Best Current Door Sensor Solution?

Hi All,

I’m very new to home-assistant / so getting up to speed is a bit of a task.

I want a button-cell powered magnetic sensor on my garage door, probably using zigbee or similar. I’ve been pointed at aqara products but I really don’t like the idea of the hub / app combination. It looks like bad Chinese crapware. Is there a better solution out there?

I am currently using a hue hub and am cool with having another gateway plugged into my router over ethernet, but I don’t really want something I don’t trust on my wifi network - which is what the little round aqara thing seems to be. As “generic” and “bare bones” as possible. Ideally, just something with a REST api that home-assistant can grok.

I’m a software engineer / platform engineer so more complicated-to-configure-solutions are fine.

I can recommend the aqara sensors, but I use them with a third party ZigBee stick, namely the ConBee II. This way it is completely local, no phone home to china. And you can also use Hue devices with the same hub. I ditched my Hue hub and only use the ConBee with around 60 ZigBee devices from Hue, Ikea, Aqara and Osram.


Are there alternatives that don’t use a usb stick form factor?

No, I don’t think so. But what’s the issue with a USB stick form factor? You can either put the USB stick on an extension cord or put a pi with the USB stick in a central location and communicate over the network between the HA machine and the PI. Or if you go for ZigBee2MQTT just connect the HA machine and the machine with the stick to the same MQTT broker.

There is, a CC2530 connected to an ESP, can be placed where you want. To be used with Zigbee2Mqtt.

Short answer: my hass runs in docker on a real server, which has its USB ports disabled and I don’t want a pi running hidden somewhere. I wouldn’t allow USB dongles in any machine I work on so I won’t allow them at home.

The Hue hub works well for this, as it’s on ethernet, on a switch with fixed routes. is blocked, and only access to the local network is allowed.

Would this be appropriate?

Little difference with the Xiaomi hub. They both talk to the cloud. And I don’t think there is an integration for it yet. Only tuya switches and lights seem supported.

As far as I know there is no ZigBee hub which doesn’t communicate over USB and is not dependent on the cloud and can connect to the Aqara door sensors. And you won’t find any coin-cell powered magnetic sensors that don’t communicate over Zigbee, except RF maybe, but if you have concerns about USB plugged in your machine, you definitely won’t go the RF route.

No worries, I’ll explore other solutions. Thank you for your help.

I opt for Conbee and the deCONZ-addon. I have about 15 Aqara door sensors, two of them at garage doors. In addition temperature and water leak sensors as well as Ikea bulbs and Osram Plugs. Overall 35 devices running for a year now without major problems.

Depending on your garage doors you can mount the sensors with adhesive pads like Patafix (in Germany) as the sensors are very light.

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Which other solutions do you want to explore?
I don’t think there’s another option if you want coin-cell powered door sensors.

I like the SmartThings multisensor, but in my case that is used with a USB Zigbee stick. The Wyze Sense door sensors are nice as well but that also uses a USB receiver.

How about a little bit of DIY? Wemos D1 mini and magnetic reed sensor? That is what I’m using for my garage door, with the added ability to open/close the door via a relay hooked up to the D1. This is using ESPHome and Wifi, so no USB dongle on the server side. This of course wouldn’t work so well in a battery powered application though.

On a different note, I’m having trouble understanding how hooking an untrusted device that has wireless capabilities up to your network (even if locked down) is any better than plugging an untrused device into USB. Both have their own unique security risks.

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I’m going to look at dropping the requirement for battery-powered sensors in favour of cabled sensors to an ESP or see if I can roll my own board.


does are one of the best: very reliable. Since its zigbee protocol you need a hub, but its not difficult to have/maintain.

I have like 30 devices+ and very happy with them

no need for a hub. Try the Conbee-Stick, the deCONZ-addon (addons/deconz at master · home-assistant/addons · GitHub) and the deCONZ-integration deCONZ - Home Assistant

I have found this tutorial Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi with HASS OS, Zigbee Conbee II, deCONZ, Xiaomi Aqara sensors from scratch on setting up deCONZ and pairing the xiaomi-sensors.

Completely local, no connections to chinese servers.

Conbee is a hub

There’s always the raspbee form factor. You’d still need a pi for it, but it avoids the usb form factor.

@breadlord as @francisp pointed out earlier you can use a zigbee sniffer cc2530 with zigbee2mqtt connected via wifi using an esp8266.
It’s completely wireless, no usb connection.

You can also use zigbee2tasmota with the same hardware combination.

I’m using zigbee2tasmota and it’s working very well.

If you want ready to go hardware, you can approach @h4nc Here in the forum. He puts together the hardware and feedback on his product is quite positive.

Is there any good/reliable/long lasting battery powered door/window sensor with tilt measurment?

I’m using Shelly DoorWindow but it drains battery too quickly. I mean in few months. Strange is, that their another sensor - H&T is working half a year with battery still on 100%.

Anyway I’m ready to lean toward zigbee (preferable or zwave). But cannot find anything with tilt. I need the tilt to distinct a way how a window is opened