Review: Everspring Z-Wave Motion Sensor
I had promised a review of the Everspring Z-Wave Motion Sensor in my earlier post. I bought 3 of these for my place hoping to further automate my home. Based on my research online, it seems to be one of the more compatible (with Vera) motion sensors available. In addition, the price was quite reasonable. I shall share my experience in setting up the device. Let’s take a look at the specs before going into the setup.
- Battery operated (3 x AA)
- PIR sensor (Passive infrared)
- Light sensor (Lux)
- 2 mount lens (ceiling and wall)
- Range: Wall mount – 10m x 110°, Ceiling mount (5m x 360°)
My intent for these sensors are to turn on the lights in the evening when someone walks into the master, guest and study room. This should only happen between 6pm to 11pm. Why only 6pm to 11pm?
My rationale is, most of the time during these hours, you’d only walk into the room to get something and not to stay for hours. However, of course, there will be time where you will want to work on something in the room. For that, the sensors must be smart enough not to turn off the lights, which I had manually turned on, when there is no motion.
After 11pm, during bedtime, you also do not want the sensors to turn on the lights when you are tossing in bed.
Research online shows that the setup for motion sensors are typically not so straightforward in Vera (or Vera Lite). The same applies to Everspring Z-Wave Motion Sensor. I had 3 of these sensors and I spent 3 hrs in total to set it the way I wanted them to behave.
Once you’ve inserted the batteries, the sensor will keep beeping until you include it into the Vera network. The instruction for inclusion is rather straightforward, simply use the add device wizard on your Vera to initiate the inclusion. Within 10 secs and within 2 meters from Vera, press the inclusion button of the motion sensor 3 times (have to be really quick) for Vera to detect the sensor. Once it is included, the sensor will stop beeping and the green led will light up. Sounds like a simple process but depending on luck, you may have to try a few times. At times, you may even need to reset the device (press 3 times within 1.5 secs and hold until you hear a long beep) and redo the inclusion process.
Ok that was actually the simple part. The difficult part comes when you want to configure the parameters of the sensors (i.e sensitivity, time between motion trigger). The sensors allow you to configure settings like sensitivity (parameter 3), lux (parameter 5). I’ve set the sensitivity to max (parameter 3 set to value 9) The screenshot below shows the parameters setup window for the device.
Every time a parameter is set, the Vera will need to wait for the sensor to wake up to push the information into the sensor. As it it a battery operated device, most of the time the motion sensor is “asleep” to Vera. By default, it wakes up once every 1/2 hour to communicate to Vera. For some weird reason, a motion detected doesn’t constitutes to a “wake up”. For the sake of setup, I hold the sensor in my hands, whenever I save a parameter and Vera waits for the device to wake up, I press the inclusion button 3 times to wake the device up. The bad news is, for each parameter, even if the device wakes up and talk to Vera, Vera may not be able to push the settings into the device successfully. You just have to keep trying until it works.
Next I create the following scenes as follows:
- Arm all sensors everyday at 6pm
- Disarm all sensors everyday at 11pm
- If motion triggered, on the respective light for each sensor
- If no motion after trigger, off the respective light for each sensor
The screenshot for the 2nd scene mentioned above is as follows:
Once you have configured the sensor and scenes, you can choose to use a wall mount lens or ceiling mount lens. The wall mount lens is straightforward while the ceiling mount lens come with a filter where you can create blind spots for the sensor to prevent unnecessary triggering.
Place the sensor in the location where the motion of anyone entering the room will cut across the sight of the sensor rather than moving towards it.
Finally, I noticed there is something peculiar to the entire setup, even if the sensors are disarmed, the 4th scene mentioned above will always trigger. This means after 11pm and if I had manually on the lights, even though the sensors not armed, it will still send “no motion” to Vera and the lights are still turned off by Vera!!
Eventually, I managed to resolve the problem by including some custom scripts to overcome this peculiarity. Vera allows LUUP scripts to be included in scene to fine tune the behavior. I will not go into details of the script in this post but I’ll be happy to help if you drop me a question.
Now I enjoy walking around in the house at night with lights turning on with motion and switching off a minute after I leave the room. 🙂
- Bigger than I thought
- One of the cheapest available
- Requires some patience and some luck
- Batteries should last you more than 3 months depending on setup.
- Requires some scripting to fine tune the behavior
- After some tinkering and tweaking, it does what it is supposed to do