Agreed upon "best" devices?

Does anyone maintain a list of commonly agreed "best" devices?

For instance: motion sensors, controlled plugs, switches, etc.

There is a wide variety of opinion, so no there is no agreed upon best devices list.


I agree with that :wink:.

We may not all have the same priorities when it comes to home automation due to many local factors that are specific to our own households, so it's kind of impossible to say that any one device is the "best." It depends on how you intend to use it. Can you share some details on what you're thinking of doing? Then you can at least get some opinions that you may be able to apply to your specific needs.

I agree with both of the above. "Best" is definitely subjective, depending on what your goals are. But I'll bite: I love motion sensors. I have a lot. All my lights are automated, primarily with motion. "Best" to me here means "fast to respond," preferably with few false positives, a battery life that isn't absurdly short, and something not too ugly since they're all in plain sight. The Iris v2 sensor (3326-L) fits this bill quite nicely, but most Zigbee sensors would do quite well in this application. (The Iris sensors are unfortunately discontinued, plus Iris itself folded, but you can find them on the used market still.) Most Z-Wave sensors are slower to respond, so they don't work well for me as the primary sensor in a room. But they may still be "best" for you: some of them are a bit cheaper, a few support more features (Aeon MultiSensor 6 or TriSensor, for example), some can be USB powered (Aeon Mutli strikes again) or recessed (did I mention the Aeon Multi or TriSensor yet?), and many have more mounting options than smaller Zigbee sensors do (e.g., the magnetic Dome DMMS-1 or HomeSeer HS-MS100+ mounts, though the 2018 SmartThings Zigbee motion sensor is larger and also comes with a similar mount now). Plus with often lower or adjustable sensitivity, they may be good for security applications or pet-resistance.

You can do the same with pretty much any category. :slight_smile: I'd look through the supported devices list, then choose devices you like based on whatever "best" means to you: appearance, price, protocol (Z-Wave and Zigbee are best for most devices, though there are some stellar LAN integration for things like Hue and Lutron; I'd use Wi-Fi or cloud as last resorts, personally), and users' reviews/experiences. For unfamiliar products, I often look up reviews (e.g., on Amazon or similar) and user experience on forums like this one or the ST Community. It might actually be easier to start with a search in your favorite store for terms like "zigbee motion sensor" or "z-wave motion sensor" (or whatever you're looking for) and find ones you like based on your criteria, then come back here or to the list to see if they're supported--nearly any Zigbee or (especially) Z-Wave device should work.

Good luck!


Best motion sensors are the Iris ones hands down. Small, instant, can use rechargeable batteries, and most importantly reliable.

I'd say Sengled bulbs are the best, any of them. They never disconnect or have any issues. The plus ones can even be dimmed from a standard dimmer.

Any zigbee smart plug I have tried has been reliable (smartthings, iris, Osram). Just depends on the features you want with those. In my experienve, z-wave plugs work fine but often have a delay in responding to requests. Might just be too many zwave on my network though.

There will not be any definitive list because there are lots of good ones and lots of bad ones out there. Best you can get is opinions from those who have them. Might be better to ask what NOT to get or what is known to have problems. To that I would say any Xaiomi device, osram/lightify bulbs, Smarthings motion sensors.


I use a combination of iris motion sensors and ecolink z-wave motion sensors because for some automations I like the adjustable sensitivity that the ecolink sensors have. It’s helpful for when I want to create an automation that relies on motion as a condition but need to filter out movements of our dog and two cats. The iris sensors are great for triggering lighting automations because they are so fast.

I must note that the iris v2 motion sensors that are being discussed were made centralite, who also made the ST v2, PEQ as well as the current Sylvania osram units.
All of which share the same functional attributes, but differ in form factor.


Wait, are we talking about the v2 sensors with CR2 batteries? I've seen only a few rechargeable CR2 batteries and even fewer chargers that fit them. Can I ask what you're using and if it works well? What kind of life do you get out of the batteries? I've started writing the replacement date on my new batteries so I know how long they last, and one I just replaced was about 15 months old, so I'm not too concerned as-is, but I'm always curious if there are better ways. (Or maybe you're talking about the v1 sensors. I think most/all used common household sizes where rechargeables are easily available.)

I agree with most of this, but there are many generations of SmartThings motion sensors, and I actually think most of them work well. I have the original/Kickstarter-era sensor, and it's always worked well. Mike above said the second-gen ST sensor is a Centralite (this would be the 2014 model with the large, centered lens--assuming that's what he means, but it's easy to get the generations confused); if so, that should work well too. I have a third-gen/2015 sensor, and it also works well (battery compartment issues aside; the battery brands they suggest are not just recommendations). I did hear mixed reviews on the fourth-gen/2016 sensor, which I've never used, and that's one I would avoid. And finally, I do have one of the fifth-gen/2018 sensors, which works just as well as my others (despite being manufactured by a previously-unknown-to-me manufacturer, this part of Samsung?). I think most people here have had good luck with them as well. I'd be interested to hear of any problems.

Xiaomi are not officially supported and not standard Zigbee devices, so unless you build your mesh carefully (they don't work well with most repeaters), I'd also avoid them, though they are cheap and pretty.

In the bulb territory, I'd also recommend avoiding Osram/Sylvania/Lightify. They appear to be ZHA 1.2 only, so you can't use them on a separate network like Hue (which I would do with ZLL bulbs). You have to pair them to a ZHA network like Hubitat, which won't end well unless you don't have any Zigbee devices besides bulbs (many threads/posts on problems with bulbs as repeaters for non-bulbs in this forum and elsewhere). Sylvania could fix this by providing us the ability to crossgrade to ZLL firmware like they used to, thus enabling them to be used on Hue or other networks. Or they could fulfill their promise of Zigbee 3.0 support, which should allow us to do the same...but nope. (Their motion sensors are actually good, however--manufactured by Centralite, like a slightly uglier Iris v2.)

