Best Zigbee presence sensor in 2023

What are the best Zigbee presence sensors currently? I use the following criteria:

  • Battery life
  • Included illumminance sensor
  • Detection angle
  • Zigbee connectivity

So far, I have tested three different sensors, and the ideal one is not among them:

  • Aqara motion sensor – Good battery life, good detection angle, does include an illuminance sensor. However, Zigbee connectivity is not great. I’ve tested two of these in my setup. The first one finally joined my Zigbee network after way too many attempts. It is positioned close to my Zigbee hub. The second one I tried installing at the edge of my network, far away from my hub, but close to at least two lightbulbs that act as repeater. No success: it did join the network, but never kept connection for more than a day.
  • IKEA Trådfri wireless motion sensor – Good detection angle, no illuminance sensor. Battery life is so-so, connectivity okay.
  • Sonoff SNZB-03 – Excellent connectivity, excellent detection angle, very good battery life, but no illuminance sensor.

The Sonoff has the best quality, if you ask me, but is lacking an illuminance sensor. I’d be interested to hear other people’s experiences with other sensors. Would also be interesting to try a separate illuminance sensor (combined with the Sonoff presence sensor), but I’ve not yet found one.

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No mmwave radar sensor in the list?
They work great when you don’t have fans in the room

@ferbulous mmWave sensors seem to be way more expensive and not be able to run on batteries. But let me know if you have good options that doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg!

Hue is best in class, IMO. They support motion, illuminance and temp.

Also like Third Reality for motion only.

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Aqara has an updated motion sensor: Aqara Motion Sensor P1. This resolves a bunch of issues that their original motion sensor had: https://www.aqara.com/en/product/motion-sensor-p1

Here is a comparison video between Aqara’s motion sensors: The Aqara P1 Delivers What I Wanted in a Motion Sensor. - YouTube

I also found this video very helpful, comparing a bunch of different motion sensors: Best Motion Sensors for Home Assistant (WATCH before you BUY!) - YouTube

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Hi @bartkummel,

This is zigbee, but (prob) no illuminance:

However it is apparently powered by two AAA batteries. That should mean better battery, and use of rechargables as well. I haven’t tested these sensors yet, and it may not be available where you are.

I’ve got two Aqara sensors - and the battery reading given in HA is quite variable (goes up and down by 5% or so over time). Also, with the drain so far (over 2 months), I’d be surprised if they battery lasts for longer than 12 months.

The Philips Hue Outdoors Sensor (expensive by comparison) uses AA as well.

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Thanks, @bjohas! Indeed, it doesn’t seem to have an integrated illuminance sensor. However, I wasn’t aware that Lidl has a whole line of Zigbee products. Some of them look quite interesting, I wonder if people have experience with the quality of the products…

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I’ve bought some of the door sensors, and they seem to be working well (for open/close). They paired with Conbee II / zha no problem.

They do have a ‘tamper’ alert, which is not supported by Conbee II and/or zha. (The unit is glued to the door frame, but can be slid off to change batteries; in that case, the ‘tamper’ alert is supposed to trigger.)

Due to the two AAA, they are a bit bulkier than other sensors might be, but (as above) I think AAA is my preference due to possibility of recharge.

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@bartkummel I realise that I’m on a AAA-rechargable promotion spree here :slight_smile: but I’ve just come across this sensor: TUYA WiFi/Zigbee Door & Window Sensors Smart Security Alarms for Alexa Google | eBay, TUYA WiFi/Zigbee Door & Window Sensors Smart Security Alarms for Alexa Google. (You have to pick wifi vs zigbee for purchase.)

The description says: “DC 3V LR03(AAA battery,not included)” so likely it’s a similar setup to the Silvercrest one above.

I’ve had a look at NiMH - just to add that because of the self-discharge rate of NiMH they are prob not suitable for home automation.

