Trying to chose my reward sensors wisely

(Amix) #1

So, I still did not choose my reward sensors. Problem is: I can not decide whether I should take the moisture sensor or an additional movement one. Besides this I am going to have a presence, a multi and two movement sensors. So, do I want the moisture or is it better to have a third movement sensor. I had the neighbour giving me a water pipe break two times, but it came from the ceiling. Not sure whether this will happen another time, I think they fixed it. Besides, how would I mount it? Besides that, I got a brand new washing machine, so this should be stable and not needing supervision.

How wet is ‘wet’? Does the moisture sensor need direct contact with water? Like floating water, drops, or can it sense high humidity?

Any recommendations would be welcome.

Thanks, Andreas

(Im Brian) #2

I’ve tested my moisture sensor with just a wet finger and it fired an event. It requires some water (not just humidity), but far from standing water.

There is no right answer - I’d personally choose more sensor diversity as I enjoy the tinkering aspect, but if you have a specific use case that requires motion sensors, but all means - get that. I rarely use my motion sensor - and have my moisture sensor only as an emergency notifier in my laundry room (between the washer and the water heater).

The sensors I use the most include the contact sensors (both ST multi and Aeon contact sensors), presence sensors and those powered by web APIs (Nest, Foscam, weather station).

(Amix) #3

OK. Thanks for the info. I may go with the motion sensors for now.

I am interested in a thermostat, too, but the Nest is too powerful for me and all ZigZags (ZigBee/Z-Wave) I’ve found are, ahm: a single one. Heh. And this was for floor heating. I guess we have to wait in Europe a little bit longer.

(Darryl) #4

I must admit, I wish I had more door sensors, and presence detectors right now.

If the motion was water resistant, I could put it in many places outside and turn lights on, but… ugh

(Chrisb) #5

@Darrylb, AEON makes a zwave motion sensor that is rated for outdoor use.

@amix, I’m with Darryl. The SmartThings motion sensor is nice, but I prefer the AEON motion sensor. I’d go for the Open/Close sensors over the motion sensor personally.

(Amix) #6

@chrisb Any particular reason you’d prefer the vibration sensors? I’d be eager to know some use cases. Thanks.

(Chrisb) #7


It’s going to depend a lot on your situation of course. I mean, if you think you’ll use motion sensors a lot and won’t be using the open/close things, then go that route. One nice feature of the motion sensor is that when it’s plugged in it does act as a Zigbee repeater. (In face, in my house right now I’ve got my SmartThings motion sensor rigged up in a window. I’m not using it for motion sensing at all, but rather just as a repeater so my Hub will see when I’m coming home in my cars sooner.)

The AEON motion sensor, in my opinion, is better. It has, in addition to the motion sensing, a thermometer, a light sensor, and a humidity sensor, and it’s about the same price as the SmartThings one.

Now, as for the open/close sensor… the options are many:
1.) Open/Close for door or window. This is the obvious one of course.
2.) Positional sensor for Garage Door. You have the use positional sensor to tell if a garage door is open or close without needing to use the magnet.
3.) Vibration sensor. You can use this to tell when something start to vibrate or stop vibrating. I’ve heard of people who put it in their mail box to tell when the mailman opens the box to put in mail. I’ve heard of people putting it on a 3D printer to know when the printer stops moving and is then a signal that the printing is done. You could do the same thing with a washing machine or dryer.
4.) Switch. I’ve heard of at least one person who uses it at a switch or button. He has it by his bed. You can “open” or “close” the sensor by taking on or off the magnet and have that triggers certain events (turn off the light, turn on a fan, change mode, etc.) Or tab the sensor to make it vibrate and have that trigger a different action.
5.) Temp sensor. I think there is one person who is uses the sensor by some electronic equipment. When the temp goes above a give threshold it kicks on an outlet that is connected to a fan.

There is really a LOT of ways to use the SmartThigns Multisensor. Like the AEON motion sensor, it gives you a lot of flexibility.

So here’s my recommendation: If you’re feel that you will get everything you need in your SmartThings bundle and don’t plan to EVER add additional sensors, then get a motion (or two) and Multis for the rest. But if you think you’ll be adding extra sensors (either SmartThings or 3rd party devices), then I’d highly recommend getting as many Multis are you can. They are just so useful. Then add some of the AEON motion sensors instead of SmartThings motion sensor.

(Im Brian) #8

The multisensor is pretty feature-rich. I have one on my front door to detect knocks (and distinguish them from a door opening):

I also have one on my balcony window to tell if the door is opened or vented based on orientation.

Both are also used to monitor ambient temp throughout the house.

Plus, it’s nice for contact sensors to let you know if A) the HVAC system is on and the window should be shut:

Or B) if a door or window is open and rain is in the forecast:

(Amix) #9

Thanks for the recommendations, it didn’t make my life any easier, LOL.

I was going with the three motion sensors, ditching the moisture one, and getting one presence and a multi, but now I hesitate. Ok, I will have to rethink. I didn’t want to spend so much money, had hoped, that I will be able to satisfy my needs with the initial offer. Thanks to everyone.

Nice scripts @ImBrian, btw. Will come to them one day.

(Chrisb) #10


I didn’t want to spend so much money, had hoped, that I will be able to satisfy my needs with the initial offer.

Well, that’s your first mistake!! :slight_smile:

Seriously though, it will depend a little bit on what you intend to do with your stuff and if you plan to add sensors later. If, like you indicate, you really don’t want to add more later, then I’d get a mix of motion sensors and multi. If you come to the conclusion that you will be adding more later, then I’d go with all multis and add motion from third party. (As I said before, the AEON motion is very nice.)

(Cory S) #11

I had to spend about 400ish dollars on light switches before I really felt like I had a system in place. Motion sensors are pretty much the driving force of the automation part of my system. You can really get a lot of cool apps going on different modes to control them. My wife is horrible about turning off bathroom lights, and her curling iron. Now when motion is detected in the bathroom the lights come on, and the outlet her curling iron is plugged into switches on. Everything goes off after 15 minutes of no motion. At night it’s the same, except lights only come up to 10% dim level, and turn off after 2 minutes (potty breaks)

In our main living area (open floor plan) I have a sensor setup that turns on the lights if it is getting dark outside. But, if it is in night mode they also only come up to 10%, for getting a glass of water or something.

I would suggest presence fobs, but the presence app works so well on my phone I rarely use the fobs now. As, the app can be set to change the mode at any distance out from your house, where as the fobs may take 25-30 seconds to get online after you get home. Doesn’t sound like very long, but it can be long enough to mess up any apps you have setup to trigger on your arrival, like unlocking the door, or turning on entry lights. I still keep the fobs on our keychains though for incase our phones die.

(Jose) #12

Any chance Ready for Rain can use GPS instead of the zip code to get the weather? This will be great specially for people, like me, outside of the US :wink:

(Im Brian) #13

Unfortunately, I think it needs Zip per the SmartThings API. Happy to be proven wrong!

(Jose) #14

I was reading the Weather Methods and saw that there is another method that uses the GPS coordinate for getting the weather, do you think its easy to replace the one you use for this one? newbie programmer here btw :stuck_out_tongue:

getWeatherFeature(String requestedFeature)

Performs a Weather Underground API request with the supplied feature as a parameter. The SmartThings Platform will automatically pass the latitude/longitude for the Location in which the requesting SmartApp is running. A parsed response object will be returned

(Im Brian) #15

You can try this version. I just added the param that makes the zipcode optional:

(Jose) #16

You Rock!!! I will give it a try and let you know, thanks!!!