- Multisensor is one of the most expensive sensors you can buy for your smart home, but when used well it will save you money
- A single multi-sensor unit now does the work of several conventional sensor units at a fraction of the cost one would have incurred installing all those individual many cameras.
- We researched and tested over 10 multi-sensors but settled on the top three Z-wave protocol sensors discussed below.
- Also, read our research on the best smart sensors
Best overall multisensor
The top on our list is the Aeotec Multisensor 6. It is a 6-in-1 sensor: motion, temperature, light, UV, vibration sensor, and humidity; It is compatible with all other open systems. On top of that, it is Z-wave plus certified and easy to fix; can work from USB$59.99 on Amazon
Alternatively, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to monitor any motion, light, temperature, and vibration changes in your home, then Fibaro FGMS-001 ZW5 is a viable option. You can also customize it to fit your desired sensitivity. For even more affordable multi-sensor you can go for ZOOZ Z-Wave Plus 4-in-1 Sensor. This one has a humidity sensor which is absent in the Fibaro sensor. Although it lacks vibration sensors, it gives tamper reports in case the sensor’s cover is removed
What is a multi sensor?
There are numerous types of sensors. The most common ones are:
- Motion sensors or motion detectors are the main devices used to notify you one an intruder is in your home. They use one or more techniques to sense movement in an area
- Temperature sensors help in measuring the temperature of an object or system. It will also detect any changes in that temperature
- Light level sensors are important in the optimization of energy efficiency. They detect and measure light levels and may be set dim or even disable lights as need be
- Humidity sensors measures and notify you changes in moisture and air temperature: whether the air is too dry or too wet
- A UV intensity sensor senses the intensity of ultraviolet radiation. Exposure to too much UV rays causes sunburns
- Vibration Sensors – they are also known as piezoelectric sensors. These measures and analyze the vibration of a system or a device
When you should use a Multi-sensors
- If you need a number of sensors at the same location. It will save you money. As an example, you can avoid buying temperature, light and motion sensor
- Locations, where you will have a lot of triggers and AC powered sensor, is preferred
- Rooms which you are using the most. In my case it is Kitchen
See more about my setup and best home automation ideas I use.
Automation Ideas With Multisensor
How To Choose The best Multisensor
Here are the key pointers that should guide you in selecting the most ideal multisensor for your smart home.
The Type Of Sensors Included
As seen above, there are numerous types of sensors. A multisensor includes more than one sensor. Thus, you’ll need to look at which types of sensors you need to be included in your multisensor.
When looking at the number of sensors included, the more the merrier.
The sensitivity of a sensor is determined by the range or distance it can detect motion, temperature, humidity, etc. A highly sensitive sensor can detect changes within a wider range.
Majority of sensors are powered by a battery. These can last for up to two years. Battery-powered sensors usually send updates to the controller periodically to minimize energy consumption and increase battery life.
On the other hand, sensors that are powered by mains electricity (AC) provide real-time readings. They also act as extenders. Thus, their Z-wave networks are stronger and cover a wider range.
Go for a sensor with the latest Z-Wave protocol. Z-Wave sensors operate within their frequency, thus, no need to worry that Bluetooth or WI-FI connections may interfere with its operation.
Range of Operation
The average range covered by most sensors is 30 meters. Sensors powered by mains electricity can have a wider range.
In case you are using your sensor outdoors or in an area that it be easily accessed by outsiders and potential intruders, this feature is a must-have.
It alerts you in case someone else attempts to tamper with your sensor.
Best Multi sensor: Aeotec Multisensor 6
- 6-in-1 sensor: motion, temperature, light, UV, vibration, and humidity
- +/- 0.2 % accuracy
- Z-wave plus certified
- Compatible with almost all smart home systems
- USB or battery powered (batteries not included in package)
- Extender in USB mode (up to 150m)
WHAT WE LIKED
- Compact and lightweight
- Can work outdoors
- Easy installation
- Impressive battery life
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Battery level measurements are not accurate
The Aeotec Multisensor 6, is a high-performance device that has a whopping six sensors in its relatively tiny boy. It houses motion, vibration, UV radiation, light, temperature, and humidity detectors that work flawlessly to give you an easy solution for your smart home automation needs.
