SmartThings Motion Sensor poor battery life

I bought several of these SmartThings motion sensors and they work great except they eat batteries for breakfast. Average battery life is two weeks. A month if i'm lucky. All of them are close to the hub or close to Centralite cube type outlets.

Anyone having this problem? And is there a solution to get reasonable battery life? I have a total of five in different areas of the home and they all have the same poor battery life.


Seems strange. I installed the same sensors into my home 6 months ago and most of them are at about 85%, except those outside. And outside here, it's cold in the winter (Quebec: temperatures are going as low as - 20 celsius * -4F * for days/weeks). Only sensors put in those cold conditions (outside: mailbox or Pond) or sensors put in the fridge do not last a long time: about 2-3 months.

Reason: maybe you poll them frequently or you received them with old batteries. But this behavior is quite unusual

Yeah, same here, I have had mine, same exact sensor for 1.5 years. I changed the battery at the one year mark, so it's currently 6 months old.

Ditto, mine have lasted for longer then I remember. You sure the batteries you are putting in are fresh, and not drained from heat or shelf time? Maybe a bad batch of batteries?

I can say I wish the ST presence senors last 1/8 as long as the motion sensors do!

@an39511 I have these sensors for more than 8 months, still shows 87% battery. One of sensor had problem draining battery quicker I installed zigbee Repeater between hub and that sensor, that solved the problem. Make sure you have zigbee Repeater nearby.


I know, its odd. I bought them starting in September and bought them over a couple of months. I have burned through more than a dozen batteries. All sensors are using the built in Generic ZigBee Motion Sensor Driver. Pressed Configure on all of them. I don't do any polling however I am using Device Watchdog app but I don't think that app polls anything. I can't imagine having five detective units. I have also tried different brands of CR2 batteries.

How many zigbee repeaters do you have on your network. As @joypixel mentioned this does sound like a mesh issue. The devices are likely going in to panic mode frequently draining the batteries. My one smartthings motion sensor has the original battery from March 29th 2019 and is showing 99%.

Funny you mention repeaters. I have that sensor tied to the below for a night light.

Anyone looking for a great Zigbee repeater smoke/CO detector, and nightlight+. I have a few of these and love them (just bought a spare off ebay). The company went out of business, but they work great with HE default driver. Only one left that I see

I have six repeaters in total. All different locations. The motion sensors are no further than twelve foot from either the hub or a repeater. Maybe it is a mesh issue but I can't understand why everything else runs flawlessly except these specific devices.

Also, I have several first generation motion sensors and 2014 versions and they all have excellent battery life. All last over a year with some approaching two years.



That is quite odd. By chance do you have a smartthings hub. I wonder if a firmware update may help. Also what channel is your HE hub running on? What channel is your wifi on? How close is your HE hub to your wifi?

You may want to look at the zigbee channel overlap diagram posted by @vjv to see if that may factor in to the equation or not.

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I have a the original first generation hub so I don't know if it has the capability of sending out firmware updates. If it does then I could transfer them over. My HE C-5 hub is running channel 20 for ZigBee. Its been set that way since day one. Running ASUS AC68U with Merlin. WiFi channel 6. Also I am in a residential home with only a few other WiFi around, none of them very strong signals. As far as I can tell the channel separation between my router and HE is good. The HE hub is about twenty foot from the router and on a separate floor. I don't have any zigbee bulbs that repeat.

Is there a way I can see what the Motion Sensor's firmware versions are?

Someone else will have to chime in on the ota availability on a v1 hub as I do not know.

Did you pair the motion sensors in place after your repeaters were installed?

Today I plan to shutdown the hub for an hour and bring it back up. Maybe that will help although I am not having any connectivity problems with any devices, just this specific brand of motion sensors and their battery life. Its too bad that there aren't more tools to diagnose HA problems regardless as to what platform it runs on.

Me too, I love mine. Paid 50 for a NIB , and 30 bucks for some barely used (2017mfg date w/10year life)
They are fantastic, and don't have many false alarms for steam, spiders, etc, and are a good zigbee repeater.

I'm 7 months in, and have 87% battery life on my motion sensor.
Try to factory reset, place a new battery in, and put it in a cardboard box. Ses if it still alerts motion and eats batteries, if so exchange it with samsung.

Reset the SmartThings Motion Sensor

If the SmartThings Motion Sensor didn't connect to the Hub when you removed the pull-tab, reset and connect the device manually. To do this:

  1. Hold the recessed connect button for five (5) seconds
  2. Release the button when the LED starts blinking red
  3. The LED will blink red and green while attempting to connect
  4. Use the SmartThings app and steps detailed above to reconnect your Motion Sensor.

PS- are your batteries brand name? there are many junk brands with less than 50% of advertised capacities.

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I just want to make sure that what I bought are the real things.
Is this the proper manufacture name that it is supposed to be?

@an39511 That is the correct name for Samsung.

Batteries all brand new.
Tested with a multi-meter @3.25V

Tested using stock battery it came with
Tested using Amazon battery
Tested using EverReady
Tested using Panasonic

When you state "exchange it with samsung" what do you mean? The battery brand?

Send the sensors back to Samsung and have the sensors replaced.

Oh, okay. I have five all eating batteries like there is no tomorrow. Two bought from SmartThings website and the rest from Amazon. Purchased between September 2019 and December. Can't imaging having five defective units. If so i'm going out to buy a lottery ticket. LOL!