Looking to see if anyone has any experience with these devices to provide a recommendation?
I currently have the ZOOZ 4-in-1 mounted in my master bathroom to control both the lights and the fan. I’ve tweaked the settings several times but am just not satisfied with the responsiveness of the motion sensor to turn on the lights - there’s a significant delay between the time I walk in and the time I get some light. I originally went with the ZOOZ because it was $10 cheaper, but if the Aeotec is worth the extra cash then I’m willing to switch. Also open to other recommendations; just need to have both motion and humidity since I’m controlling the fan too.
I have an aeontec 6 in my downstairs bar. Some times I can make it 20 feet into the room before anything happens. Other times I make it only 3 or 4 feet. I do have the sensor mounted 20 feet from either door on the ceiling. (it’s really there to watch my booze)
There is always going to be some delay regardless of the sensor since it must wake up from its low power state, transmit the signal that motion occurred (which may or may not go to the hub via other Z-wave repeaters). Then the hub has to process the trigger and transmit the signal to turn on the switch. This whole process is slowed by the data transmission rate, which I’m guessing isn’t all that fast since Z-wave is designed to be a low power wireless network.
I’ve worked with both the Zooz 4-in-1 and Aeotec Multisensor 6, and I think Aeotec makes a much better sensor. The Zooz is cheaper and uses widely available AAA batteries, but it burns through them much faster than the Aeotec. I’m still working with @TheSmartestHouse to modify sensor settings and the device handler to improve battery life (batteries were burned through in a little over a month). The new device handler and the next version of the Zooz 4-in-1 may offer a significant improvement, but I hesitate to purchase more until I know that the battery life will be better.
In contrast, the Aeotec sensor offers a powered input option, which should give better responsiveness than a battery powered sensor. Since I have only used the Aeotec sensors with battery power, I cannot firmly state that their responsiveness is better, but with battery power it seems no worse than the Zooz sensor.
Some have indicated that Zigbee motion sensors are more responsive than their Z-wave equivalents, but there are far fewer Zigbee motion sensors to choose from. I tried to find a relevant discussion, but did not immediately come across anything. Perhaps @JDRoberts has more wisdom to bestow on this topic?
@Kato The bathroom is actually quite small - there’s only about 6 sq.ft. of walking space in the whole room. I have tried adjusting the angle and direction a few times, but haven’t actually moved it. There is one other corner that could work, so I might give it a shot. I had just been avoiding that because it won’t see the shower then to know when I’m still in the room.
@etbrown Thanks for the info! I have been trying to convince myself that it is just a matter of the transmission delay, but it’s just been so much slower than any of my other motion sensor + switch combos that I thought maybe it was the sensor itself. I also use CoRE which could add additional delay as well, but I use it for all of my other lights too.
Based on your layout, is the bathroom motion sensor more likely to relay through more repeaters than your other motion sensors? Each of these hops would add to the transmission delay. This is one of the most difficult parts of the DIY smart home since each home is unique, and the layouts and materials of the home uniquely alter the transmission of low power IoT signals.
You could always get an Aeotec sensor and try it in a wired configuration to see if its performance is significantly better. If it doesn’t work then you have another motion sensor for elsewhere, or you should be able to return it within 30 days.
From what people have reported in these forums, the inexpensive Z wave sensors have generally been a bit slower than the inexpensive zigbee sensors, with the Lowe’s Iris, for example, being noticebly faster then the GoControl.
That said, once you get to the more expensive sensors, such as the Aeotec or the Fibaro, responsiveness seems to improve.
There’s a lot of engineering that has to go into a sensor, including as @etbrown mentioned, power management, and some models are just better than others. And of course different use cases require different response times, so you may not even notice a speed differential if the two set ups are different.
There are some things you can do to “tune” an existing motion sensor and see if you can improve the responsiveness of a specific use case.
First, check the batteries. Or change it over to mains power if that’s an option. And of course do not use rechargeable batteries unless the manufacturer specifically recommended them.
if any of the response parameters are configurable, review the settings to make sure they’re what you want.
Three) many people are unaware that PIR motion sensors are not actually measuring motion, they are measuring very small changes of heat across the detection field of the sensor. that means that all of these sensors will detect much more quickly if you are moving past the sensor rather than if you are walking straight on towards it.
In my experience, it’s often difficult to find a place in a small bathroom to put a sensor because of the way the doors are set up.
I know some people add a second device to improve detection. You can either put a ceiling mount sensor with a small field of detection right above the doorway but in the exterior room or you can put a contact sensor on the bathroom door if you are a family that leaves the door closed most of the time even when the bathroom is empty.
The point of both of those is that you are trying to catch activity in the room exterior to the bathroom and then zone it with a sensor inside the bathroom.
But whether that works or not depends very much on the specific habits of the people who live there and the architecture of the space.
The challenge with the motion sensor in the hallway is getting it to not turn on the bathroom light when someone is just walking past.
The challenge of adding a door sensor is that as soon as you have a second person in the house, it’s possible that the door would be open with the second person coming in rather than the first person going out. And some people, particularly little kids, don’t close the door all the way when they go in.
once you have the sensors you want in the physical locations you want, run a zwave repair to make sure the messages are being routed efficiently. It can take a while for all the address tables to update, so you may not see efficiency improvements until the next day.
The post that you linked to actually led me to a third option as well; the NYCE Ceiling Mount sensor. Since it’s Zigbee I may see better responsiveness, and the ceiling mount would help with detecting motion in the shower to prevent the lights from turning off.
I think I’m going to start with the Z-wave repair, then try the other possible location for the ZOOZ (and do a repair again), and finally give the NYCE a shot if I’m still not getting better results.
One more thing… Signal is significantly attenuated for both zigbee and Z wave when there is high humidity. And you can’t get much worse than a shower. This particular aspect is also worse for Z wave than for Zigbee. Plus remember that whole small changes in temperature moving across the field of the sensor thing? Clouds of steam totally mess that up.
All of which is to say it’s really hard to get any motion sensor to work while the shower is running.
One option is to throw a humidity sensor into the mix. And some multi sensors, specifically the Aeotec, have both a humidity sensor and a motion sensor. So you can take advantage of both sets of readings.
Interesting that your post should show up today, with my earlier message quoted, as I just changed my configuration within the past couple weeks and am having much more satisfactory performance. And of course the changes I made correspond completely to the points you made here.
I had been having intermittent success with a single Iris sensor located above the door at the stairway end of the hall (the near end in the photo) but it was frequently failing to work for days at a time unless I removed and reinstalled the battery. So I chalked up that part to a flaky sensor.
But the main thing to getting it working reliably was to give in and accept that it just wasn’t going to work to use just a single sensor. So now at the near end of that picture there is a sensor to the right, about 4 feet from the door, such that you walk directly across the field as you walk through the doorway. At the far end, the entry from the garage, there is another sensor on the wall perpendicular to the door, again meaning that you cross the detection field as you go through the door. (Actually, just opening the door often triggers the sensor even before you walk through.) The light now goes on within a second of either sensor detecting motion.