Presence Sensors delay

I’ve had the worst luck with presence sensors so far I tried using my device as a sensor, and the Samsung SmartThings Sensor. It’s always hit or miss so far the Android device has worked the best. The Samsung presence sensor the battery was lasting about a month and once it gets to around 30% it needs to be changed anyways.

Is there something else someone has had better luck with?

I moved the SmartThings bridge right near my front room window so when my car pulls up I’d like for the outside lights and the deadbolts to unlock. It works about 85% of the time but also still such a delay sometimes. I want something that’s just going to work before I start expanding.

When I used Android, the only way I was able to make it reasonably reliable was to use geofencing on Android to start the ST app (Tasker, Automagic, etc).


Could you explain a little more in detail if possible? Still just really getting into all of this. When it works i love it, i just want to be able to add more and i’m still hesitant to do so if it only works 50% of the time.

When I would get close to the house, I would automatically trigger ST to start. You can use Tasker, Automagic, etc to run an app when you get within the geofence that you set (this is separate from ST). What was apparently happening was partially related to garbage collection. Once I set this up, my problems went away. Also keep in mind that for presence to work, you really need to use WiFi. Without WiFi, your location accuracy may be low and may vary wildly as your phone bounces between towers.

Life360 app uses Geofencing and will integrate with ST

1 Like

I use this too. I have noticed a lag with Life 360.

So just launching the ST app when I get near my location will clear up some problems?

I will install this and give it a shot! thank you

That’s what I found.

Opening app fixed my problem (just needed to automate the opening).
Life 360 had a lag (with paid subscription). It works and is reliable, but sometimes minutes elapse before it registers, while other times it’s within seconds of the ST app.

I just added both to give this a shot.

1 Like

I’ve been using a V2 ST hub for about 1-1/2 years, with good reliability. We use our 2 iPhone 6’s as presence sensors; changing the SHM from armed to home and turning on lights when we return home. I manually open our garage door with its remote; while monitoring the door status within ST’s. I did have issues when first using ST’s, with getting false alarms when returning home. I found that I had the geofence set too small, the smallest diameter possible. I’d open the garage door before ST’s recognized a presence sensor as being “home”. I adjusted the geofence to about 2 blocks from my home, which gives sufficient time for the appropriate notifications to occur, before I open my garage door. I’d suggest you look at the size of your geofence, increasing its size to allow for sufficient time for the notifications to occur upon your return.

1 Like

FWIW my presence sensor have always worked great. My hub is in the living room and I leave 2 of the sensors in cars permanently. I change the batteries maybe every 6 months and they work down to 1% before giving up. I have the old ones but they say the new ones are the same guts just repackaged.

Wow, yeah i have purchased 2 of the sensors and both of them in the last month are down to 30%… Also it seems like once they get down to 30% I start getting false readings. I ordered, the Iris presence and one by Aeonlabs i know they have to have custom device handlers but I am going to give this a shot. I don’t mind replacing batteries but I just want it to work all the time.

1 Like

I’m new to ST and have had lot’s of frustrations with using our two phones as presence sensors. They work flawlessly for a couple of days, then it seems like my wife’s will quit reporting and nothing will fix it. Hers is also the one that is on an ST account without a hub and then is shared with my account (the one with the hub). I thought that this might be the problem, but when hers quits reporting, I can log into her ST account and most of the time it’s not reporting there either. Other times it shows as “present” in her account and “away” in mine.

I ran across the following discussion that showed how to use Tasker, Autolocation, and Sharptools to create a routine that doesn’t use the ST mobile app to determine presence. At first it seemed like a complicated way to do what seemed like an easy task, so I kept searching for an easier way. I didn’t find any other solutions that seemed to be reliable, so I gave this way a try. After figuring out how it all worked and setting it up on our two phones, I have not had a single issue with either phone not reporting presence quickly and accurately. I’ve only been running it for 2 days, but I’m feeling confident that it will keep working. I also like that both phones can report presence under my account and my wife doesn’t have to run the ST app on her phone.



I have also found that the ST presence sensor works well but the battery sucks.

Phone presence is of varying reliability for most people, iOS and android, if you read enough on this forum.

Awesome thanks for the link. That’s awesome they show exactly how to do everything. I never used tasker and i’m just getting started with smartthings.

The solution @DaveR12 posted works really well and @destructure00 did a great job writing easy to understand instructions!

Phones as presence sensors were a bit unreliable with my previous router but I now have an Orbi system. As soon as the phone connects to the wifi, it updates the location and changes the mode to disarm the SHM. No third party apps necessary

I’ve been seeing that lag lately too… Hmmmmm

Honestly I went and first tried @DavidR12 suggestion; so far this has been spot on since I have been testing it. I also went and added @bago’s tasker option by opening the SmartThings app when I am in location because I figured it couldn’t hurt. So far I have 0 delay. I will post back at the end of the week and let you know.

Thanks so much for the suggestions i was getting ready to give up on the proximity sensors.