SmartThings Motion Sensors, Any good uses?

Hey Everyone,
I’m planning out my smart home and I was wondering if anyone has any cool/unique uses for the SmartThings Motion sensor? The only use I can think of is for turning lights on and off in rooms. They seem pretty useless to me especially since they aren’t compatible with the ADT pulse system.


Are you asking about the SmartThings brand motion sensor specifically?

Or z-wave/zigbee motion sensors in general?

SmartThings doesn’t really integrate with the ADT pulse system, but that doesn’t mean motion sensors are useless.

I use motion sensors to turn lights on/off, probably one of the more common uses, as you’ve noted.

Same thing for ceiling fans, too.

I can get alerts if there’s motion anywhere when I’m not home, presumably your ADT pulse system serves a similar purpose.

But i also get alerts if there’s motion in the kids’ room when I am home but it’s after their bedtime. That’s something I’d like to know about, but doesn’t quite rise to the level of a call from the alarm company monitoring station and a police dispatch.

If I had an elderly or infirm family member, I could use lack of motion as an early warning that something’s wrong, e.g. grandma always wakes up at 6 and goes down to the kitchen, but she didn’t this morning. Maybe someone should go check on her in case she fell.

Motion could be used to trigger all kinds of voice announcements using connected speakers, although I don’t have any personal examples of this.

So if you already have a home alarm system with motion detectors, and you’re only interested in detecting motion for home security purposes, then sure, SmartThings motion sensors are kinda useless.

But the other examples I gave are just off the top of my head. You’re limited only by your imagination.

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I put one inside the cover of my doorbell enclosure. When someone rings the bell, it vibrates and I ge th a notification on my phone.

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Do you mean motion sensor, or multipurpose sensor? The multipurpose sensor can detect vibration but a motion sensor can’t AFAIK.

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i have one point straight down at my front door which trigers my googe homes to anounce there is some one at the door, also it sets a z-wave siren off in the garden incase im out back and cant hear the door bell, also when im away any motions triggers my google homes to broadcast dogs barking!

i have another in the bathroom which turns the loghts on based on the light level (and back off) beacuse 1 kid cant reach the light swithc and the other cant rember to turn it off!

Thanks, That’s a great idea. I’ve already planned and budgeted for a Ring pro doorbell tho!

I assume you’re using assistant-relay to ‘broadcast’ to your Google home devices? If so, how do you get them to make the sound of ‘dogs barking’?


bigtalker2, if you go to thier wiki, there is a list of hosted mp3’s. the ‘stock’ ST broadcast app also has dogs barking


Thank you!

I put one in a mailbox that doesn’t get mail every day. webCore announces when mail arrives and sends a message if the mail hasn’t been picked up by a certain time.

Yeah, multisensor. My mistake. I need to stop reading these while sitting through training at work.

a motion sensor is just that , but the added extra is that it also has temp , so could be used to trigger other things too. I personally have a ST Motion Sensor at the top of my stairs as the kids always used to leave the hall light on… because it really needs light to step 4 steps from their bedroom to the bathroom. I have one in the lounge, which I also use for temp sensing and one in my workshop, just for added security (plus it gives me an average of the outside temp) The rest of the rooms like my kids rooms and the kitchen I use the Xaiomi Body Sensors as they also measure Lux , so with the kids rooms , if theres no motion … it turns the light off, and if its dark , it turns the light on, as they were notorious for leaving the lights on, of having the light on at 3pm. So its down to practical uses, i.e it can only do so much as it is only a motion sensor , although one of my cats loves to sit on the landing … so can also be a pain. Technically though I wonder if its just a digital pin trigger , in which case … you could hack it to be almost anything (although smart things will still see it as a motion sensor) just an additional note , I use Multisensors on the doors, so don’t need temp sensing in the kitchen, but will be building a multisensor to record lux, temp, humidty, smoke, flame and microwave motion so the xaiomi will be moved to somewhere fun… maybe outside inside the front porch light.

Here is a list of how I use the motion sensors with SmartThings in my home:

  1. Turn on the lamps if the sensor detects motion after sunset

  2. Turn off the lights if the sensor does not detect motion for 15 minutes

  3. Change a light to red if the sensor detects motion in an “off limits” area of your home (requires
    lights such as Philips Hue)

  4. Create an instant on / instant off light when the sensor detects motion in a closet

  5. Get an alert when the sensor detects motion when you are away

  6. Get an alert when the sensor detects motion in the garage after 11PM

  7. Receive a notification if the temperature drops below a certain amount in the basement / garage

  8. Turn on the ceiling fan if the temperature is above 75 degrees and the sensor detects motion in the room

Probably not the most creative and unique list, but you can do some useful things with the motion/temperature sensor.



Hi @RWheeler25,

To add to what @SmartHomeFocus just listed, you can also use it to control your HVAC system. If the house has no motion active, than lower/raise the heat/same for AC.