How do you detect Motion. Advice needed

I use the Xiaomi motion sensor. I am OK with it. Never had to replace the batteries yet after around 2 years. Use some on the xiaomi hub and some on zigbee2mqtt.


Dumb question… is Zigbee and Zwave the same technology?

No it isn’t.

Which is better? What doest the Xiaomi motion sensor use? Do you use the Xiaomi hub or do you use a USB dongle?

You could also make your own with arduino pro minis as described on

I can’t recommend the platform enough, I am incredibly happy with what you get. Using Rfm69 I was able to send a signal from the ground floor to the fifth floor.

But the work you have to put in on the beginning is a lot, soldering is required. But I was able to do it and I have two left hands so I think everybody can do it :wink:

For inside I’m using Fibaro FGMS-001 PIR sensors. They’re zwave, they’re tiny with an appealing design and they work extremely well. I haven’t had a single false trigger since I installed the first one almost a year ago. I installed 3 more since. Like most battery powered zwave devices, they’re very low power. The first installed sensor’s battery level is still at 100% almost a year in. Like many (most ?) people, I use an Aeotec ZWave Gen5+ Stick to connect my zwave network to HA.

Outside I use Hikvision cameras with their smart motion events, mostly line crossing and field intrusion. Results are somewhat mixed. Their EasyIP 4.0 compliant camera models use machine learning to detect humans and vehicles, that works well enough on my driveway camera. My yard camera, still using their previous EasyIP 3.0 without ML performs worse. Lots of false triggers due to sun shadows, etc. Of course these motion events also work inside. On the HA side, I use the native Hikvision integration which manages all the motion events.

I’ve been testing a very cheap DIY microwave motion sensor over the past month and after some tweaking, I’m pretty happy with the results. These sensors work inside and outside. They’re based on a cheap microwave module and an Arduino Nano and connect to HA over MQTT. Some more info about what I did and my final experience report here.

The Xiaomi sensor is zigbee. That is why I use it on zigbee2mqtt.

I’ve been using cheapo PIR motion sensors from aliepress linked to a tasmotised Sonof RF Bridge.

Cheap, reliable and the batteries last over a year (only the high traffic entrance hall one has run out so far in about 18 months).

I use several different types of sensor because my “favorites” have changed over time.

The Xiaomi Motion Sensors are pretty great. If you’re in the US they are more expensive on Amazon ,$20ish, than they are from Chinese sources (gearbest, alibaba, banggood, etc), $10-15ish with 2-5 week delivery times.

These are pretty great with the xiaomi-aqara integration. However, the integration is not as nice as others. You have to go FIND the sensor in the development pane once you pair it, and it only shows up after a Home Assistant restart. And if WiFi drops for any reason, the aqara hub can lose connection and the integration never seems to pick it back up unless you restart. Sensor names you supply in the App don’t make it to Home Assistant so that’s tedious too. If you add one sensor at a time, it’s pretty decent. I used it this way until I moved houses and wanted to readd every sensor. Then I realized adding 20 sensors one by one with Home Assistant restarts in between was going to be a pain, so I went a different route.

Zigbee2MQTT pairs pretty easily with these. Much easier than ZHA. However, in both cases, they are very picky devices when on a non-aqara-hub zigbee network. If you have other non-xiaomi devices on that same network, some don’t play well and leave the device unable to communicate.

Wyze Motion Sensors are my new go to motion sensor. They are really cheap ($5 US) and have great range (40 feet over and one floor up inside my house, 75 feet and through a brick wall outside my house). The ha-wyzesense integration isn’t the best, but it works. You pair one sensor at a time (a limit of the “hub”) and then you have to go find it in the development tab (no config flow or “devices”, just entities). If you need your dongle to be attached somewhere else in your house than you Home Assistant server, or if you need more than one dongle, then ha-gosenseapp works well via MQTT, despite the project not being updated in a year.

I also use some 433Mhz PIR sensors with OpenMQTTGateway. The range here is great. However, configuration of each sensor is a bit of the pain (watch MQTT, get the code, add an MQTT sensor manually to Home Assistant), and all the sensors I’ve found are, physically, quite large. They also only send a trigger event, there’s no on and off state. Low battery is undetectable on most, as well. So you either change them by the calendar, or wait until you notice they aren’t working any more and replace the batteries (about once a year). OpenMQTTGateway is a bit of a pain but, once working, it’s pretty stable. There are other options like Tasmota with either a DIY hub or a Sonoff RF Bridge.

