on January 21, 2016
My first impression when I saw pulled it out of the box was how VERY small this device is. I guess I wasn't paying attention to any specs about its small size. The batteries are not very standard. The spec says "2-year battery life with standard use (2xCR123A batteries NOT INCLUDED)" Just a heads up that when using it with the custom device app in SmartThings developed by @Robert_Vandervoort that the battery life is being reported as much shorter. The discussion is here [...] I am using this outside in my entry way that is covered. It allows me to monitor the light levels for triggering my lights but also triggers when people come up to my door like an automatic door bell of sorts. So far the battery seems great and is still at 100% after a week of use so not sure about the reported problems or it was fixed in the device code already?
on July 5, 2015
Aeotec's recent devices seem to have a pattern of small issues that lead to a less useful device or frustrating install experience, and this, unfortunately, is no exception.
For the most part, the design and functionality is great. This is by far the smallest Z-Wave motion sensor, temperature and humidity sensor, or light sensor that I've seen, and it does all of those things in one device. It's almost the perfect unobtrusive all-in-one sensor.
Unfortunately, to start with, I ran into an error in the manual. It appears (based on the default value) that the description of parameters 101-103 is wrong. Specifically, I believe the UV sensor enabled bit should be 16, not 2. The directions for waking up the device also appear to be incorrect. I was unable to wakeup the device following the directions, and the light cycled through a couple different colors as I held the button, suggesting I was accessing some other functionality the manual didn't describe at all. (This was also the case for the previous Gen5 multi-sensor. The manual said "hold for 3 seconds" to wakeup when in fact you needed to press three times.) I had to resort to using USB power for configuration, which the manual did suggest, but which should also have been unnecessary. (I was also unable to add the node securely without the USB cable, which is strange.)
Mounting also isn't fully thought out. The mount screws into the back of the sensor on one side and attaches to the wall on the other. It allows free rotation, but can only be tilted along one axis (see photo). Unfortunately, this axis is controlled by the sensor side of the mount, which must be screwed in all the way leaving no actual control over the angle. The mount should have been reversed so the axis along which the sensor can be tilted is controlled by the orientation of the wall / ceiling mount.
Finally, the "action" button is accessible even while the sensor is mounted, so someone could theoretically exclude the sensor from the network (using a handheld controller) if they can approach without triggering it. For something that's supposed to act as a security device I don't know why the button needs to be externally accessible. It's not hard to just remove the back during configuration.
As others have mentioned, controller support is incomplete. It seems to be mostly functional in HomeSeer, but configuration parameters aren't setup (I had to do everything manually) and it's not clear whether all the values are reporting properly. I wonder whether it would have been possible to give the controller makers more lead time to get implement support before this went on sale. This seems to be a general failing of Z-Wave. It's a little strange that almost nothing works as expected until support for the specific device is implemented in the controller, despite most things happening via standard command classes. Insteon may be a closed ecosystem with many fewer devices available, but at least everything seems to pretty much work together.
on February 21, 2016
Took long enough but finally is compatible with Vera, at least IU7 that is. There is a dedicated entry for this unit now when adding a new device, and as long as you pick that one instead of the 4in1 as you used to, it works perfectly with no messing around.
Even when pairing using batteries, I have had two of these configure without having to press the Z-Wave button more than once. After pairing and automatic configuration, the remaining sensors pop up. I have no idea about UV and vibration to be honest yet, but motion is working perfectly, it seems to communicate just ever so slightly faster than old gen3 Z-Wave devices. Humidity and light levels are also on par. Mostly I'm just happy the basics work without any hassling around.
