SmartThings Motion Sensor poor battery life

You might also try searching the Smartthings communities for similar issues.

The first generation SmartThings Motion Sensors are great. Hang on to them. They seem to last forever. AND they have a USB socket.

Yes. I bought a couple more of them a year or so ago. Uses double A batteries that lasts a very long time. Buy em' when you see em'


For those people out there using SmartThings latest generation motion sensors, and not having poor battery life issues;

How many do you have?
When did you buy them?
What brand of battery do you use?
Did you connect them to the SmartThings hub first? (firmware updated)
Is there a way to see what firmware is running on these motion sensors?

As a test I am doing what Rxich suggested. Took a motion sensor and did a factory reset. Re-paired it to the HE hub. Verified the battery was new. Voltage 3.26V. Placed it face down so it doesn't detect motion.
zero hours after install battery at 100%
Nine hours after install battery at 99%
Thirteen hours after install battery at 87%

Have you thought about hard-wiring them? I know it may not be practical everywhere but I've done that with a bunch of my motion sensors and have been very happy with the results - meaning less battery changing for my lazy butt.

I used a charge-only usb cable + voltage regulator + usb wall charger - some basic soldering pretty simple. If you really want to get fancy change the nearby outlets with usb capable outlets - I have a few of those as well.

Not really an option because where they are located. I really like the design of these because of the magnetic mount. Even though external powering would be easy running wires just won't work. I'm sure there is a solution to the battery life as nobody else is complaining about them.

What repeaters are you using?

Use an Xbee3 pro as a high powered repeater and you can also use it to map out your network and find your issue.

Even though the sensors use a 3 volt battery you can hardwire a USB cable directly to them and use the usb 5 volts.

All repeaters are SmartThings / centralite. The motion sensors are within 12 foot of either the hub or one of the repeaters. The rapid battery drain is only happening on this one brand of motion sensor, all five of them.

What driver are you using? Try switching maybe to see if that has any impact (besides not working at all haha).

I'm using the standard "Generic ZigBee Motion Sensor" driver. Any suggestions on another driver?

No sorry - I do not own that device but it looks great {mmmm thinks about spending more money}.

If you are up for it you can try and bring over the driver from SmartThings if it exists. Conversion is not too painful - just replace some things, remove tile section etc etc. Someone here may already have such a driver.

Another idea is to try something like the SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor V5 driver - see if that does anything,

At least that may be able to help determine if the issue is driver related or not.

I found in my collection a V2 SmartThings hub that I never installed. I did so yesterday so once I get done testing one of the motions sensors I'll factory reset it and join it to the V2 hub and see what happens. Right now I have a sensor with a new battery installed from a few days ago. Monitoring the rate of battery drain. Jan 25 new battery @ 100% 3.292 volts. Twenty-four hours later 87% @ 2.928 volts. Just checked it this morning and it reads 75% but the battery voltage still @ 2.920

Commenting to follow. I also have this motion sensor and battery shows 24 after just a month. Motion had stopped working indicating I need to replace battery. I have a v2 hub. This is my second battery to die in a year. High traffic kitchen area set to turn on counter lights at night. I wish I could sleep it during the day.

I'm amateur at this, but following this with high hopes. Thanks!

Meant to say hubitat elevation is my hub


Using the built in Simple Lighting app, you can set the Lux level credential so that it will not turn on if light is above a certain level. That would sort you out during the day, when the light from outside is good enough.


They turn on just fine with motion. This issue is draining battery all day for all traffic passing by. Would it drain the same constantly detecting motion vs constant polling for light level?

Typically this is for use not to leave lights on all night, but for when we wake at night and enter kitchen, lights will auto on.

What brand of battery are you using? My rechargeable cr2 gets about 3 to 4 weeks in the highest traffic area. I have 12 sensors 10 being the round 3rd gen samsung sensor. Testing with a regular lithium non rechargeable on my highest traffic sensor drains about 1% a day. The non rechargeable being a Amazon brand lithium cr2. So low quality I assume. Hmm just noticed the battery you many times has it been reset? I had a few of the newer samsung sensors work very weirdly and also not pair very well until after I did like 6 factory resets in a row to get right. Hmm

All new batteries with a voltage of 3.25V

Tested using stock battery it shipped with
Tested using Amazon, everready and panasonic batteries.

Only problem is with the latest generation motion sensors, all five of them. No pairing issues. When the batteries are just about to die the sensors report false motion and will cycle between no motion and motion every few minutes for an hour or so and then stop all together. Motion sensors are within 20 foot range of at least two repeaters and the hub. It's too bad because I really like the design of them, especially the magnetic base. BTW, I have older generation SmartThings motion sensors that get well over a year on batteries.

Hmm I do have one of my motion sensors outside and that one lasts forever..maybe its interference from wifi or a phone system. Maybe turn off 2ghz on your router for a day and test? Sorry if I'm just mucking up. *Hmm seems my highest traffic sensor is sitting at 99% so I'm not really sure. Seems like the battery I was using before may of been draining quick on it's own. Going to test out another brand of rechargeable I got today. Probably won't be any different.