor’s cat. Last night I did get 5 alerts possibly due to some 10-15 mph gusts. That’s not too bad, I think. Still, all it’s controlling is my porch lights, so the current sensitivity isn’t a deal breaker for me.

However, if a sensitivity knob is available, I’ll spend a little time to find a sweet spot. :smile:

Thanks, Chris.


I know this thread is rather stale but did anyone ever find a solution to control motion sensitivity (through software or hardware) on the v2 (2014) SmartSense Motion Sensors? I’m not opposed to using less-than-official means to accomplish this goal, provided the result is stable and effective. I’ve got a couple of these that I would like to “tune” for a pet-friendly household. I know there are other devices available that might be more suitable for this solution, but I’m rather partial to the aesthetic, Zigbee connectivity and combined motion/temp sensor of the SmartSense devices. Any advice or recommendations from the community would be appreciated.

Yea, + one on this request, I’ve no issue hacking the device (as I’ve done with most every zwave device I own), but so far zigbee i’ve not grokked…

It’s weird. Zigbee motion is cluster 0x0406, which isn’t listed in the fingerprint; but the device does parse messages for it to detect motion. Depending on what type of motion sensor it is (PIR or Ultrasonic), there is a “threshold” value that can be set and is defaulted to 1, which would be the highest sensitivity level. It’s the number of motion events required to change state and works in concert with a time threshold over which those events must be sensed. In theory, we could play around with them to see if they adjust the sensitivity. Here’s the info from the documentation (there’s a mirror set of attributes for PIR if that is the sensor type): UltrasonicUnoccupiedToOccupiedDelay Attribute The UltrasonicUnoccupiedToOccupiedDelay attribute is 16 bits in length andspecifies the time delay, in seconds, before the Ultrasonic sensor changes to itsoccupied state after the detection of movement in the sensed area. This attribute ismandatory if the UltrasonicUnoccupiedToOccupiedThreshold attribute isimplemented. UltrasonicUnoccupiedToOccupiedThreshold Attribute The UltrasonicUnoccupiedToOccupiedThreshold attribute is 8 bits in length andspecifies the number of movement detection events that must occur in the periodUltrasonicUnoccupiedToOccupiedDelay, before the Ultrasonic sensor changes toits occupied state. This attribute is mandatory if theUltrasonicUnoccupiedToOccupiedDelayattribute is implemented.

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I’m no electronics guy, so I’m not sure this would work, but the dial on the Aeon has got to be a simple variable resistor - a trim pot. I wonder if adding one in front of or behind the actual sensors would accomplish this.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

Reviving an old topic.
I have lots of old ST motion sensors and they are more sensitive than the new ones. The latest batch I ordered are the default new ones; if you sit on the couch 8 feet away they say you are “dead” unless you make quite distinct movements. Playing PS4 does NOT count as being alive :smile:
Anyone hack these yet? I haven’t cracked one open but they are sure to be surface mount components which are hard to modify.

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I have exactly the same issue, the sensitivity of the new smartthings motions sensors is far to low . I have to be standing in front of it waving my hands to get it to trigger my automations. The old ones were fine…


I too have the issue of the new SmartThings motion sensor is being incredibly insensitive. I just bought five of them and installed them and you have to be about 5 feet away from each waving your arms to make it detect Motion.

I also have five of the older ones that I bought in about 2014 or 2015 that have worked great since I bought them. They have a range of about 20 feet.

I installed the five new ones in addition to the old ones I already have to cover more rooms .

But the new ones are a huge disappointment!

I found this thread with the hopes that maybe there’s a way to turn the sensitivity up on these.

I don’t see a model number on the new ones but they run on a CR 2477 battery. The old ones are a bigger sensor and run on a 123A battery.

Has anyone found a solution for this or did you just return the new ones if they don’t seem to really work good ?

I am with you! I walk halfway across my living room before this thing even picks me up!

Same experience with the newer one I got back from an RMA, it is far less sensitive than the older ones

On the other hand, it has never reported false motion! LOL

Sam here. Just bought a Smartthings Motion Sensor and mounted it in the upper corner of a room, on the wall with screws (argh), only to find it barely picks up my motion walking 10 feet in front of it.

Now it’s Aeon, and spackle to fix the wall.

One of my 1st World pet peeves: things that just don’t work!

Has anyone found a motion sensor that’s sensitive enough to be usable? My lights depend on motion for on/off automation and when I work and study on my laptop it thinks I’m not there. Totally not usable, but the older versions worked perfectly. I would just buy those but they aren’t available anymore.

I’m using the Orvibo motion sensors and find them very good, my max distance requirement is about 15feet and they have no problems with that.
After my old Smartthings motion sensor stopped working I replaced it with a new one and that can only detect about 3 to 4 feet, really poor now.

Centralite motion sensors (any of the 3-series, models 3###) have great sensitivity and very little lag. They might get re-branded by other companies so you’ll have to do research. I would just buy official Centralite ones. Their device handler in ST is “SmartSense Motion Sensor”.

The newer and very tiny Centralite Micro Motion Sensor (3328-C) works just as good and claims to have 30ft range and 2-year battery life, which if true, will be really nice. I have one installed in my living room ceiling with no issues so far.

I bought a bunch of Monoprice Z-Wave motion sensors (model #15902) and even paid for rboy device handlers… but they are just crap (even after adjusting sensitivity levels). They don’t work half the time and even when they do, require huge amounts of motion. There’s also several seconds of delay before the hub registers motion when they work at all.