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Mon, Jun 8, 2020 9:51 PM

Motion Sensor Does Not Work Consistently.

I installed the system about two weeks ago. I tested the system several times. The entry sensors work pretty well during those tests but the motion sensor and the glass break sensor don't give consistent results. I placed the motion sensor in a core location (dining area) of my house, which connects the family room, bedroom and study room. It is about 5-6 feet up on a corner of a wall.

The motion sensor claims to detect motion within 30 feet, but in all my test runs, the motion sensor will not detect anything until I am about 10 - 12 feet away from it. Sometimes it won't even detect anything at all. I once set it in Away mode and the motion sensor did not trigger the alarm as I walked slowly across the entire area. I am now very concerned that either this one is a defect or SimpliSafe motion sensor just doesn't work, in which case is a major drawback of the system.

Anybody else had this issue or have any solutions?

Official Solution

Community Admin

 • 

2.9K Messages

2 y ago

Hello all,

First it might help to explain how the Motion Sensor works. Ours are the passive infrared type, which means that they're looking out for sources of heat that are moving within the field of view  - in contrast with the rest of the room.

One important bit that is often missed is that when the system is activated, the Motion Sensors do need a small bit of time to "scan" the room's ambient temperature. So if you're arming the system and then walking into view immediately, the sensor might not yet be able to trigger.

When testing, you'll want to walk out of the room completely for a couple of minutes. When you enter, it should pick you up immediately.

Of course, if you have further trouble, our Support team at 888-910-1458 would be glad to help with troubleshooting!

(edited)

2 Messages

I have a group of motion sensors. One half I've had for five years and the other half for 3 years. I can honestly say I know the system well, I have installed in three separate homes on my own. The reports that are being made here are accurate. The motion sensors will work in test mode, however, regardless of how long you give them to get to ambient temperature, they are not reliable. I can walk by, walk up to them, wave my hand in front of them and pick them up and shake them and they will not go off.  Then I can turn around, cross the room again and again and nothing. Then I can turn the alarm off, put them through test mode again, have them pass test mode. Then turn test mode off, turn the alarm back on and purposely try to set them off again and they will go off.  Then I can wait twenty minutes and cross their path and they are no longer working again.  In my case at least, the sooner I try to set them off after I have put them through a test, the better they work. The longer I let them sit, the more unreliable they are.  And when they do go off, ten feet to fifteen feet is the limit of what they can detect period. Thirty feet is absolutely not true. This, I have tested over and over again when I can get them to work. Night vision seems to also be a pretty big no no for them. If you want them to work in a dark room you HAVE to have a nightlight or something that gives some light. If you do not - they will NOT sense there is a person there no matter how many times you walk past it.  This is just the truth unfortunately and SimpliSafe needs to face your motion sensors are not in any way reliable as a security system. I have cameras with a spotlight set up that give me a back up sense of security hooked up to Amazon Alexa that announces throughout the house there is a motion in a room. It also casts a light to "help' the SimpliSafe sensors pick up motion. Hopefully. I mean - hopefully - they will trigger the alarm for intruders and help save my life? But - you cannot trust them at all.  And this is not even the beginning of the problems or reasons why you cannot and should not trust the SimpliSafe system on its own. Their consistent disconnect to the dispatch center without your knowledge in the middle of the night is another. I had the alarm go off in the middle of the night and had to call dispatch and ask why they didn't call me. The alarm was still going off and was audible to the dispatch center from my bedroom. They said they couldn't see my alarm was going off in their system. My system, sitting right in front of the same window it's sat in front of for years, just conveniently decided to disconnect from dispatch the night the alarm went off. They said there was nothing they could do to help as the could not see it going off in their system. So I was stuck in my bedroom with my alarm going off, they couldn't see what triggered it, they would not offer to call the police and I had to deal with it on my own. They offered to transfer me to customer service (middle of the night remember - customer service is closed). I told them I couldn't believe they were trying to transfer me to customer service when I could be dealing with a break in and a very dangerous situation. Her reply was - I'm so sorry there is nothing we can do. I asked her to at least stay on the phone with me while I went through the house on my home to try and see what set it off. (Still going off mind you) She agreed to stay in the line and I went through to not be able to locate anything that would have caused it to go off. So I turned off the alarm - it now announced there was no connection to the dispatch center.  She told me that's what she needed to hear to know that that is why she couldn't see it going off in her system and why she couldn't help me. I asked her if she could hear it going off on the phone, she said she could and apologized again. I unplugged the system, plugged it back in and it reconnected to the dispatch center. However - the system never notified me it disconnected when I set it that night and went to bed (it's right beside my head folks) - so again - could have lost my life due to SimpliSafe just NOT being dependable. And I could call customer service but I'll just get what's being said here - you must wait for ambient room temperature. For as long as I've had this system - trust me I know nothing will be done about this. So, yes it is absolutely accurate that you should not put your life in the hands of this system.  I personally am going to save for a new more reliable system (I had another before that had far better motion detectors and never lost connection to dispatch??) and hope between the cameras and this system both in the meantime  I'm a little more protected. But SimpliSafe  should fix this versus making excuses with a product that is meant to save lives. If a system is malfunctioning - replace it like all the other companies do. Send a person out to test it for themselves and replace it like everyone else does  when you see your customer is not exaggerating but suffering from a malfunctioning product they cannot get help with.

