Polish company Fibaro is pushing home automation through their solutions in a big way, from smoke sensors to online shopping, from security to climate control.
The Fibaro Motion Sensor was launched a little over a year ago, and packs in a lot of technology into its benevolent eye-shaped Z-Wave home monitoring sensor.
With its MSRP – often found priced less (For the latest prices check here) – it looks a cut above your typical smart camera and is totally portable with no wires.
The Motion Sensor can be used in concert with Fibaro’s other smart home tech, but it has to connect to your smartphone or tablet via one of the company’s Home Center 2 hubs or a third party system, such as Vera, HomeSeer and SmartThings, with regular updates improving its compatibility.
Key Features of the Motion Sensor
Talks to Other Smart Devices: Combining a motion detector, a temperature monitor, and light and vibration sensors, the Fibaro Motion Sensor can be used to interact with your other smart home tech to control heating, doors and curtains, while being on the lookout for anything untoward.
Wireless/Automated: A wireless unit, it can be mounted anywhere, up high for constant vigilance, in a child’s room as a monitor or other location. The system uses object recognition to differentiate between adults, children, pets and other objects to avoid false alarms.
The Best of Z-Wave Protocol: And its motion sensor will help alert you in the event of tremors or worse, if you happen to live in an earthquake zone. On a more practical level, the unit can help with climate control, all of that while working away for up to two years on its long life CR123l battery.
Small and compact at just 4.4cm round, it only weighs 83g and can be located pretty much anywhere in the home thanks to the Z-Wave.
Expand as Needed: Multiple sensors can be used to set up a more complete home monitoring solution, ideal for if you’re on holiday or business, and worry about your security, with the motion sensor providing alarms if there’s unexpected movement – with every setting easily programmable.
Pros of the Fibaro Motion Sensor
With no wires, installation is easy. Open it up and press the button to register it with the hub, then close it up and put it in place. Smart home hackers can adjust the configuration by sending it commands to tweak the set up, while it can be controlled and interacted with directly from Fibaro’s apps.
Having several sensors in one is a common theme with many smart home devices, but the Fibaro Motion Sensor helps differentiate what it is doing with the glowing eye effect from the sensor LEDs. The eye like appearance can be comforting to homeowners, or a bit sinister if you’ve seen Lord of the Rings.
Still it is useful for setting up, as it glows red when out of Z-Wave range, and having a green eye for the right temperature, or blue for too cold and red for too warm is a clever indicator system.
That is just one example of the attractive touches it offers, and follows the theme that Fibaro have got their stuff together when it comes to design, how to appeal to the home user and meet their needs.
For example, a lot of the advertising for the Fibaro sees it up high in a room, where the temperature is likely to be warmer than at our height, the temperature sensor can be provided with an offset figure to automatically display the difference, to report a truer temperature.
Its image recognition system is also smart enough to spot hot objects, such as an iron, in an empty room and can switch them off at source to prevent a fire or damage.
And, all the sensors can be adjusted so it won’t register an earthquake if a truck goes by, or trigger the fire alarm if there’s a smoker in the house.
Cons of the Fibaro Motion Sensor
While the Fibaro Motion Sensor is very smart and looks cool, you will need existing smart home infrastructure to get it up and running via Z-Wave.
That’s a shame, as it would make a great introduction to smart technology for many people with its keen pricing, if it ran directly through WiFi to a dedicated app. If you are interested in checking out the best compatible Z-Wave controllers, check out my round-up here.
Instead you need to run it through Fibaro’s impressively well-designed smart home monitoring apps for iOS or Android, or via a web browser. It also only provides the earthquake alert if you run it on Fibaro’s own gear, not a third party hub.
Another possible issue is, while the sensors are adjustable, they may not go far enough if you have a Fibaro Motion Sensor in a particularly gloomy room or hall, so don’t bet on using it quite everywhere.
Finally, the glowing eyes don’t look quite as good as they do on the box and in the marketing material, not a con exactly but still annoying if you were expect a full Gorgon Stare from it.
Final Recommendation – Good Enough To Buy?
If you already have a home full of Fibaro kit, the company’s Motion Sensor is a must-have, in large quantities even to help monitor the home and provide safety and reassurance.
The fact it works pretty well with other Z-Wave hubs is good news too. However, if you don’t have Z-Wave – and already have heavily invested in a different smart home “protocol” – it might not be worth it.
With high quality sensors that can be fine-tuned and with a system that learns your comings and goings, it soon makes an essential part of the modern smart home. Being totally portable is one its main strengths, and any issues seem to be dealt with quickly by the company’s professional technical support staff.
Yes, those sensors do mean it is probably more expensive than some sensor or single function devices.
But, if you are kitting out a smart home, it is worth trying at least one unit to see how much better the Fibaro Motion Sensor is, or how much more practical it can make your smart home set up. If you decide to buy, be sure to order via this