Xiaomi - Some Perspective - For other Noobs

So, I just received my package from AliExpress today with some goodies.. my first Xiaomi products.

In reading on this site the Motion sensors in particular received praise for their small size.... but this is almost ridiculous :smile: So I thought I would throw up a couple pics for others who might be interested in these.

The other Sensor in these images are LivingSmart aka Orvbio that I got a few months back, which I don't consider overly large either I would have classified them as pretty average.

Appreciate your write-up on the xaiomi's. they are small and very easy to conceal. Before you buy a bunch of these, please search them out on the forum. They present .... certain challenges that you should be aware of and ready to take on. Some people love them (I did) some people will refer to them as the bane of hell. :grin:


I saw some of that before I purchased, but decided to give it a try.

Just got the first one paired, took a bit of patience and repetition... now we'll see if she will work with some stability and if the gamble might pay off.

pairing advice - hold the pin in until it gives you a long blue flash then tap the pin repeatedly until it pairs. It will flicker with each push. If you did that, then forget I said anything. They're good little guys. I had about 12 on my system. The problem is that they only repeat with just a couple of devices because of their .. frequency? Some people have no trouble with them. I really didn't but my zigbee mesh was a mess recently, so I eliminated the devices that were known to cause issues, which were my xiaomi motions and cree bulbs. You'll more likely be fine with them.

That is exactly what worked! Thanks! #1 is up and running we'll see if it holds up long term... now to find uses for the others

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You can never have too many motion sensors. When I started, my husband laid down the law. No asking/hopping/dancing/screaming for something to happen. So I made the house interact with us where we can. It took some planning and thought to make some things happen, but I've been successful at keeping him happy with it. I have 22 motion sensors in our house. We're about 2200 square feet, 3 bedroom 2 living room and an office. I managed to never have to ask Alexa to turn something on or walk to a dashboard or switch to do the same. I've found a few ways to make our setup unique. Here's one. (I'm bragging a bit)
This is version 2. Version one is linked on that thread. It's things like this that I like to do. Everything must be mindless interaction. Otherwise why make the effort?

You're probably thinking 22? What the heck do you do with 22 motion sensors? Most of them will also give you a temperature reading as well. How nice is that?! Now you can control fans and such with these little guys. Also have a few that are multisensors, so they also report humidity/illuminance/temperature/UV. Oh the possibilities are there. Just thought I'd add that.

The Xiaomi are incredibly well made. They don't play nice with systems that are Zigbee compliant, so as @april.brandt is stating, let the buyer beware!

However, if you're already and Apple iOS user as I was, and have and Apple TV4, a HomePod or an always on iPad that can run the latest iOS, then there's a way to sync the Xiaomi devices to HE via Homebridge and HomeKit automations.

I didn't intend this when I bought the Aqara HomeKit Gateway, but it was inexpensive and they are solid and reliable when paired to their intended gateway. So once you sync them to virtual switches in HE, you have exactly what everyone has been trying to achieve all along - 100% reliability of very inexpensive, small (as you can now attest to) and well made sensors.

So for the most part, the Aqara HomeKit Gateway is handling my sensor input, HomeKit automations are linking them to HE via virtual switches, and HE is doing all the fancy automations around my home. Response time is instant. Cannot tell the difference between having the Xiaomi sensors paired to HE, vs syncing them to virtual switches via Homebridge.

I would like to state for the record, that I don't think that all the Aqara devices have the same Zigbee radio in them.
I have had no issue with the motion sensor, and the temp/humidity sensor. However, the water leak sensor, and the door sensor just won't stay paired. (In many cases I have the leak sensor just a few short feet away from the temp/humidity sensor).
The Orvibo switches and outlets are no great shakes either - but they seem to be relatively stable.

I'm curious - which zigbee repeaters do you have? I have all my Aqara devices on a separate hub with Tradfri-only repeaters (5 plugs, 3 USB repeaters) and my Aqara sensors have stayed paired (~20 contact, 6 motion, 2 temperature/humidity, 2 vibration).

