Motion sensors, using Infrared (IR) technology, are a core component is any home security strategy. When motion detectors first came out, and many years after, the biggest flaw (and customer complaint) was false-alarms caused by pets – primarily large dogs. When an owner arms the system and leave, the sensor would immediately trigger when the pet walked into its field of view.
Our Pick: Ecolink Z-Wave Pet-Immune Motion Sensor
Many modern-day motion sensors (including my favorite, the Ecolink Z-Wave Plus) are capable of identifying pets and dismissing the alarm. The technology is simple – IR beams used to detect motion report back the size of the object in motion – so, the “pet-immune” sensors simply set a ‘size requirement’ (“60lbs” for example) to trigger.
These pet-immune motion sensors are effective in alleviating 90% of false-alarms; from my experience, there are still edge cases where pets will trigger the alarm, although few!
Popular Z-Wave Motion Sensors
A motion sensor can be used to tun on lights, trigger alerts and notifications, lock/unlock doors, and much more with the Samsung SmartThings Hub.
Our Pick: Visionic Zigbee Contact Sensor
Contact sensors can be used in a wide variety of applications. A contact sensor consists of two parts: the core module w/ battery, and a detachable magnetic piece. The smaller magnet is placed on the movable portion of the object being monitored: the edge of a door, the bottom of a window, etc.
Contact sensors can also be placed in a mailbox to detect when the door/lid has been opened. I use a contact sensor to monitor the movement of the backyard doggy door. As you can see, there are many uses for contact sensors.
Popular Contact Sensors for SmartThings
Contact sensors are usually a part of home security, and integrated into SmartThings Smart Home Monitor — but there are other uses too. We have contact sensors in the mailbox to notify when the mail arrives; contact sensors inside medicine cabinets to notify when opened, and even a contact sensor on the dog door to monitor Sparky’s activity.
Our Pick: Aeotec Multisensor 6
The Multisensor from Aeotec is packed with SIX different monitors: motion, temperature, humidity, UV meansurement, luminosity (lux), and tamper. With both battery-powered and 5v Micro-USB power supply options (both included in box), this sensor is packed with functionality.
Read our full review of the Aeotec Multisensor 6.
Temperature sensors report the current temperature to the smart home hub on a recurring basis. The reporting time can vary from five minutes, up to once every 12 hours. The higher in frequency the reporting time is set, power consumption increases and battery-life decreases.
Temperature sensors can be used to monitor the temperature in detached rooms, garages, basement, pantries, and more. You can also use contact sensors as second or third thermometers for Nast or other smart home thermostats.
Water and Moisture Sensors
Water and moisture sensors are most commonly used to monitor pipes in attics and basements for leaks. They can also be used for air conditioning drip-pan monitoring.
There are many mission-specific use cases that are unique to the home, such as – monitoring a jacuzzi bathtub for excess moisture beneath the tile.