Tilt Sensor Question

Tilt sensors - I have two on my garage doors and understand they change open/closed based on whether they are vertical or horizontal... could they also be used to detect a turning door? Specifically, I am thinking I might be able to use one in my mailbox - then when the mail man opens the door (swings out) it might be able to indicate open. Possible? Thoughts?

Just speculating, but I don't think so. A door/window contact sensor might work better in your use case.

I'm interested in seeing other responses though, as I may be way off base!


I’ll second that. They need to be tilted, not moved. A contact sensor would work better. Remember that you don’t need to use the bulky magnets that they come with - you can use a small rare-earth magnet if that works better on the mailbox.

It depends on if the door for the mailbox opens side to side or top to bottom. Side to side, it would not tilt, so no. If it opens top to bottom I do not see why it would not work but it might need to be on the OUTSIDE of the front of the door so that it tilts down, face down, same as if it was on a garage door.

I like the idea of the others, using a door contact sensor.

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I use a tilt sensor on my mail box. It is attached to the inside of the bottom hinged door, It works like a charm.

Yeah for top or bottom opening door that would work. My mailbox door open left/right. I was hoping the tilt sensors would register rotation on the Y axis and maybe fool them into thinking open/closed are relative on that axis - but just tested it and NOPE.

So now I'm back to everyone's idea of using a contact sensor vice my current motion sensor. The real issue is size and connectivity. I had an ST v4 (magnetic) motion sensor working like a champ for about a year - then it started losing Zigbee connection. New Energizer battery was no help. I have a centralite sensor in there now and it stays connected and reports - but tons of false motion reports.

So if I switch to a contact sensor - I can try both Zigbee and Z-Wave and see if they can connect our of a metal box. I like this Zigbee one - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R9PH4JT because it looks very small. I have tons of Zigbee and Z-Wave repeaters so I am also going to try this Z-Wave one (but it looks like it is much bigger): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008Q5CTBE

Anyone want to take any bets on performance?

I missed that detail. Gravity only works up/down. :blush:

Rotate the mailbox ninety degrees to a sideways orientation. Problem solved.

On a serious note, I have a SmartThings MultiPurpose Sensor v5 (Zigbee, IM6001-MPP) that has an accelerometer. Something like that would work.


@672southmain That is thinking outside the box.:sunglasses:

Back when I was with ST, I had an Ecolink garage door tilt sensor on my mailbox door that tilted down. It would play an Addams family .mp3 file of Morticia saying “mail’s in” so it can be done. Tried mounting it on the inside of the lid, but the signal would not reach. Put it on the outside of the door and still had to put a Z-Wave repeater in the front of the house.

After waking up startled from a nap announcing the mail had arrived, the voice was removed and changed to a certain light bulb turning on when the mailbox door was opened. The sensor was not meant to be outdoors, so the rain quickly destroyed it. By then the novelty had worn off, so now I just go out and check.

Ring makes a mailbox sensor but it does not work with ZigBee or Z-Wave

Yup, the sensor is massive. I have 4 and I really like them. They are all outside and seem to be surviving well. I have leads on two of them which can be practical.

Going to sound a bit weird but how about a Hue outdoor motion sensor. It senses temp (useless here), motion, and even more fun lux. If motion has errors you could just sense lux and build a notification when lux increases from opening the mailbox door.