SmartSense Multi over EcoLink for Open/Close advantages discussion

Hello World! I’ve been lurking for a while, here’s my first post.

Greetings, I am building out a home security system with SmartThings and Smart Alarm (big thanks to @geko ). I am currently on the fence about building out a network of door / open close sensors on my windows and doors. Here’s a table of showing the costs of buying eleven sensors (gist markdown, this forum doesn’t support MD tables).

Please help me decide on whether to go with the SmartSense Multi or the EcoLink

Advantages of using SmartSense Multi’s:

  • May sense motion in case of glass break
  • Native
  • Better design
  • Pays for self in about one year1
  • Allows for safer interior zones, where interior motion no longer need during armed-stay.


  • Price: they’re 61% more expensive, nearly $600 total in my setup
  • Temperature data marginally useful2

1 Using a basis of an ADT system costing $52.99 a month, it’d take a tad over 11 months to recovery that with ST.
2 Since they’re going to directly abut a window, the temperature reading may not be an accurate measure for room temperature.

My personal choice is Ecolink. I have several of them (in addition to other Z-Wave sensors) and have no complains. I don’t have any SmartSense sensors, so I cannot comment on those. But I cannot justify paying twice as much for them. At any rate, I prefer Z-Wave over Zigbee because I can easily switch to another platform if I have to.


If you want a glass break alarm I really strongly recommend buying a sensor specifically designed for that purpose.

Glass breaking turns out to be one of those events that has a fairly specific event signature. Get a device designed for just that, you’ll have very few false alarms.

Use a general purpose sensor and you’ll probably be disappointed with the results.

This is very easy to test in a lab. In home conditions, most people aren’t willing to break 30 or 40 windows to finetune their setup, and don’t have the simulator equipment to avoid having to do so. :wink:

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Thanks JD! Looks like I should have researched this a bit more as there is a post about using the SmartSense as a glass break. Sounds like if that is the main advantage, it might not even be worth it.

Thanks geko! I admire your work. It seems like I’d be better with the Ecolink.

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I agree with all of this with one caveat: if the device is intended for outdoor use, I would go zigbee over zwave. For example, if you have a shed or detached garage and you want a glass break sensor on those windows to communicate back to the main house, even if it’s only 10 feet away, I would choose zigbee.

But I generally prefer zwave for home installations as well.

I have both; I liked the multi and bought a bunch.

As echoed here, I came to try the eco link and liked it’s price point and it has only been marginally less reliable, meaning just about perfect. On my exterior garage door (placed inside,not out) it gets below freezing inside the garage when it’s 20 below at night and then see occasional issue that I figure must be related to those extremes…but just that one device.

Oh, I have the ecolink garage door tilt sensors as well. Flawless performance.

I have placed my multis in areas where an extra temperature reading is helpful to me.

Finally, I have come to the same thought process that being generic zwave helps for long term flexibility. Of my 79 devices only 12 are zigbee I think. But I generally have zero complaints on any of the smart things devices. They just work as they should…it’s just the price point that can be sticky.

But considering they support all these end users continually with only a $99 purchase one time I suspect it’s a good way to build revenue that helps that support keep going. So I chose some of their devices on that basis as well.

I’ve had great experience with Ecolink garage door tilt sensors.

In contrast my SmartSense Multis and SmartSense Motion sensors both started falling off the network recently or missed reporting movement randomly. All of them change from 50% to 63% battery level constantly. Batteries are only 7 or 8 months old, but already stuttering. SmartSense battery level reading seems to be incorrect if low power is indeed the problem I’m having. New batteries seem to be solving my problem so that’s my assumption right now. SmartSense Multis need hard to find AAAA batteries by the way.

By comparison the standard coin sized lithium batteries with my generic style system door open/close sensors last 2 years or so. I always change them every 18 to 24 months so can’t be sure how long they last. Only had one report low battery once.

Are you using any custom smartapps that include Poll or Refresh?

Zigbee battery powered motion sensors are generally designed to run very very low power and sleep in betwee. Frequent refresh or polling can run through the batteries in a few weeks.

I think I tested Pollster on multiple devices for a couple weeks last summer. I doubt I ever tested against sensors though. Never had a reason. Only MyQ and thermostats for any duration. Even if I had, that shouldn’t cause incorrect battery reading, just faster drain.

Everyone always talks about Z-wave mesh problems but the only problems I have ever had are with Zigbee motion and multi sensors. :fearful:

Agreed, the weird battery message are, well, weird. :unamused:

I know you said the zigbee motion sensors were very close to the ST hub, like a meter line of sight. How close are they to the wifi router?