How to know all options of devices up front?

Hi All,

I’m a starting Homey user. There a lot of choices when it comes to sensors. A lot of technologies (Zigbee, Z-Wave, etc.) but also a lot of options within every tech.

When choosing which sensor te buy, I’m finding it hard to get alle information up front.

An example: I have both a Fibaro 4-in-1 sensor and the Aqara motion sensor. Both support the measuring of the quantity of light (lumen). However, they way the do it is different. In the Fibaro’s settings I’m able to set the time interval it reports the lumen back to Homey. Making it perfect for triggering flows that act on lower light levels without any motion in the room. It seems like the Aqara sensor only reports light levels when motion is triggered. Making it unable to be used in the same situation as the Fibaro’s sensor.

Is there any source/way of knowing what a sensor is able to do? Apart from reading all the details in the manuals? Maybe a webshop that makes it possible to filter on these items to quickly find the right sensor for my usecase?

I wonder, how did you get the idea the Aqara should be a lux sensor?
It is a motion sensor, which happens to send the changed lux value along with a motion signal.
I didn’t even know it could also measure lux (in a limited way) until I added them to Homey :grimacing:
To me it is an excellent motion sensor btw.

A lot of so called Motion Sensor are Multi Sensors, mainly combined at least with a lux sensor.
So why is @Wouterr’s assumption wrong? Especially because the following action card exists for the Aqara Motion Sensor:

Based on this information, I would also think that the function in relation to the brightness value would be comparable to a Fibaro Motion Sensor.
However, the functionality of the Aqara Motion Sensor in relation to the brightness (that the brightness values are sent only when motion was detected) is also absolutely incomprehensible to me. So I’m really happy, that I’m using mainly Neo Coolcam PIR 2/3… :wink:

I guess not. I don’t know any website/database where you could check this. That would be a great help.

By the way, only standardized flow cards are displayed in the App Store. If a device uses a specific feature, this option is not displayed in the App Store.

Technically, it makes a lot of sense: the microcontroller is asleep the entire time and gets waken up by an interrupt of the PIR sensor. Only at that moment will it read out the various sensors and report them, before falling back to sleep. That’s why they last 2 years or more on a CR2450 battery.

On the technical side I agree with you 100%.
But what would be the benefit for me if the batteries last 2 years or longer, but I can’t realise my wanted automation. The consequence would be that I have to buy e.g. a Xiaomi light sensor (with an additional battery).

Ah right, I thought you meant you didn’t understand why Xiaomi has created the sensor this way. I agree that if your automations depend on a separately updated light level sensor, this one isn’t for you.

1 Like

Yeah, indeed. But I didn’t know that up front of buying the sensor. So, the only way is trial and error?

Other case: I need a humidity sensor (pref. Zigbee, can also be Z-wave). However, its important that I can set a frequent update (e.g. once per minute). I’m also looking at Aqara’s Temperature and Humidity Sensor. However, I can’t find IF and in WHAT RANGE I can set the update time. So without any database/website to check this, I will just need to buy and see?! :innocent:

Right, or search in the community or ask community member before.

My personal experience shows that you can’t adjust any or only a few settings on Zigbee sensors. However, I do not have much experience with Zigbee devices, I mainly use Z-Wave devices.

My own experience (with Zigbee) is that most sensors will only report when things change “significantly”, and not periodically (on a set interval).

If it’s any help I think the Aeotec multisensor 6 does what you want but its zwave.