2 Messages

I have a group of motion sensors. One half I've had for five years and the other half for 3 years. I can honestly say I know the system well, I have installed in three separate homes on my own. The reports that are being made here are accurate. The motion sensors will work in test mode, however, regardless of how long you give them to get to ambient temperature, they are not reliable. I can walk by, walk up to them, wave my hand in front of them and pick them up and shake them and they will not go off.  Then I can turn around, cross the room again and again and nothing. Then I can turn the alarm off, put them through test mode again, have them pass test mode. Then turn test mode off, turn the alarm back on and purposely try to set them off again and they will go off.  Then I can wait twenty minutes and cross their path and they are no longer working again.  In my case at least, the sooner I try to set them off after I have put them through a test, the better they work. The longer I let them sit, the more unreliable they are.  And when they do go off, ten feet to fifteen feet is the limit of what they can detect period. Thirty feet is absolutely not true. This, I have tested over and over again when I can get them to work. Night vision seems to also be a pretty big no no for them. If you want them to work in a dark room you HAVE to have a nightlight or something that gives some light. If you do not - they will NOT sense there is a person there no matter how many times you walk past it.  This is just the truth unfortunately and SimpliSafe needs to face your motion sensors are not in any way reliable as a security system. I have cameras with a spotlight set up that give me a back up sense of security hooked up to Amazon Alexa that announces throughout the house there is a motion in a room. It also casts a light to "help' the SimpliSafe sensors pick up motion. Hopefully. I mean - hopefully - they will trigger the alarm for intruders and help save my life? But - you cannot trust them at all.  And this is not even the beginning of the problems or reasons why you cannot and should not trust the SimpliSafe system on its own. Their consistent disconnect to the dispatch center without your knowledge in the middle of the night is another. I had the alarm go off in the middle of the night and had to call dispatch and ask why they didn't call me. The alarm was still going off and was audible to the dispatch center from my bedroom. They said they couldn't see my alarm was going off in their system. My system, sitting right in front of the same window it's sat in front of for years, just conveniently decided to disconnect from dispatch the night the alarm went off. They said there was nothing they could do to help as the could not see it going off in their system. So I was stuck in my bedroom with my alarm going off, they couldn't see what triggered it, they would not offer to call the police and I had to deal with it on my own. They offered to transfer me to customer service (middle of the night remember - customer service is closed). I told them I couldn't believe they were trying to transfer me to customer service when I could be dealing with a break in and a very dangerous situation. Her reply was - I'm so sorry there is nothing we can do. I asked her to at least stay on the phone with me while I went through the house on my home to try and see what set it off. (Still going off mind you) She agreed to stay in the line and I went through to not be able to locate anything that would have caused it to go off. So I turned off the alarm - it now announced there was no connection to the dispatch center.  She told me that's what she needed to hear to know that that is why she couldn't see it going off in her system and why she couldn't help me. I asked her if she could hear it going off on the phone, she said she could and apologized again. I unplugged the system, plugged it back in and it reconnected to the dispatch center. However - the system never notified me it disconnected when I set it that night and went to bed (it's right beside my head folks) - so again - could have lost my life due to SimpliSafe just NOT being dependable. And I could call customer service but I'll just get what's being said here - you must wait for ambient room temperature. For as long as I've had this system - trust me I know nothing will be done about this. So, yes it is absolutely accurate that you should not put your life in the hands of this system.  I personally am going to save for a new more reliable system (I had another before that had far better motion detectors and never lost connection to dispatch??) and hope between the cameras and this system both in the meantime  I'm a little more protected. But SimpliSafe  should fix this versus making excuses with a product that is meant to save lives. If a system is malfunctioning - replace it like all the other companies do. Send a person out to test it for themselves and replace it like everyone else does  when you see your customer is not exaggerating but suffering from a malfunctioning product they cannot get help with.

