Those who follow SmartHomeScene’s reviews channel, already know we’ve tested a bunch of different mmWave radar presence sensors and wrote detailed reviews for each one. Even after all this work, it’s hard to give an answer to the question of which mmWave radar presence sensor is the best? This might appear as being a simple question – but it’s hardly a simple answer.
You, as a user, might prefer one feature over another. You may prefer open source Wi-Fi devices, you may prefer Zigbee devices working with ZHA/Zigbee2MQTT or maybe you want to create a DIY presence sensor to integrate with Home Assistant. There is no one size fits all when it comes to mmWave radar presence sensors.
Best Presence Sensor Overall
WINNER: Aqara FP2
With the release of the first generation FP1 Presence Sensor, Aqara was so far ahead in the game that no other manufacturer managed to follow for quite some time. Detection zones were and still are, a distant thought for most smart home brands.
When the Aqara FP2 hit the market, it solved any drawbacks the FP1 had (e.g. slow initial detection) and brought some new features to the table (real-time multi-person detection). Through continuous firmware updates, they managed to solve any user-discovered bugs and turn the FP2 into the best and most feature rich presence sensor available today.
The only real drawback of the Aqara FP2 is that you need to use their app to configure any of the advanced features it offers (zones, detection modes, etc.). Once you are done with the app, you can delete it and use the device completely locally in Home Assistant.
I highly suggest you read my deep dive review of the Aqara FP2.
Best Presence Sensor For Home Assistant
TIE: Apollo MSR-1 and Everything Presence Lite
If you are Home Assistant user, you want and appreciate more flexibility and control over your devices, including presence sensors. This is where open-source software like ESPHome comes into play and scratches that itch. The two absolute best presence sensors for Home Assistant are definitely the Apollo MSR-1 and the Everything Presence Lite.
The Apollo MSR-1 is the smallest yet extremely feature rich presence sensor, with an optional Sensirion SCD-40 CO2 sensor for carbon dioxide detection. It’s modular by design, and you can order it with or without an articulating stand or an outlet mount, both of which provide you with more flexibility in terms of installation options.
Besides the LD2410b used for presence detection, the MSR-1 uses Bosch BME280 sensor to measure temperature, humidity and air pressure. It’s also packed with a Liteon LTR-390UV sensor for getting illuminance and UV data.
The Everything Presence Lite is actually labelled as a developer and testing board for presence sensors by it’s creator (Lewis, ESH), which means a couple of sensors are compatible with the main board: DFRobot SEN0395, HiLink LD2410C and various Seeed mmWave Sensors. It’s ships with the HiLink LD2450 from the store, although you can swap sensors if you want to. Like the MSR-1, it has a dedicated illuminance and UV sensor installed on the mainboard, model BH1750.
Both of these sensors are extremely flexible and configurable, they both implement a form of detection zones, with the EPL also including multi-person detection. Any tweak that you can think of in terms of presence detection can be applied to it’s source code in ESPHome, which makes them the best presence sensors for Home Assistant.
SECOND PICK: Everything Presence One EP1
The Everything Presence One EP1 was Lewis’s first presence sensor release, which combined a Panasonic PIR Motion Sensor with a DFRobot presence sensor to create reliable human presence detection. The device uses an ESP32 board flashed with custom ESPHome firmware.
The PIR sensor in instant in detecting motion, while the DFRobot sensor is used for continuous and static human presence detection. Both are combined in a single occupancy entity, which need to be clear for Occupancy to inherit a Clear state.
Even though the EP1 is a top notch static presence sensor, it’s ranked second because it’s pricier than the top picks: EP Lite and Apollo MSR-1. Further, as it turned out, PIR motion sensors are no longer needed for fast motion detection – mmWave radar sensors are just as fast.
THIRD PICK: Athom PS01
The Athom PS01 is a Chinese-made presence sensor based on the LD2410C 24GHz radar module by Hi-Link. This devices relies on a PIR sensor for it’s fast initial detection and comes pre-flashed with ESPHome firmware.
Just like the Everything Presence One, the motion and presence sensors combine their states to create the occupancy entity in Home Assistant, which is cleared only when both of them are cleared of motion/presence.
The Athom PS01 is ranked third in this category because it relies on the ESP8285 board, which is significantly weaker than ESP32 boards used in it’s main competitors above. This limits the capability of the device in terms of adding reliable detection zones, multi-target definition and target distance measurement.
Best Zigbee Presence Sensor
WINNER: Tuya MTG075-ZB-RL
The Tuya Zigbee Presence Sensor MTG075-ZB-RL with a built in relay was part of a recent wave of new mmWave radar presence sensor popping up on AliExpress. I’ve been testing every single device ever since and the MTG075-ZB-RL is the only one that is solid and reliable enough to make this list.
