What's the best light sensor?

I’m looking for a good light sensor to use in my garage. I’d prefer something I can use with ESPhome but I’d also consider Zigbee. I’d prefer for it to be fairly compact and “clean” looking. Anyone have any recommendations?

The Xiaomi Mijia light sensor is rather nice. Compact, clean, and long battery life.

I have tried to find an answer for the same question and my status is ‘it depends’… and I cannot make up exactly what you want to achieve here.
From what I found so far: there is not much out there ready-made, the Hue one is OK but not very sensitive in the low light areas, the xiaomi one (for me) quite expensive but still just OK-ish and others way too expensive (for my purpose).
On my purpose, driving insight lights depending on outside light, I am now focusing on a home-built one with esp…but this is a project with low(er) prio so cannot share any progress yet

On the ‘do not buy’ side, the Tuya model linked below requires a solar flare for it to respond. But then it only goes to 1000 lux. POS!

The Hue indoor and outdoor seem somewhat okay, but expensive. Their ‘raw’ measures of ‘lm’ seem to track between the two, however their lux numbers diverge for reasons I have yet to discover. How often they sample and at what frequency is again unclear.

None I have found so far seem good at tracking low light levels.

I too think I am going to go the route of trying a couple of different light sensors attached to a ESP-xx device and see if I can get better data. I’m not sure I understand why the off the shelf products are so poor at getting data, perhaps I am missing a complexity.

Below are a comparison of the Tuya, Hue Indoor and Hue Outdoor units tracking the sun with the three of them sitting on the backyard walkway. The last chart shows how the two Hue units diverge on the lm vs. lux reading, I have no idea why this occurs and when and why they seem to ‘max’ out. The raw (lm) numbers seem to track relatively well, however why they have the linear offset is unknown. Perhaps a different sensor. You can also see the number of reading each is producing in the last graph, with the Hue Outdoor sending reading more often.

Good hunting!

Don’t buy this one!


On HUE…yes, not cheap as well but you get a package deal, a motion/light/temperature sensor all in one … sadly (repeating) it really quickly rises/descends between 60 and 0 lux with me (in a north-facing room with windows) meaning that I cannot really use it when the intensity is low