Z-Wave Module review number five!
Aeotec MultiSensor 6 (Model ZW100-A)
What is it?
The Aeotec 6-in-1 MultiSensor is a multisensor polling for 6 different values; motion, humidity, temperature, light, UV, and vibration.
This device contains a Z-Wave Plus chip, which provides AES signal encryption if used with secure inclusion. It claims a 150 foot (line of sight) range for connectivity and is powered either via battery (x2 CR123A, not included) or via USB. Includes a 1-year warranty.
Why would I want this?
First and foremost, it's a motion sensor. Obviously you would want this if you want to track motion. Alternatively, this is one of the only motion sensors that can be used outdoors for monitor things like temperature, humidity, UV, and light level.
It's rated IP20, which is a nice plus, but it's nothing great. In case you're not familiar, IP stands for "International Protection", the first digit is a "solid particle protection rating", while the second digit is a "liquid ingress protection rating". So the 2 means it has a solid particle protection rating effective against objects >12.5mm, such as fingers and similar objects. It'll keep bugs out, but it won't keep dust out. A liquid ingress protection rating of 0 means it has no protection from liquid. In an outdoor setting, this is meant to be used in a well covered area such as a porch.
My favorite feature about this multisensor is the ability to power via USB, which enables this multisensor to act as a network repeater. I bought one specifically to use inside my safe, as I prefer using the cheaper Zooz ZSE40 and ZSE09 sensors for motion/temperature/humidity tracking (these are battery powered only).
Does it work?
Of course it does. Aeotec is one of the most high quality, well-known names in the Z-Wave market. My Z-Wave controller is the Aeotec Z-Stick, which has been flawless. I bought this Aeotec 6-in-1 MultiSensor to put inside my safe (yes, a metal box) and was seriously concerned about connectivity to my Z-Wave network. My safe is in the TV Room, and the only other sensor in my living room is a Zooz Mini Plug used on the lamp on the opposite wall.
Well, I was in luck because it works great. Temperature, humidity, and of course motion is all I really care about in my use case, and the temperature and humidity readings are able to update with the safe door closed. When the door is open, this obviously trips the motion sensor which is updated to Home Assistant. Conversely, when the motion sensor is tripped, I have Home Assistant send me a notification via Pushover. Now I know any time my safe has been opened without having to put a door/window sensor on the outside of the safe.
It took me about 15 minutes to setup, configure, and be available to Home Assistant.
What's in the box?
Packaging was pretty good. Contents were packaged neatly into a blue box just big enough for the sensor, included USB cable, and the mounting hardware. Unfortuantely I did not get to test the mounting hardware and instead used velcro to secure in my safe. I did use the included flat USB cable, which seems to be great qualiy.
Box top open:
Rear of the sensor with the cover removed, showing USB port and battery tray:
Cover in place, with the USB cable connected:
The directions are very clear in that you should include the multisensor to your Z-Wave network prior to mounting, which I did. Once the inclusion was complete, I went ahead and mounted this inside my safe. I used velcro to hang the sensor under a shelf, about 4 foot from the ground.
As you can see, I have a power plug inside my safe in the rear bottom corner with provides me with 3 outlets (as well as a ethernet and USB port, both unused). The Aeotec sensor is mounted directly above and I was able to tuck the USB cable inbetween the wall panel, effectively hiding it. The remaining cable I just zip tied together to keep it out of the way.
Was the inclusion easy?
Easy as any other sensor. Stop Home Assistant, start up Open Z-Wave Control Panel, and put my Z-Stick in secure inclusion mode. There is a button on the rear, top-right of the multisensor, which you just push twice to complete the inclusion. One very important note is that if you plan on running the multisensor with batteries, make sure you do the inclusion with batteries in the unit and not via USB-power. Likewise, if you plan to use this sensor with the USB cable, do the inclusion with it connected to USB-power. I can only assume that during the inclusion the sensor sets default values on specific parameters based on it's power mode. Lower poll times will drain batteries quicker, so I can further assume that this sensor will be more accurate when powered via USB.
After the inclusion, I immediately saw the current values in in my Open Z-Wave Control Panel.
Likewise, here are the available configuration options, with my current settings.
Most of the options should be self explanatory with the exception of the Group Reports and Intervals, and for those I'd recommend reading the Aeotec documentation (PDF!).
Overall, I'm very happy. I was afraid I would have a dead node every time the safe was closed, but that's just not the case. I haven't tested (and likely wont) the UV or Vibration sensors, so no comment on those. I imagine they'd work just fine, though. Regarding Luminance readings, it's on a scale of 0 to 1000 LUX according to the documentation. I really have no way to scale that, but I do know that with the safe closed and the lights in the safe off, the Luminance reading is 0. With the door open and light on, that reading can vary so I assume it's able to pick up light from the room as well as lights in the safe. Again, Luminance is not something important to me (maybe in the future I will set up a notification in the event the safe door has been closed for more than 60 seconds but the light is on). Temperature isn't super important, but is a nice to know. Humidity is important because if the humidity gets too high or too low, it can lead to problems such as rust or mold and mildew (eww). Motion sensor is the most important feature, and it works like a charm. Every time that safe door is open, I get a notification within 3 seconds to let me know so. Any time that door is open, I know about it now.
I haven't done any explicit testing to see how accurate the temperature/humidity sensor is, but it seems very accurate to me. I used to have another monitor I used with my safe until it died on me, but it would report temperature and humidity. The readings I'm seeing now are similiar to the readings I was seeing with that other monitor.
Here is my notification when the safe door gets opened:
If you're looking for a simple motion detector to track room occupancy, I'd recommend the cheaper Zooz ZSE09 (motion and luminance). If you just want a cheap motion and temperature/humidity tracker, I'd recommend the cheaper Zooz ZSE40. If you want more features and the ability to power via USB to act as a repeater, buy this Aeotec sensor. Cost is around $50 which isn't horrible. I couldn't swallow the cost to put these all throughout the house, though. There are many sensors out there, so I see no reason not to buy the sensor that has what you'll actually use, instead of spending more money on features you may not.
That aside, this is a great sensor and there is no reason not to buy if it's something you're looking at. Aeotec sells their products everywhere, but I got mine from The Smartest House and have no problem recommending them as a vendor. They also sell on Amazon, but prices are slightly higher. Any package I've gotten from these guys has been at my door in about 3 business days.
Do you have one of these? What do you think of it?