I use only Ikea Tradfri Repeaters and Ikea Control Outlets.
Nothing else.

It's funny you are having issue with the leak sensors. I do use the Franken-HomeKit setup I described above for most of my Xiaomi sensors, but the Aqara leak sensors and the two Mijia motion sensors I have are still directly paired to HE and they never fall off for some reason.

Everything else did fall off the network at one time or another, even though, like you I only use IKEA Trådfri outlets and one repeater. No other incompatible Zigbee routers on my network, yet all of the Mijia contact sensors, one Aqara contact sensor, the Aqara motion sensors, and an Aqara Temp/Humidity/Barometric Pressure sensor all fell off at one time or another.

It's okay.. that is a Solid Brag! Nice work.

Sounds like the Door/Window may be my trouble child in this. I have a few of the Lightify Smart+ plugs and A19 bulbs that are in the 'reported to work' category.. as well as some Tradfri lights. Hoping that is enough to build a good mesh for these things to work off. And willing to grab a couple Tradfri repeaters if needed.

Don't really want to go down the path of the Xiaomi hub (although I understand why) as the idea in getting these was to find inexpensive sensors... but I guess time will tell.

The majority of my sensors, (motion, contact, humidity) are Xiaomi/Aqara and have been working faultlessly for months.
We had a 2 minute power cut today and only 5% came back on line talking to the hub. Re-pairing them brought them back ok. I've left one motion sensor alone to see if it comes back working ok.
I've never had this before (I think we have had a power cut about a month ago that didn't cause any issues) and was wondering if any one else has seen this.
I've tried a reboot before re-pairing them to no avail and I always keep up to date with the latest builds.

Oh, I like that much better than "flawlessly", which always makes me :roll_eyes:, because nothing in this world is flawless, except the word itself.

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Yeah, this is why I like the Xiaomi Aqara HomeKit Gateway method so much. Honestly don't understand completely (I mean, I do a little) why anyone running Homebridge already wouldn't do this. It is, as you wrote "faultless" :wink: But what's really impressive is that the sensors stick to the Xiaomi Gateway like the tackiest glue I've ever touched. I was playing with Sense and my Aeon HEM recently, plus adding and additional HEM. Had to cut power many times over several days, plus we coincidentally had some unexpected power interruptions. Not a single sensor has dropped from the Xiaomi Gateway, or misbehaved in any way. The cost of this Gateway was $30 US, and now it on for $40 US. That's often the cost of one good sensor (and sometimes the cost of one bad sensor too).

If I could use Hubconnect to link it to HE I would get one and do as you suggest.

Has to be HomeKit. That's the only link between them at the moment. It's the safest one too, since they do force a connection to Chinese servers for their regular Mi Home app, but for HomeKit, the Aqara Home app can be used. They force a connection to the internet to setup the WiFi, but once you do that, you can block them and it still works locally with HomeKit.

you could stick one in your letterbox.....

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Ok.. so some early feedback on the motion sensor. It may not be as sensitive.

I replaced the Orvibo I had in my office. I used it to drive a couple rules, if there is no motion for 15 minutes then shut off the lights and kill the heater when I leave the room.

With the Xiaomi in place this morning.. My lights have switched of 3 times - I haven't left the room at all.

Admittedly I am just sitting at my desk, working on the computer, so it could be considered subtle movement.. but compared to the Orvibo/LivingSmart the Xiaomi is not working for this application.

Not sure the reset time on the Orvibo, but the Xiaomi are fixed in hardware at 1 minute. So if you're moving during that minute, nothing will happen. True that they are not as sensitive as many others. You need multiple to cover a moderately sized area.

You can lower their reaction time with a fairly simply hack, but it only works on HE. The motion sensors that I later moved to the Aqara Gateway had to have the "hack" removed, because they will not work with the Aqara Gateway when the hack is in place.