Much much smaller than the 4in1 and battery life so far seems much longer, although have not gotten anywhere near the claimed 2 year mark yet. CR123A batteries are pretty inexpensive when purchased in bulk anyhow.
on July 28, 2015
I had an issue getting batteries to work, at first. The metal prongs were not bent properly, but customer service help me through it. I do have most of the functions working well with smart things via a community written smart ap. There is not yet an official smartthings ap. So, if you aren't comfortable with adding devices with their IDE, you may want to wait until it is officially supported. The temperature seems off by about 5 degrees and I don't have a way to adjust the offset yet on smartthings. The actual motion detector seems to be working better than previous generations and has better range.
on September 15, 2016
I purchased this ZW100-A on May 9th, and got it connected easily to my SmartThings Gen 2 Hub. I first kept the sensor in my living room, to compare with readings from my thermostat and a few other sensors. I adjusted the temperature -2 degrees, and it seemed to remain in sync most of the time. The light sensor seemed to do a poor job in detecting luminance levels (knock a star off), and I couldn't rely on it to automate the dimming levels of my recessed ceiling lights. I moved it to my master bedroom about a month later, where it has been ever since. When I looked at the sensor in SmartThings this morning, I noticed the temperature had to be incorrect, since the room was significantly cooler than it indicated (room was probably 67, yet the sensor said about 78). Looking at the log, it had not detected movement or anything since about 8pm the previous day. Pulling down the sensor, the CR123A battery was dead. The last reading in the app showed the battery at 50%. I can only assume the batteries were bad, but that wouldn't excuse the incorrect reading (knock off another star). I have additional CR123A from a flashlight I use frequently, so will see how they hold up, and update. At this point, it's an "OK" sensor, but has some unreliable elements. If everything built-in worked, it would be an excellent unit, despite the higher price, but at this rate, and especially if it drains the battery like a WiFi sensor despite being a battery "efficient" Z-Wave), I wouldn't recommend it. I want some additional multipurpose sensors with some of the same features, but luckily just bought one to trial first.
It does have the ability to connect via micro-USB, which is great if you place it in an area where you can power the unit, including ones not typically thought of (i.e. plug it into a powered USB port on your TV, router, or temporarily use a rechargeable external phone battery), but that would only be practical for some people for where they would want to use it.
on February 4, 2016
My replacement unit has been in use for 2 weeks and is still at 100% battery (using the same batteries I previously called "cheap"); this is a remarkable improvement. The temperature reading in this replacement unit exactly matches the readings I get for other equipment (I've not yet compared humidity). I'm happy to conclude that my first unit was defective (for both eating batteries and for being off by 4°F).
So I'm happy to raise my review to 4 stars (close to 5).
But it isn't a happy ending. While I spent 3 months trying to get this to work reliably, for the same price as this 1 sensor I bought 2 Iris Motion Detectors to fulfill the needs I had. They also report temperature, which is the secondary item I wanted. I wish they reported lux, but I dont really need that everywhere I need a motion sensor. So I'll end up with just 1 of these.
Update 1 month later: my unit still eats batteries. I have contacted Aeotec support and am waiting on resolution. They wanted me to have Amazon check if it is under warranty; I've had it less than 3 months! Amazon has gone out of their way to refund me the purchase price and take the return. I am ordering a replacement to see if that one works better. Until then I've left this as 0 stars.
First off, this has a great feature set! I'm using this with my SmartThings hub. There is a built-in supported device type from SmartThings, but it doesn't allow the temp and humidity offsets to be set. Unfortunately, because the temp sensor on this doesn't seem calibrated well, this is bug annoyance. Hence the need to use a custom device type that allows the temp offset to be set. Because of this I've taken off a star.
The biggest annoyance was that the temperature sensor wasn't calibrated and instead read between 4-5°F higher compared to every other temp sensor I have. I don't understand why that is, given how well other temp sensors on Z-wave devices behave. Every time I've gotten a new device with a temp sensor, I place it next to existing devices to see if the reported temperature matches. I've found no deviation with the SmartThings multisensor or motion sensors, the Fibaro flood sensor, or the Iris sensor. They all match the temps measured by my Ecobee3 remote sensors. Only this device reads a different temperature. Even with the temp offset set in the device so it now matches the reading, I'm not sure I trust it's measurement.
(I've previously played with measuring temperature with an Arduino and a TMP102 and TMP36, and had to deal with calibrating the TMP102, whereas the TMP36 was always spot on. This is why I've been happy with all z-wave temp sensors I've had until this one)
I've also not gotten consistent readings on the humidity (compared to other humidity sensors), but I've not yet tried to calibrate it.
