Sensitive exterior motion detector


I am looking for a suggestion for a sensitive, exterior motion detector. Unlike every post I’ve been reading on here about motion detectors, I actually WANT my dogs to set it off. (Unless someone has another suggestion for this problem I am trying to address).

I have a fenced in yard, and I let the dogs out all the time so they can run around, do their business, etc. However, I don’t have a dog door, and I typically will close the exterior door after they are outside to save the heat or AC. In any case, when they want to come in, they come up to the door. However, my dogs are pretty quiet, and they don’t bark when they want to come in. So I have to constantly check the back door to see if they are ready to come in. I hate to admit it, but on more than one occasion I have forgotten they were outside.

So, my idea is to stick a motion detector next to the door, and send me some sort of notification (or maybe set up a chime of some sort?) when they are the door. The dogs are about 20lbs and 50lbs. Obviously the small one is gonna be the problem.

Any suggestions? I was thinking about the Aeon multi-sense. Or alternatives to using motion detection? I have heard of people using mats of some sort that are weight sensitive?


The problem with motion sensors is that breezes will set them off as well as clouds passing over the sun. So it’s just really hard to get them to work well outside. Not impossible, but very difficult. And people will generally use several in a zone set up to reduce the number of false alerts.

As an alternative, pressure Mat might indeed work very well for you. They’re available for weights as low as 5 pounds so you could easily select one that your dog would trigger when they stood on it. These are often used as doorbells on houseboats in a similar use case.

PIR motion sensors should not be sensitive to wind or clouds, unless they’re in direct sunlight. Just my 2c. I still have a few X10 MotionEye sensors installed outside and they hold up pretty well. I’ve been thinking of hooking them up to ST, but can never seem to find time. :frowning:

To be more accurate, they’re sensitive to the changes in temperature caused by Winds, or by clouds passing over the sun. They’re not detecting the movement, they’re detecting the temperature change. A cloud passing over the sun can cause a change in temperature of as much as 15° in a few seconds, and that can definitely trigger a PIR motion sensor. It’s the same reason a gust of air from an indoor heating system can trigger these sensors.

It’s a common problem, discussed by most manufacturers of these devices. Aeon even recommends disabling the motion sensor if the device will be used outdoors, and using just the lux and temperature reporting.

I would use one of any of the motion detectors, but why not put it in a box or some type of container so it has a small range of vision, but it down low and only focus it towards the back of the door where the dog would be.

It isn’t a bad idea, I’m thinking I might try the same thing.

This works great outside for me. Low false positives and very reactive.

You can read this post about trip sensor.

Interesting responses, thanks! I decided to try to go the pressure sensitive mat route…although the trip sensors seem pretty cool as well. Should be getting the stuff later this week. Hopefully it will work. If not, I’ll look more into the laser trip sensor