A majority of users of this multisensory 6 say that it is a fantastic product. They particularly love that you have the option of either using batteries or a USB cable for AC. They also add that the battery life is impressive.
A good number of customers also love how the Aeotec multisensor 6 connects easily to the SmartThings platform. They also say that the information given is very accurate and all updates are timely.
However, there is a common complaint among the majority of users. They report that the battery power readings are not accurate and can sometimes give a false alarm that the battery is 1% or 0%. Then, after a minute or two, the system boosts to the correct amount, say 80%.
And since this device uses Z-wave wireless technology, using the sensor in a fridge or freezer may affect its performance and battery life. It is also worth noting that these sensors do not come with a siren. You may need to customize your own.
Another top feature of this multisensory is that it is compatible with a wide range of Z-wave gateways. It does not need wifi or Bluetooth connections.
Its installation is also easy and allows you to install it anywhere in your home. You can use it as a beam sensor on your wall to monitor a range of up to 5 meters wide. Or, you can simply place it on a shelf without any other installation procedures. Other places where you can install it are a corner or ceiling.
Like all other Z-Wave devices, this one too requires a gateway to operate. The good news is, the multisensory 6 is widely compatible with very many systems including SmartThings, Z-Wave.Me, Webee, Vera Edge, and many others.
Top multi sensor: ZOOZ Z-Wave Plus 4-in-1 Sensor
- 4-in-1 sensors: motion, light, temperature, and humidity
- Adjustable motion sensitivity
- Works with many open systems
- Four LED indicator modes
WHAT WE LIKED
- Motion sensitivity can be adjusted in seven different levels
- Decent battery life
- A compact design makes it almost invisible
- Tamper reports every time the cover is removed
- Includes latest Z-Wave 500-series chip for optimum performance
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Not weatherproof and
cannot be used outside
One impressive feature of the ZOOZ Z-Wave sensor is the adjustable motion level sensitivity. It is devastating to wake up to false alarms of a cat moving across the corridor. But, with this sensor, you can set your motion sensor to only detects only a higher magnitude of movements.
Or, if your interest in even the slightest motion, this sensor can detect that too, you’ll only need to adjust the sensitivity accordingly.
Unlike the Aeotec Multisensor 6 discussed above, this sensor comes with all the necessary accessories needed (bracket, screws, and tape) to easily mount your sensor on the ceiling, wall, or corner of your room. It also includes a detailed manual that has clear instructions on how to mount the sensor.
However, this sensor does not include the vibration and UV radiation sensors that are present on our top option. Also, it can only be powered using batteries thus its range is not extendable. Besides, it is not compatible with as many open systems as the Aeotec Multisensor 6.
Some of its users complain that its sensitivity is not as fast as they would have desired. On top of that, users add that setting it up with other Z-Wave systems is a little complex.
Alternative Multi Sensor: Fibaro FGMS-001 ZW5
- 4-in-1 sensor: motion, light, temperature, and vibration
- Tamper proof
- Compatible with other open z-wave systems
- z-wave plus certified
WHAT WE LIKED
- Wide range motion sensor
- Protected from tampering
- Accurate temperature sensor
- Easy to adjust and customize
- One year warranty
- Decent battery life
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
- Not so easy to set up
The Fibaaro is uniquely designed in a way that it can be easily placed well to avoid any blind spots in its range of operation. Once motion is sensed, a multicolor LED flashes to notify the user.
The color of the LED flashing light also notifies you of the temperature of your room. Green shows temperature is okay, orange color indicates high temperatures, while blue is for low temperatures.
Although this light has only four sensors, it beats the Aeotec Multisensor 6 in design and size. It measures just 1.75 inches and can be installed anywhere discretely, without destroying the views. However, this one is more limited in the variety of devices it can connect with.
Also, its users say that its price tag is not worth its performance. They also add that it is hard to configure the sensors with open systems. Others users report that it does not work with SmartThings.
There are other complains that it is unreliable and that even senses motion when nothing is in the room.