Finally, I've had poor battery life in the 4 weeks I've been using this. I'm willing to attribute that to the cheap batteries I initially used. After going through 3 sets batteries in 4 weeks, I've switched to higher quality batteries, which are still reading 100%. I'll update this in a month to see how that goes.
on December 3, 2015
This is an interesting device that requires a bit of work to set up, and some controllers won't handle everything properly. Fortunately I write my own code and there was enough present in the documentation to figure it out.
It also plays a bit odd with how it wakes up; it doesn't honor the usual single-parameter setting for wakeup (with the controller then polling for values) instead opting for a set of configuration parameters. This has benefits, in that you can tell the unit that you want temperature reported on a different schedule than battery life remaining, for example. However, it is probably going to give some controllers fits in that they'll try to set it up like every other battery powered device and... well, sadness will ensue.
Finally, there is a very annoying bug in the firmware that I have reported to the company. When a Zwave device sends a "wakeup" it is supposed to remain awake until commanded to go back to sleep by the controller, with (possibly) a reasonable timeout so a dead controller that cannot answer doesn't kill the battery in a very short period of time. Well, this sensor does things the wrong way in that regard; when set to report periodically (which is very useful) it sends a WakeUp *at the end* of those reports, and then almost-immediately (without being told to by the controller) goes back to sleep. This means that if your controller wants to pull data on a wakeup some or all of that may fail, generating false error indications and slowing network performance. I can code around this by special-casing this device but that's a bad practice -- here's to hoping that Aeon labs fixes this. The other annoyance is that you need a *dedicated* USB stick from them to update the firmware in these things, since you can't do it over the USB plug in the back and they insist you do a local inclusion (which, if your stick is a slave, will mean destroying its existing configuration in order to do that!)
I like this thing plenty in the general sense; the motion detector is extremely sensitive on max sensitivity (the default), and the programmable time before it looks again is nice (the minimum appears to be 16 seconds; attempting to set a shorter time doesn't work.) My one complaint is that the front LED blinks green when it sees motion or sends reports for that matter and there doesn't appear to be a parameter to shut that off. With it being as small as it is a malefactor would probably miss it sitting in the corner -- right up until that nice LED lights up!
Recommended for what it is, especially if you want a little mini-weather station (humidity and temperature, plus light level and UV) outdoors to go with your motion detector. Docked one star for the firmware bug which may be anything from an annoyance to severely impacting usability depending on your controller's software.
Update 3/5/2016: Now, three months in, I have some more comments on this little guy. This sensor, like many other battery powered units, will experience severe battery drain if for any reason it cannot talk to the hub. I managed to kill *half* of a pair of batteries in under 24 hours when I was doing some work on the software in my controller implementation and as a result the "go back to sleep" command wasn't getting to this unit reliably. If you're having problems with battery life it's probably your controller software or poor communication performance -- check that if your hub's software has a means of reporting it. All in all however, I still like the unit although I do think it's a bit expensive.
on November 21, 2016
Having used Aeotec's other devices, I really hate giving only two stars... but honestly it's just that bad.
I picked this up with the idea of using it in my living room (mounted in the ceiling with Aeon Labs Multisensor 6 Recessor to automatically turn the lights on when someone walked into or through the room, turn them off when the room is unoccupied, and to be able to detect ambient light levels in the room to make decisions about whether or not those rules and other automations should apply.
So the absolute worst part of this sensor is the light sensitivity. I consistently get readings of 0 lux regardless of if the room is pitch black or if both lights are on. The room contains two light fixtures, one on either side of the sensor approximately 4 feet away, each with two 60 watt GE Reveal bulbs @ 630 lumens. So that's around 200 to 400 lux, depending on how you calculate the viewing angle of the light. Yet the Aeotec sensor still says zero.
The room also has a lot of natural light from south and west facing windows, as well as a large 4'x4' window in a two story entry way that has white walls on both sides which reflects light into the room, and ambient light coming in from the adjoining open kitchen and hallway spaces. Yet during the peak times of light this summer, the highest lux reading the sensor gave off was... 14 lux. Apparently those who have contacted Aeon Labs regarding this issue have been advised to simply ensure the sensor is aimed directly at the light source, which completely fails when you're needing to measure the ambient light level in the room and the source could be one of several unknowns.