1 Message

We have the same problem.        

Our camera is positioned in an unheated mudroom, pointing out toward the driveway.  Used to be very sensitive, would activate with any motion in the driveway or even in the road, 100 ft away. Now, it doesn't activate even when you walk across the porch toward the camera and wave your hand 2 feet in front of the camera.

So your explanation doesn't add up. If it's a heat-sensitivity issue, why did the camera used to work correctly, and no longer does?

Thanks in advance,
Mark

1 Message

Johhny M.,

I'm having similar issues.  I have 3 indoor cams set up.  Mudroom, Family Room, Living Room.  When "Home" is activated, the Mudroom Camera picks up motion and sends me a message.  However, Living Room and Family Room doesn't detect anything even when I'm walking around.  I checked and the settings are all the same.  In other words, my mudroom camera does what I want it to but the other 2 don't.

Thanks,
Neil

2 Messages

the reply seems like an excuse. Thousands of people on here saying the same things. 

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

2 y ago

Did you check the sensitivity switch behind the battery?  Did you give it a few minutes to become adjusted to the ambient temperature before testing it?

1 Message

2 y ago

I have the same problem.  I installed Simplisafe at my moms house.  Motion sensors are absolutely not reliable - just as you described.  I have tried multiple locations, upside down, right side up, as well as height adjustment changes.  Other sensors work well. And yes, all sensors are set to 'high'.  In no way can these motion senors be trusted.  I have been able to walk up and grab one without it going off.  I do have one motion sensor (purchased some time ago that works every time).  BTW, the switch is not behind the battery.  Maybe on the old ones.  Simplisafe has a problem with their current motion sensors...

6 Messages

Same problem.  Installing a brand new system and all works great EXCEPT the motion sensors.  They go off when nothing is happening.  When you enter the range of the sensor, they only sometimes work.  (I have two motion sensors.)

1 Message

2 y ago

Couldn't agree more. I can also walk up to mine without it triggering. Tested in multiple environments at multiple heights, orientations, etc. Bummer that these aren't very reliable.

3 Messages

2 y ago

ABSOLUTELY SAME ISSUE HERE !!   I have all my four motions set to max sensitivity. I can hold the motion in my hand and it still wont trigger consistantly !  Base station within range no issue.  We will have to get multiple motion units now.  Loosing trust !

2 y ago

Wonder if they changed suppliers?   Does anyone know if their motion sensors EVER worked for more than a couple days?   Honestly, I couldn't really tell you on mine, because I never tested them.   My system is about 1.5 years old and to tell you the truth it was only by chance that I discovered mine weren't working. I was leaving town for weeks and sleeping soundly when at home under a totally false sense of security.  NONE of my motion sensors were actually working!  I removed and then reinstalled all of them on two separate occasions recently using the control pad and then I tested each one individually. They each worked.  One day later when re-tested, they didn't work.   If you are a company that sells motion sensors for security, I'd think that not having working motion sensors would result in a four-alarm fire, all-hands-on-deck, emergency meeting in the upstairs executive boardroom.   But so far, nothing from Simplisafe, the company I am paying for motion sensor security.   Just crickets.  Are they just hoping no one will notice that their sensors are not working so they can keep the cost of replacing defective product down?  Seems like the Legal case that is going to result from the very first home invasion or theft resulting from this KNOWN problem, will wipe out all profit from trying to keep a titanic problem like this under wraps, not to mention what an irresponsible decision like that will do to a security company's reputation in a market with lots of other choices.

