The sensor is an ideal size, small enough to be unobtrusive, big enough not to be fiddly or cheap looking.
In the Box
In addition to the unit itself there’s a USB power lead to run it from the mains. You’ll need to bring your own USB power supply and batteries (2 x CR123A) are not included either (Aeon labs claim up to 2 years battery life). When run on USB power the sensor operates in an advanced mode providing temperature, humidity and light readings in ‘real-time’.
Importantly it also comes with its own mounting arm, something thats often omitted with similar sensors. It’s small and while not perfectly adjustable in all axis it will suffice for most. It’s light weight (74g) means it can be mounted with the included double sided sticky tape for convenience too.
There’s also an optional recessor accessory available to allow it to be mounted vertically into a ceiling.
There’s a little indentation on the rear or the plastic shell of the multisensor and at first it’s hard to understand how this can do anything. But it pushes on a button on the rear of the pcb to initiate the Z-Wave inclusion mode. Our SmartThings hub found the Multisensor 6 right away.
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So what can the Multisensor measure? Well it’s a talented little guy and it can provide the following six readings…
- Light Level
We decided to employ it in our kitchen, primarily to bring a light on when there’s motion (120° PIR) as well as monitor the temperature in there.
We have several temperature sensors in some rooms now and they’re generally within half a degree of each other. However the Multisensor 6 seems to read around 5°C hotter than it should in the Automated Home. This only seems to happen when being powered by the USB lead though, not the batteries. Presumably something is heating up internally with the unit when using USB power and throwing it out of whack.
With the lux level reading you could create some more finely controlled lighting logic, rather than merely relying on a Dark or Light flag. The humidity value could add some logic to bathroom fans and dehumidifiers.
It’s hard to know which controllers support the “Ultraviolet” sensor (but that’s a whole different story), and even what you’d really do with that UV Index data if you had it.
Vibrations are detected with the ‘seismic sensor’, and this is also employed to detect tamper.
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The Aeon Labs Multisensor 6 is handsome, affordable and clever. A near-perfect Z-Wave PIR and temperature sensor, with the bonus of vibration, humidity and light level thrown in. It’s available now for around £55.