Ridiculously low battery life (Presence Sensors)

Anyone else? I’ve had to change the batteries in these things 3-4 times already, and there’s really no way to tell that the batteries are dead until some expected action doesn’t occur (e.g. I leave the house and it doesn’t set itself to “away”… not good!).

Is anyone work being done to ameliorate the battery life and/or alert the user when the presence tags are running out of juice? I’m not doing this (yet), but if I were relying on ST to lock my door when I left… I wouldn’t be too happy to come home and find my front door unlocked b/c my sensor was dead.

There might be a problem with your Presence Sensor… or I might just have lucky batteries.
I’ve been using my sensor for several months … I’ve misplaced it a few times and have had to use the “beep” function to find it.
Even with this activity, it is still only down to 25%.
At this rate, I expect that I won’t have to change the battery until Spring/Summer.

I’ve be interested to hear how long the batteries are lasting for other users.

i’ve been using one tag since late december (showing 63%) and another tag that i’ve been using for only a week (showing 50%)
something tells me that there is something funky with the battery reporting on these things.
i hope that i won’t have to change the batteries more often than 1-2 a year on these.

i too dont’ trust these to secure my house; battery concerns and the fact they take a long time to sense as “away”. i have a garage door sensor and it usually takes 2-5 minutes between the garage door closing and tag being detected as away…

Mine lasted 4 months on the first set, and only 1 month on the second, my third set is showing 50% after 1 week.

I have 2 and after a month they are both at 38%. I had made a post that it would be nice if they made one specifically for the car which would plug into the cigarette lighter so it wouldn’t even need batteries. I’m sure we could hack together something but I’d like to have a retail production piece.

They really just need something with a much bigger battery. I feel the case they use wastes a lot of space. If they used molded construction like a car fob it would be a lot sturdier and potentially have a lot more room for a bigger battery.

Speaking of a powered one though…I wonder if you could turn the motion detector into a presence fob. Wonder if it be as easy as just changing the device type…you could even plug that in.

Edit: Seems like it works. I just changed one of my SmartThings motion sensors into a presence sensor by changing the device type.

It seems like the system should proactively notify you when any one of your devices has a low battery.

I actually just wrote a Smart App for this situation. Here’s the post with my code: http://build.smartthings.com/forums/topic/low-battery-alert-smart-app/

I wonder if it has to do with weak replacement batteries. I just replaced my presence battery last weekend, it started out at about 85% and it is now already down to 38%. Since I have mine in the glove box of the car I’m wondering if I can rig up some sort of external battery supply for it.

From what I’ve gathered since I made this post:

-Battery life reporting gets super wonky whenever this thing gets too hot / cold (which, sitting in a car, is almost always).
-Battery life drains like crazy when this thing is out of range. My wife was out of town for a week and the sensor in her car almost depleted a brand new battery while she was gone.

Overall, I can live with the battery life how it is. I think when I made this post I had just gotten a bad batch of batteries.

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I purchased 20 of these units about 2 months ago, and the past 2 weeks every single one has gone to 1%~13% of battery power.

I don’t know if it matters if the sensor is away or is it because is the new, 2nd generation sensor. But the battery life in 90% of the devices has not last more than 2 months…

This is the second generation presence device, rectangle, smaller, and with no rubber edge.

This new unit has a 2 distinctive design flaws:

  1. If you drop it, it might come open and the internal circuit board will go flying. In two occasions so far the board was completely damaged.
  2. The battery is extremely hard to replace and in one occasion, the plastic lips that holds the battery in place got broken, so the unit can not longer keep a good connection with the battery.

In my opinion the ORIGINAL presence device was better designed and the battery life was way longer (Between 9 and 14 months).

I recommend purchasing the ORIGINAL presence sensor and NOT the new one.

I thought the 2nd Gen version didn’t change hardware, just size.

Well when I took the new presence sensor apart, the electronics and the design is slightly different than the first gen model.

Once again, like I said before, It might be a bad battery batch OR the new design that is draining the batteries faster.

Only time will tell, but with so many presence sensors, if is a hardware problem I’ll post it here again once its time to change batteries again.

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Bought a starter kit from Samsung and activated the presence fob on 24 Feb 2016 and the battery stated 100%. A day later, the battery stated 88% in the morning and in the evening, it’s showing 75%.

This fob has been in the house most of the day with about 3 hours away from home. Not looking good.

Most zigbee battery-powered devices use tier reporting for battery reserves. The drop to 88% is expected, and just means it’s less than 100%. Even 99.9% is reported as 88.

Smartthings staff have previously confirmed in the forums that device activity for the presence sensor/arrival sensor is identical whether it is in Range or out of range.

All the device does is send a signal to the hub every 30 seconds. It’s up to the hub to recognize that it hasn’t received a signal for a while and then mark the device’s status as “away.”

So it should be exactly the same battery usage whether the device is at home or at the office.

You might see a difference because of the other factor that you mentioned: temperature. If “away” means it’s sitting in a car’s glove box In a parking lot, rather than at home in a garage, and so might get very cold or very hot for several hours at a time, that could affect battery.

Thanks JD. I read your other post and was aware with the tier reporting. I was concerned that it dropped further.

The other thing I suspected was the temperature; as was mentioned above. Our upstairs gets cold (minimum of 17C) and I’ll check it out.

This is a very old topic and I wonder if I am missing a new thread somewhere on the same issue?

I purchased a presence sensor on Monday and by Friday it is down to 35% battery power. That means a new battery every week.

I looked on the “live logging” tab and see that the battery level is being updated to the hub every 20 seconds. No wonder the battery is dying so fast. I do not know if the sensor is initiating the battery level update or if the hub is asking for it. If it is the sensor I see no way to fix it as I do not think the firmware can be updated. If it is the hub then it can probably be fixed. Maybe I could write a new handler for it?

Any ideas?

Hi I changed the battery on my sensor but it still reports only 1% how long does it take to refresh?

What is the expected battery life of these sensors?
I was hoping for 2-3 years like most zigbee devices. But 37% and 75% after 2 months.

Just another nail in the ST coffin, soon it will be nailed shut.