This is the most configurable Zigbee presence sensor to date, with two separate sets of parameters available for tweaking the device: one for the initial presence detection and the other for the continuous (static) presence detection. This allows for a more versatile usage of the device and more flexibility for eliminating false triggers.
Once properly tuned, the MTG075 becomes one of the most reliable Zigbee presence sensors that you can add to Home Assistant. Please note, the parameters in Zigbee2MQT can be overwhelming and confusing, so take it one step at a time.
SECOND PICK: Aqara FP1
Even though it shipped somewhat buggy and incomplete initially, the Aqara FP1 was the first presence sensor that mainstreamed using mmWave radar sensors instead of traditional PIR sensors in Home Automation.
Eventually, any bugs it had were ironed out with firmware updates and the FP1 became a very versatile and reliable presence sensor. Ever since my initial Aqara FP1 review, I’ve shared articles for setting up detection zones in Zigbee2MQTT and other tips, tricks and automation examples for getting the most out of the Aqara FP1.
Using the presence_event hack, the Aqara FP1 becomes one of the best Zigbee mmWave radar presence sensor on the market with no real drawbacks. It gets the second place in this category simply because it’s double the price of almost all other Zigbee presence sensors.
Best DIY Presence Sensor
WINNER: Hi-Link LD2410 with an ESP32 Board
If you prefer the DIY (Do-it-yourself) path, than Hi-Link’s mmWave sensor line-up is the best there is when you consider price as the main factor. I wrote an article recently about integrating the Hi-Link LD2410B and LD2410C presence sensors in Home Assistant with an ESP32 board and shared the code to copy-paste in your ESPHome config.
Alternatively, you could also use the LD2420 or LD2450, although there is no official ESPHome support for the LD2450 at the moment. The LD2410B/C is the easiest to work with and has excellent community support, which makes it the first pick.
Best Presence Sensor on a Budget
WINNER: Sonoff SNZB-06P
If you are looking for a cheap ($15!) ready-made solution with no fancy features, Sonoff’s latest presence sensor labelled SNZB-06P is based on a 5.8GHz radar, but performs perfectly fine in detecting presence in a room.
The sensitivity threshold and detection timeout clusters were just added to Zigbee2MQTT, so the basic functionality can be tweaked to an extent. If you are looking for fine tuning and control, look elsewhere e.g. Tuya MTG075-ZB-RL.
SECOND PICK: Tuya ZY-M100
The Tuya ZY-M100 was among the first sensors that followed the initial release of the Aqara FP1, and surprisingly it did very well for it’s price tag at the time. Almost every cluster is exposed and configurable in Zigbee2MQTT, which enables the end user to tweak and adjust the ZY-M100, turning it into a reliable presence detector.
I have three ZY-M100 sensors in my home, still going strong and working as they should. These are one of the best Zigbee sensors on a budget you can add to your Smart Home.
Best Presence Sensor with Zone Support
WINNER: Aqara FP2
Again, Aqara FP2 takes the cake in this category simply because of the simple way zones are defined in their app. Each zone can be defined as saved as a template, upon which you build your room by adding furniture, interference sources, set sensor positioning and define dead zones.
Once done, each and every zone you create is separately triggered by the sensor, meaning zones can be mutually exclusive or one zone can include another. Every zone is exposed as a separate entity in Home Assistant, with a separate state from other detection zones:
SECOND PICK: Aqara FP1
Detection zones or regions took quite a bit of time to be developed in Zigbee2MQTT for the Aqara FP1. Eventually, the functionality was ported and now users are able to create up to 10 separate zones on a X & Y grid.
Zones can overlap, so automation flexibility is there for those who need it. Check out my guide for creating detection regions for the Aqara FP1. Please note, detection zones are only supported in Zigbee2MQTT.
THIRD PICK: Apollo MSR-1 and Everything Presence Lite
The Apollo MSR-1 and Everything Presence Lite come with their own utilization of detection zones. This involves defining X and Y coordinates for each zone, and creating a template occupancy entity to be individually triggered when presence is detected.
This feature is definitely suitable for more advanced users, but as a simpler alternative you can define zones as a simple distance from the sensor, like a linear line of cascading distances without X or Y coordinates. For easier visualization:
Put in words, if you set Zone 1 to 50cm, it will detect presence from 0-50cm. Zone 2 extends from the end of Zone 1, so if you set Zone 2 to 300cm, it will detect presence at a distance from 50-300cm measured from the sensor.
