Consensus on "best" presence sensor?

Looking to potentially pick up my first mmwave presence sensor. Is there a bit of a consensus on the best/best value one right now?

I don't recall specifics but I recall some issues with many of the first generations of these?

Hi Kaitlyn,

It isn't easy to say which of the many different mmWave sensors performs the best, but for a start, you can try the Linptech/Moes 24Ghz Presence Sensor. It is good priced, 24Ghz, and not too much complicated as configuration. On the negative side, it has an annoying blue LED that flashes periodically when presence is detected.

1 Like

As much as I have participated enthusiastically in discussions about the Aqara FP2, if you are looking for something you can just "use", without too much fuss.... Then my advice would be the FP2 could be hit and miss, with too many dependencies on your situation. It may work flawlessly for you, or it may be a source of frustration. On the flip-side, if you are willing to try something new and wear the frustrations and enjoy the wins, then the FP2 could be an enjoyable ride...

I have not dabbled in this yet. I'm making do with Hue motion mounted under the kitchen island countertop where I hang out a lot. Even though it's very sensitive, I still manage to time it out once in a while.

Since these things need a potentially ugly usb connection for power, I think an in-wall smart switch solution, like the one Innovelli is thinking about, could be ideal.

I use a LD2410C and an ESP32 set up with ESPHome. It's been perfect for several months now. Very fast response time and completely accurate. You can control the timeout, from seconds to minutes, and even the distance. If you are just looking for a simple on/off, this is a good way to go.

The only thing is then you'll need a box or some other way to hide it and some soldering, but it's not hard if you've soldered anything in the past. I think my all in cost was under $10 buying everything from AliExpress.

1 Like

Do you have a TL;DR for why the FP2 may be... difficult/problematic? At least on paper the idea of the "zones" looks super interesting... but then again I'm not even sure if that part could be configured within hubitat?

At least in my room layout, basically every switch would not be positioned ideally. I could see an outlet working, but maybe those are too low

1 Like

That pricing definitely sounds attractive... I hear a lot about ESP but haven't felt any "need" to explore that side of things yet. It also leans a bit too much towards hobbywork vs just integrated solutions...

I still remember when I first heard about them. You could do so many cool things, but someone like myself would never be able to master it. I spent a couple weeks familiarizing myself in my spare time, watching videos and reading forums. I'm glad I did--I now have a pressure sensor under my bed, a lux sensor in my bedroom window, motion sensors, extra buttons, etc., and I'm just getting started. From Aliexpress, an ESP32 is only $5-7 shipped. Most of the components/sensors are $2-3 each, so it's very easy to deck out a room with fun gadgets.

I'd recommend you dabble, it gets easier and easier, and the number of sensors/modules are near limitless.


Ghosts have been a common complaint early in the use of the FP2, across platforms. That said, I would say this has improved over time with firmware updates for the device. This is certainly a lot better now. I'd also add I have not yet integrated my FP2's into the triggering of my lighting. I have, in certain rooms chosen to use them to keep the lights on. My recent observations within the Aqara App have made me thing I will consider introducing them more into my automations.

The way I have integrated mine into HE is via Home Assistant. I have used the HomeKit Device integration in HA to get the FP2's into an existing HA instance and then used the HA Device Bridge to get them into HE. The FP2's come into HA with "devices" (entities) for each zone, plus the overall presence detected by the sesnor. So then with HADB in HE I get "motion sensors" in HE for each zone, and as I move in and out of each zone I see that reflected with "motion" in that zone device being active or inactive. For me, I have one in an open plan "room", so can detect when I move between zones in the same room (lounge room vs dining room).

1 Like

This would be a way to get the thermocouple monitoring I've been looking for. Maybe I'll study up this winter. I think i said that last year.

You won't regret it. A few other ideas I'm working on that I haven't found great non-homemade devices for:

Garage door controller: I have a contact sensor on the door so I can tell the state, and a relay connected to the push button so I can open and close it. I want to put a rotary encoder on the shaft so I can tell how open it is, not just closed/not fully closed, and so I can tell if it is opening or closing.

Doorbell controller: I have a dumb doorbell and prefer that to the look of the smart doorbells out there. This would allow me to intercept button pushes and also turn off the chime during nighttime/naptime and prevent rapid represses. I will also have the ability to trigger the chime. I don't know how often I'll use that, but maybe someday I'll find a use.

FastLED: This allows for some really cool LED effects with way more customization than out-of-the-box solutions. I want to have a timer in my bathroom that will countdown how much time I have left for my morning routine. It will also be fun to have a block of say four LEDs that can be set to different colours for different notifications. I have the Innovelli switches, but you can only have one colour showing at the same time. When my kids are old enough to get out of bed, I want to have a light that changes colour to let them know when they are allowed to get out of bed/out of their room.

Distance sensor: I want to integrate some ultrasonic distance sensors to check if my garbage bins have been brought to the curb/back in, and which bays in the garage have vehicles in them. This will also be used to know how far forward to park the car. Someday I want to put one of these on my front porch to notify me if there is a package sitting outside. I've thought about putting these under the bathroom sink where we store toilet paper to alert me if we are almost out of toilet paper.

Servo: I'm not sure if this is a good idea yet, but it's something to explore: A servo to control a few baffles in my ductwork to help get the right temperature in the right rooms at the right time of day.

Capacitive Touch: The ESP32 has a few capacitive touch sensors, so I want to run a think copper wire along the headboard so you don't have to be precise in the middle of the night. This would turn the whole edge of the headboard into one big button. Just whack the headboard and trigger the lights, or toggle the fan speed, or whatever.

Those are some new doors that open when you swap to using ESPs. There are also all the more common sensors that could be built for cheap with an ESPHome. Contact, vibration, motion, lux, temp/humidity, etc.

1 Like

I've found no thermocouple sensors that natively speak Z-wave or Zigbee, which I think is bizarre. I've just got to get a round to-it. :slight_smile:

I think this video provides very good guidance. Hope it helps.

1 Like

If you install capacitive touch devices, you could generate interference in the RF spectrum. You may not have any amateur radio equipment in your house, but one of your neighbors might. Capacitive touch devices can be electrically noisy.

Also, if there is a Ham near you, you may find things turning on and off at seemingly random times. Most likely, the RF from the radio(s) will induce stray currents in the touch devices. That will make your life interesting and may hinder the WAF. This is particularly a factor if the ham is running a near-legal-limit amplifier.

I have experienced this in my own house with some devices, so I know it is a real factor.

@Kaitlyn - Another fan of the Linptech here. Easy to set up and configure, has two community drivers to choose from, and has been accurate and effective for me in three areas that were a challenge before:

  • Office, keeping accurate presence of my wife when she sits Sphinx-still for seemingly endless periods of time while working
  • Two bathrooms, keeping presence when in bath/showers that are behind shower curtains or glass enclosure

The blue blinking light has turned out to not be an issue at all for us (even my very particular wife) as it's not bright enough during the day or when lights are on to cause any distraction. We don't use one near our bed at night, but if we did, a small piece of tape would take care of the light quickly and easily.

Within hubitat can you basically only detect “presence” vs “no presence” or can you get more detailed like aqara’s in-house app offers?

I.e. you’re on the couch vs behind it sitting at an office table or something

If all I can get out of it is “extended motion sensor”, I’m not entirely positive I have the best use for it just yet

Good to know. I've had it running for a while now with no issues, but perhaps extending the wire would make it worse?

I'll keep this in mind in the event stuff starts acting weird.

If you look in the first post of this thread there's information on what the different presence devices support reporting.

If you mean temp sensors?
I use Fibaro FGBS-222 and DS18B20 sensors with great success.