3 Messages

2 y ago

We need to get SimpliSafe engineers to acknowledge this. I'm literally walking in front of so many of mine motion detectors before the alarm triggers we have one in our garage that we swapped out recently and no different it's positioned medium height right in front of you we were standing around talking all of a sudden alarm starts beeping it detected us after 2 minutes in the garage. or hub is within range fresh batteries everywhere and on high sensitivity.

3 Messages

2 y ago

Just installed our system two days ago. One motion sensor would not work today when entered area in AWAY. After setting to OFF I put it in Test Mode. All the break sensors worked every time however motion sensors were unreliable.

1 Message

2 y ago

Same exact issue. Motion sensor stopped working after 2 days of new system install at then end of August 2020. Did all the tests in the 'troubleshooting' section and the sensor is approx 6' away from the base station. Frustrating that a brand new system does not work out of the box.

2 y ago

Just installing/testing the system now. We have thick molding around the doors so I had to go with motion sensors. No matter what we do, they will not recognize anything which leaves large areas unprotected. Five motion sensors and not one of them works. I still have an old ADT system installed which worked fine (it was just old) so I'm actually thinking of ripping out the SimpliSafe stuff, returning it and calling ADT to upgrade.  This is ridiculous.

Community Admin

 • 

469 Messages

2 y ago

@marc_688715355433

With the motion sensors it's important to make sure that they are mounted properly as your issues may be due to the motion sensor's field of view. I recommend watching the video on this page to make sure that your sensors are "looking" where you want them to.

SimpliSafe Social Team
SimpliSafe Home Security

Community Admin

 • 

469 Messages

2 y ago

Hi neilgoradia,

First, I'd like to mention that the motion sensors on the SimpliCams are only active while the Privacy Shutter is open. With the default settings for the SimpliCams being the Privacy Shutter closed while in Home mode, it may be that the SimpliCam just doesn't have the motion sensor activated.

Secondly, I'd like to mention that for customers who on our Interactive Monitoring plan, which includes Unlimited Camera Recording, all of your SimpliSafe cameras will record for 20 seconds after arming the system in Home mode. During this time the cameras can detect motion.

With those two things in mind, it may be that the Mudroom SimpliCam is detecting motion during the initial 20 second recording period which is finishing before you have gotten to either the Family Room or Living Room SimpliCams.

SimpliSafe Social Team
SimpliSafe Home Security

1 Message

2 y ago

I installed a camera for our driveway a few months ago. The motion sensor has gone off only a half dozen times since then for a car driving by on the street. It has never gone off for our own cars driving into or out of the driveway. It has never gone off for me walking in the driveway. I can walk up to it, wave my hand, hold up a hard surface to it, anything. I can't trigger it with any kind of motion

SimpliSafe, you really need to address this. Based on the comments here, this is obviously more of a problem than you are saying.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

2 y ago

The camera does not actually have a "motion" sensor, but "change in heat" sensor.  It was designed for indoor use in a controlled temperature environment.  It's not going to work as well outdoors, where the temperature can vary wildly.  So it's not a problem with THIS camera at all.  "user error".  Now if they don't have a different motion detection system in the OUTDOOR cameras they are allegedly working on, THAT would be a problem needing to be addressed..

1 Message

2 y ago

My issue is the opposite of the OP's issue. I installed a brand new system recently and have had to disable the motion sensor because it indicates motion virtually any time I arm the system in away mode. We have cats and even though Simplisafe says that it doesn't trigger on pets due to the temperature difference, I have no other explanation for why this sensor constantly trips. The sensor is installed at roughly 6 feet in the living room and faces the living room and a hallway to the dining room.