Sengled is good here because they just don't repeat. I'd also avoid Ikea Trådfri bulbs--many are attractively priced, but they are quite slow to respond on my network (Hue, not Hubitat; I wouldn't directly pair them to Hubitat for the same reasons as above), and they did what Mike calls a "budget implementation" of Zigbee clusters--so, for example, the color-capable bulbs don't report as being able to do shades of white, even though they can (and in fact don't even do some colors well, like greens). Some are also only readily available in kits with remotes/dimmers, which either won't pair with Hubitat (the five-button, though you can pair it to a bulb or few for direct control) or could but don't seem to work well that way (the hockey-puck dimmer). However, the Trådfri outlets seem to be fine, aside from having no onboard button for manual on/off control (and again if you get the kit with the button, I don't think it pairs to Hubitat, and I'm not sure if you can have the outlet paired to both Hubitat and controllable directly by the button at the same time, though I haven't looked into that).

So, I guess you can't generalize entire brands, though you can get pretty close (or all the way) with some. :slight_smile:

The rechargeable CR2 batteries are lower capacity than non-rechargeable lithium cells so you wont be getting 15 months out of them. That said, I have had them in my sensors for 4 months so far on one charge. I have tons of battery devices in my house and I prefer rechargeable as much as possible, but that's just me.

I am currently using these batteries. They lied, they are only 200mah. But they all work fine so I would buy again considering the low amount of options out there.

I use this charger to charge them. You have to unscrew the back and flip a switch to change it form lion to lifepo4 for this battery type and use a magnet or bolt to extend the battery to the charger contacts. But I like this charger for it's versatility and I have two of them anyway.

Again, rechargeables have their drawbacks, but I prefer them for the cost savings and convenience (just need to recharge a battery for a few hours and pop it back in vs. having to go buy a new $5+ battery in the case of these CR2).

Regarding the smartthings motion sensors, I am speaking about the 2016 model and 2015 model, of which I have one of each. Both are trash in my opinion, to the point I have stopped using them completely. They work fine on a fresh battery. But once the battery gets a little low, they start throwing random motion events when there is no motion. This will get worse and worse until you replace the battery. The 2016 model specifically, with the larger 2477 battery, only lasts a few months before it starts doing this. For whatever reason this larger battery lasts much less than the 2450 batteries in the 2015 model.

I don't understand why everyone thinks the Iris sensors are great, and especially mentioned, fast. My Ecolink, in the same small space, responds 2 to 3 seconds or more faster. I picked a bunch up from Ebay because they were cheap, now I know why.

If your Iris sensors take 2 or 3 seconds to respond, something is wrong with either the sensors or your Zigbee network (or hub). That was my experience only with the worst of sensors (most of the the Monoprice 15271 Z-Wave sensors I tried, for example). They should respond almost instantly. The green LED on the Iris v2 sensor flashes for me as soon as I walk into the room, and with Hubitat (things were often a little...different on SmartThings), my lights have usually already turned on by the time the LED is finished blinking.

1 Like

I share your enthusiasm for Motion Sensors. I've been through quite a few test cases.

Correct me if I'm wrong, the LED indicator on the device has nothing to do with the mesh. I'm not measuring the responsiveness by the hub's reception of the message. I measure by when the light flashes indicating it's picked up the motion.

I have half a dozen installed in various places, all respond slowly. They just aren't very sensitive, you practically have to be standing on top of them before they see you. Maybe they're being sold on ebay precisely because these are the bad ones?! If everyone else's experience differs from mine, it's probable.

As for the similarly outfitted ST sensors, I've had a more than 90% failure rate on those in under 12 months on my original ST Sensors. Temperature still works on all the ones that the battery clip didn't give out on, so I guess that's a plus.

YMMV but I'd steer clear of anything with Samsung's branding.

Interesting! I have probably a dozen of the Iris v2 sensors that I've bought over the years, plus the lot of 10 I recently bought on eBay. Even those seem fine to me so far (I have them sitting all right next to each other before I put them out--trying to make sure they don't suffer from the dreaded occasional battery-draining defect--and they all flash around the same time, very quickly after I enter the room). I've also made the same assumption you did about the green LED, that it's a feature of the sensor itself and not related to Zigbee. I could be wrong. Even more interesting if that is where the delay is happening for you.

I also have a few SmartThings sensors (Kickstarter, third-gen/2015, and fifth-gen/2018) that all still work fine for me, but I guess the 2018 one is new enough I won't know about long-term failure rate yet. Maybe I'm just lucky. I'd definitely steer clear of buying anything directly from Samsung, though--at least go the Amazon route or somewhere backed up by customer service. I ordered a 2018 pocket socket from them in March, which came to me dirty, open, and broken (so I guess I'm not so lucky if we're not talking about motion sensors). I returned it shortly thereafter and am still waiting for a refund. I keep contacting their support about the issue, and the conversation always stops after they ask me to confirm which item I we'll see.

Anyway, I guess this goes to show the original poster that even one person's favorite product can work poorly for someone else. There, I'm back on topic again. :slight_smile:

1 Like

And I suppose one should mention that Centralite is out of business.

1 Like

:tired_face: they made good sensors and now they’re gone. :sleepy:

I wonder if it’s worth creating a community google doc that lists all devices and a reliability score or something of that nature ?

Help out all is new adopters. Happy to support where I can

If you search for Centralite, there is an article on the Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The original owner looks like he is going to try an buy it.

Here is the link.

I have all versions of these except the original, I would not qualify these as problematic.

1 Like

Best of luck to them.

The original is great. I have one. I'm always on the lookout for more. Unobtanium.

1 Like

Download the Hubitat app