Then there is the motion sensor. The specifications suggest that the range of the sensor should reasonably cover up to about 20 ft diameter if my memory serves. The room in question is roughly 10'x12' and the sensor is ceiling mounted directly in the middle. It is flat, not tilted in any direction with the recessor kit. Yet the only place it consistently detects motion is *directly under the sensor*. It might occasionally trip if you walk within I'd say 3-4 feet of the sensor, but not consistently. I had it set up so that if motion was detected at night it would automatically turn on the light, and then I'd walk through the room to test, and more often than not it would only turn on if I walked practically to the middle of the room in an arc or crossed the room diagonally through the middle. But walking around anywhere else in the room would often not trigger any motion.
The only thing that seemed to work reasonably well at all were the temperature and humidity readings, and even those I can't be certain of as I didn't take the time to get a trusted source for a humidity reading, but I do know the temperature at least seemed reasonable, though it was often a few degrees from what my thermostat (located in the entry at the corner of the same room) was reporting at the same time period.
Here's hoping that future versions address these issues. It might work well in some very narrow scenarios, like as a trip beam sensor mounted in the wall of a hallway or doorway, for example. But as it stands, I can't recommend this for most of the common use cases.
on April 15, 2016
This is probably one of the worst investment I've ever made. I've purchased 3 units, this 3 units shows different levels of humidity by 10%, different levels of light intensity by 20% (one is totally crazy), the motion detection even set to 5 (maximum) is by far less sensitive than the Generation 4 in 1, the UV measurement is for what? What about "vibration"? Oh my god, this guys are wonder mind.
1. Super small
2. Short range for motion detection (sometimes it's good)
3. Battery lifetime
4. Works as a repeater "if" you power it by USB only and add it when powered by USB
1. Short range for motion detection (You cant cover a 10ft room!!!!)
2. Incorrect readings for almost all parameters
3. You can't change the data from F to C and if you try to use a different firmware it will not work on your network
4. Useless UV measurement
5. Useless vibration measurement
6. Ghost parameters like "Binary and Status"
7. Bad manufacturing assembly which affect the lighting measurement (see pictures)
8. ULTRA SHORT RANGE 908.42 Mhz make you to purchase tons of repeaters and use all your outlets to power them
9. There is no way to turn off the data transfer LED.
I should purchase Insteon!
on September 9, 2015
I bought this sensor not expecting much, having been burned by z-wave sensors in the past. Given all the negative reviews it made me even more cautious.
This sensor is great. The motion sensor is the main reason I purchased it, and that has worked much better then previous sensors. It is accurate, and the sensitivity adjustment provides an actual useful adjustment range. I haven't had one of these lose communication, and they are very quick in registering movement. Some of the other sensors would have a delay when registering movement, drop off the controller, or run out of batteries quickly. This one has none of those problems. It has made my automation life much easier. I have tried 4 or 5 different motion sensors in the past, and this one far exceeds all of them.
The form factor is much smaller than I was anticipating, it is quite small. It records temperature, luminescence well. They have been accurate for me, and it works fine with openzwave * (openhab, domotics, etc). I have had this sensor for about a month and havn't even noticed an impact to battery life at all, and I have pretty frequent reporting. I am using it with the newer aotec zwave usb receiver.
The mount could be improved, and it would be nice if it was cheaper, however this sensor has been by far the best I have used. I am willing to pay a little bit more to have a consistently working and accurate product. I feel that some of the other reviewers who gave bad reviews based it on their choice of automation software, not on this sensors performance.
Edit 11/18/2015: I noticed a few people complaining about time-out settings. You can change these really easily in the z-wave configuration for the device (depends on your software on how to do this). I have mine set very low. It reports no motion when motion has stopped for 60 seconds. I factor that into my scenes. I trigger lights that auto trigger off after 5-10 minutes of this sensor not reporting motion. So effectively 6-11 minutes. It works pretty flawless in this setup. I have 4 of these now, controlling 8 lights or so.
I found that mounting them on the ceiling offers much better performance then putting them on the wall and facing a direction. I have all four of mine mounted on the ceiling.
I still wish the mount was better on these, and the pairing button was a little easier to get to while mounted, but I still believe these are the best sensors I have owned.