I’ve also tried the ZWave based Zooz 4-in-1. But at $40 US it needs to be flawless to be worth 8x the cost of a Wyze Sensor, and it just isn’t. I couldn’t get it to report accurately or as often as I would like. I last tried over 2 years ago, though, so perhaps it or its competitors have gotten better. I’ve been considering giving them a shot again. Zooz products, especially the newer ones, are generally fantastic and very user focused. At $15 for a Xiaomi Motion and Light sensor, and $15 for a Xiaomi Temperature and Humidity sensor, this price point is only $10 away and quite a bit easier to set up than dealing with Xiaomi pairing. For rooms requiring more than one motion sensor, you could always use one of these and augment it with Wyze sensors for complete coverage.

Are there any benefits from pairing hue sensors directly to HA if I already have a hue hub?

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Honestly? I’ve found that it really makes little difference EXCEPT that you can adjust sensitivity and light level settings when they are paired to the Hue hub. But, I typically adjust those settings when I pair them to my Hue hub for firmware updates.


I have a few different motion sensors in my system. The system exists now about 25 years and has evolved from a closed-loop, own developed RS485 based system to Home Assistant.
With HA, I have used some HC-SR501, some AM312 and recently I added some IKEA Tradfri sensor (zigbee).
The HC-SR501’s are connected to NodeMCU’s and the AM312 to RPi3B+. The IKEA sensors work fine but have some intelligence (after detecting motion they remain mute for a while) that is not always expected.
Personally, I prefer the solution with the RPi3B+ and the AM312. they are cheap (2€/piece) and work reliable.

Thank you for the reply, I have no issues with making my own, and do enjoy soldering etc… but my issue is making one that is battery powered and not charging it daily or weekly.

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+1 for the xiaomi with a zigbee CC2531. You can’t get it cheaper in a nice package, I love the size of these things and have several just standing on the doorframe in a room… also easy adjustable and to move. also didn’t change the battery in 2 years yet and it’s rock solid for me.

Thank you for the link and the information. As you mentioned above about the zwave module is appealing, this is a good point as it has to meet the wifes visual approval.

Ikea trådfri (zigbee) are pretty ok
I also have a few sonoff’s (zigbee, flashed tasmota) they also do the job
SONOFF® PIR2 Wireless Infrared Detector on banggood

also zigbee CC2531 here

I have both Ikea tradfri and Xiaomi Human body sensors (and 3 zigbee sonoff Zigbee pir’s ordered, but can’t say anything about them). Both the Ikea and Xiaomi work reliable for me.

Philips Hue hub and as var as I know also IKEA suck as motion sensor interfaces if you want motion to turn on light. Philips still has no push API. You have to poll the bridge. As standard this is done every 5 seconds. There are hacks to speed it up but it still sucks polling. A proper solution pushes a message to HA so HA can respond instantly

There is nothing worse than a 1-5 second delay from you enter a dark room till the light comes on.

Zigbee2MQTT, ZHA, and deCONZ all push messages.

The Philips Hue Motion sensors on any of these 3 solutions are in my oppinion the best you can get overall. Only reason to do a DIY solution is if you need more sensitivy and you buy one of the more expensive Panasonic sensors of the kind that divide the viewing field into very small sections so even the smallest motion triggers. That is good if you need to sense a person sitting at a desk keeping the light on. I have done that in my home office.

I have bad experience with the first generation IKEA sensors. They trigger too many false alarms. The new one they sell now seems to be better. But nothing beats the Philips Hue indoor sensor for zigbee solutions

For outdoor the Philips hue sucks at daylight and triggers false motion from shadows moving. At night they are fine. So to turn on outdoor light they are good. To detect people sneaking around at daylight they suck. They are too sensitive.

I have put two different technologies of sensors outdoors at each position and only trigger automations if both detect motion within a few seconds.

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Hmm, I’m using Nodered, haven’t really noticed delays :thinking:
Now that i think of it, it is just MQTT …

If you have a look at the mysensors forum you’ll find people reporting that they have pir sensors running for two years on 2 AA batteries. I haven’t tried motion sensors myself yet though.

I have a door sensor, a temperature and humidity sensor plus a light sensor working on the same node for two years now and the battery is still showing ca 55%.

If you need to high waf it’s probably better to buy something in a nice case :wink: