SmartThings Motion Sensor Reliability

(James Bray) #1

I’ve had SmartThings for over a year now. My setup is 5 motion sensors, a multi sensor, a smart plug and 5 Hue Bulbs and a Hue hub.

Nothing too complicated.

However I very frequently have issues with my motion sensors. False movement being detected, sensors showing as unavailable etc.

I’ve spoken to Support, which told me that false motion being reported is a known issue, not a hardware problem, and that it’s being worked on. However that’s been the case for over a year now, and I’m losing faith.

We have been woken up by false movement too many times now, and at this point we need to just stop using the smart home monitor altogether.

Has anyone else had the same experience? Found a solution? Alternative sensors perhaps?

I’ve noticed that changing the batteries on the sensors seem to make them more reliable, even though they were showing as 60-80% full, but they are still not perfect.

Support has had me remove and re-add pretty much every device a whole load of times by this point, but that is a pain in the ass, and also popping the batteries out hurts my fingers!

At home we dropped the “Smart” off the name of the product long ago…

(Bob) #2

I must admit I have had the same issues with the ST motion sensors.
I have since tried Fibaro, Phillips Hue, Orvibo and Xiaomi.
All have worked without issue.
If you want a cheap motion sensor, I would recommend Xiaomi.
If you want a sensor that gives lux, temp and motion then there is not much to choose between the Fibaro or the Hue.
Personally I like the look of thr Fibaro.
I’m now left with 5 ST sensors in a draw.

(James Bray) #3

That’s interesting then. The Hue sensors presumably connected to the Hue hub and then over the network to the ST hub?

I’ll be honest, the Hue lights have been 100% reliable for me, so I’m tempted to get their sensors as well.

I might see if I can buy the Xiaomi ones in the UK and give them a try if they are cheaper though.

Side note: Anyone had a sensor in a steamy shower room?

(Bob) #4

My Hue sensor is connected directly to the ST hub.
I do not have a Phillips Hue Hub.
I do have a Xiaomi sensor in my en suite and it does work ok but the room doesn’t get that steamy. (Been married to long :wink: )

(James Bray) #5


Doesn’t seem that easy to buy the Xiaomi sensors in the UK sadly, but I’ll keep looking around and see if I can find a decent seller.

(Bob) #6

I’m in UK and got them off ebay, I think.
Some came from Germany, took a couple of weeks, and the rest fron China which took around 3 to 4 weeks.
I have seen a UK seller but he was out if stock.

(Bob) #7

Have a look at Tiny Deals. I think they ship to UK.

(James Bray) #8

I just ordered one from TinyDeals. Only £10. If it works I’ll order some more, but with the estimated shipping, it looks like a month to get them delivered.

Maybe I should have ordered 50 and stuck them on ebay!!

(Ben) #9

I have got around the problem of false activations by using an app called Zone Motion Manager. It combines the output of one or more sensors into a single virtual sensor. You can then specify the condition on which that sensor can go active. For example I have four sensors on the ground floor (2 ST and 2 Arlo Cams). I have specified that the zone sensor will only activate if 2 psychical sensors have detected motion within a two minute window.

This has eliminated my false activations though it requires more sensors covering areas than you would normally need.

(Eric) #10

this is a good technique, and good enough for monitoring. FYI even this would still have false-alarmed me a couple of times in the past year. I would not trigger a loud siren based on ST motion reports.

(Ray) #11

I have many ST motion sensors. Multiple versions and the latest version is the worst for false alarm. I use simple zone monitor ( smart alarm on steroid) and don’t have much issue due to a nice option of having 2 devices trigger before alarm.

(Zen) #12

One DOA, second starter kit 's one dead after less than 2 months, I don’t have much false alarms just the latest version of motion sensor is not as sensitive as before I got some missed motion detection instead where older version of motion sensors had no issue, for the price we paid it deserves to be better

(Kevin) #13

I’m glad the SmartApp is working well for you and I use it for my home too, but it’s still a beta version.

I planned on adding the ability to require multiple events before triggering alarm which is why those options are in the advanced security settinvs, but I don’t believe those settings actually do anything.

I was only aware of one other user that was using that SmartApp so I haven’t spent any time on it. Since SmartThings still hasn’t improved SHM and Smart Alarm is no longer an active project I’ll probably start working on it again.