Edit: Actually, while standard NiMH do have a high discharge rate (~ 30%/month), there are low-self discharge (LSD) versions, e.g. made by Duracell (called Duralock), Varta (low-self discharge), and Panasonic (called eneloop). These claim to hold charge for 12 months or more, cf. Nickel–metal hydride battery - Wikipedia. I am not entirely sure what this means for low-power applications, but maybe somebody else has some thoughts on this?

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You seem to have luck with your SNZB-03…
I tried them too but in the end not reliable.

Now I’m testing a Philips Hue, which works as it should.
Okay, they are a bit more expensive but: it’s a motion/luminance/temperature sensor AND uses 2 AAA batteries which should last 2 years.

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Hey,
Question title is about presence sensors…and most post are about motion sensors.

In fact i’m looking for a presence sensor…
I have a hue motion detector sensors, and they work fine.(with illuminance and temp and motion detection)…but in my office eg. i have one, and turn on lights if luminance is below set value and motion is detected via automation.
Then i have another automation when no motion detected for let say 1 minute, turn off lights…

And this is fine, when i go into the office to get something out of it when its dark. Lights go on, i pick up what i need, leave and lights get turned off…

But when i’m working at evening…it starts fine when i come in, lights are turned on. I go and sit at my computer…and then lights are turned off, because i don’t move enough…
So i want something to detect my presence in the office, even if i’'m not really moving.

I have a work around, that when i’m working, i turn on my desktop pc. I have setup a ping sensor, so when this pc is on, i don’t turn out the lights when no motion. But this is not without failures…

So anyone a presence sensor in use?

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As far as I know most, if not all, claimed ‘presence’ sensors work using simple PIR technology, and the difference lies in the quality of the sensor and/or firmware parameters, but the basic operating principles are the same. Hence, all of the above can be configures as ‘presence’ sensors.

Any half decent PIR sensor that is positioned to monitor arm / hand movement (I have an Ikea Tradfri positioned on the wall 1 foot away from my mouse path) will perfectly be able to act as a ‘presence’ sensor when working behind a computer. Just use a sufficiently long time interval for not detecting motion in your automation (eg, 5 minutes) … If the light still shuts off, either your PIR sensor is very crappy or you’re probably not really working anyway :wink:

There are a few ‘presence’ sensor I know of that don’t use simple PIR, but microwaves (eg, the aqara FP1). However, they consumer a lot of energy and require a permanent power connection.

You could solve that if you use a ping sensor to detect that your computer is running so the light will stay on.

Of course a PIR sensor is not suited for situations where you sit without moving a lot, even more if you have such short timeframe to turn off the lights again.
Therefor I only use motion sensors in those spots where there is enough motion and even in the smallest room where one might sit for a longer time, I have solved that by fading the light out over 10sec so you do not end up in the dark and by moving a little you trigger the automation again to turn on the light.

For a real presence sensor you might have a look at the Aqara’s FP2 presence sensor

So the best presence sensor post shows 1x presence sensor so far, or did I miss one?

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I am setting up motion functions room by room. The Aqara P1 does the job but is very limited regarding detection angle and range. In some rooms I need to install more then one device, in a hallway even more. I search: 180 degrees detection angle. 5 meter range and battery powered.

Hi @ajd_ht, welcom to the forum!

motion sensor ≠ presence sensor

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Hello,
Any new recommendation for 2024 ?

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I have an Apollo MSR-1 on order. Here’s a random review: Apollo MSR-1 Presence and CO2 Multisensor Review - SmartHomeScene.
Same author was pretty negative about Tuya presence sensors with the exception of the MTG075-ZB-RL, which he said was quite good.
This was an interesting overview of a bunch of mm wave presence sensors: Best mmWave Presence Sensors for Home Assistant! - YouTube

For me, the Aqara P1 keeps disconnecting; I’m adding more and more E1 hubs to solve the disconnections.
I would wait for the P2 version and hope that Thread will be more stable.