Best Presence Sensor with Multi-person Detection
WINNER: Aqara FP2
When it comes to multi-target tracking or multi-person detection, there are only a couple of option available on the market. The sensor that does this best is the Aqara FP2 Presence Sensor, offering real-time live data of targets moving in its vicinity. Here’s how this looks inside the Aqara app:
The only downside of the FP2’s multi-person detection feature is that live data is not exposed to other smart home ecosystems, like Home Assistant. I don’t feel this is a dealbreaker, since automating based on a multi-person person is an overrated feature in my opinion. It’s better to use predefined detection zones instead – which are exposed as separate entities in Home Assistant.
Honorable mention goes to the Everything Presence Lite, which is capable of tracking up to 3 targets in near-real time. It exposes information about distance, approach angle, speed and X & Y co-ordinates in Home Assistant.
Best Presence Sensor with Additional Features
WINNER: Apollo MSR-1
When it comes to packing additional features in a presence sensor, nobody offers more than the Apollo MSR-1. This tiny little radar sensor can be freely labelled as a multi-sensor, with features like temperature, humidity, illuminance, UV, CO2 monitoring, air pressure, RGB Led and a Piezo buzzer for audible notifications.
The GPIO pinout is also exposed (3v, 5v, GND and I2C) on the back of the board, allowing you to solder in your own addition (e.g. external temperature sensor) and expand the functionality of the MSR-1 even further.
Best Presence Sensor for Ceiling Installation
WINNER: Tuya MTG075-ZB-RL
The Tuya MTG075-ZB-RL is a device that can be mounted on a ceiling non-invasively, meaning you do not need to drill a hole to mount the sensor – yet it’s still thin enough to look good when installed on one.
On top of that, it’s the most flexible and configurable Zigbee presence sensor to date. The built-in relay is a nice addition for automatically toggling lights without any automation software. You can also install it on a wall, like I have, and it will work perfectly well.
SECOND PICK: Tuya ZY-M100-L
Unlike the Tuya MTG075-ZB-RL, the Tuya ZY-M100-L presence sensor needs a hole in your ceiling in order to be installed. The devices clips onto your drywall sheet (or similar) like most recessed lights used in residential homes.
It’s powered by 85-240VAC, which means there is no need for an adapter and you can just connect it on L+N wires meant for your lights. It does a great job in detecting presence, although keep in mind that this sensor is known to get triggered by robot vacuums.
Presence Sensors to Avoid
Bellow this heading are all the mmWave presence sensors you need to avoid, for one reason or another. The devices in this list either have major drawbacks, unfixable flaws or there are simply better alternatives out there in the same price range.
Moes/Linptech Zigbee Presence Sensor ZSS-LP-HP02
The Moes/Linptech Presence Sensor model ZSS-LP-HP02 is probably one of the better sensors on this list in terms of static presence detection. It’s also very fast in the initial movement detection, has a great build quality and is highly configurable in Zigbee2MQTT.
Unfortunately, this Moes ZSS-LP-HP02 Presence Sensor spams your Zigbee network HARD. There is no way to reduce payload traffic, per entity or fully, since Tuya uses non-standard Zigbee implementation and data is pushed and not polled. There is also no option to turn of the onboard LED, which flashes constantly when presence is detected.
Deploying 3+ of these and your Zigbee mesh network will likely suffer or crash. It’s best to avoid it, since there are better alternatives.
Tuya Zigbee Presence Sensor with Siren ZG-205ZL
The Tuya Zigbee Presence Sensor with Siren model ZG-205ZL is another presence sensor you need to avoid. This device is plagued with false negative triggers, it doesn’t respect user set parameters like delays and sensitivity and is inaccurate in general. The included siren is a gimmick at best, producing lame quality in mono audio.
Tuya Zigbee Ceiling Presence Sensor LY-TAD-K616S
The Tuya Ceiling Presence Sensor LY-TAD-K616S is advertised as a radar presence sensor, but it’s actually a double PIR sensor in disguise. Some developers somewhere possibly though they could create a static human presence sensor by combining two PIR motion sensors and a luminance sensor, writing some clever magic code and make it work like they decided to advertise it. Totally incorrect and an unmitigated lie.
Tuya Zigbee Presence Sensor PS-HPS
The Tuya Zigbee Human Presence Sensor PS-HPS is probably the ugliest presence sensor you will find floating around. The case is being reused for something else by Tuya, maybe a ZigBee/BLE gateway. And even though it does a decent job at detecting static presence, it’s very slow at the initial detection. There is no reason to consider this device, since there are far better alternatives out there.
Tuya Zigbee Presence Sensor TZ-GS-200
The Tuya Zigbee Presence Sensor TZ-GS-200 is another sensor you should skip for various reasons, the main one being Zigbee2MQTT and ZHA support is non existent right now. You could use an external converter, but as it turns out this device also floods your network really hard.
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