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Aqara P2 Thread Motion and Light Sensor Review

Testing and disassembling the new Aqara P2 Thread Motion and Light Sensor and it’s Matter integration with Home Assistant and Google Home.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor Featured Image Smart HomeScene

As Thread gains traction as the preferred communication protocol in modern smart homes, numerous brands continuously release new devices with Matter support. Aqara is pursuing a kind of hybrid approach, transitioning older devices to support Matter via one of their hubs, while simultaneously launching new devices with native Matter support.

The Aqara P2 Thread Motion and Light Sensor is the Matter-enabled successor of the same Zigbee device, labelled as the P1. This sensor has been sent to me by Aqara for the purpose of a review, which will in no way affect, influence of sway my opinion of the device. You can get it on Amazon US, Canada and United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Poland in Europe.

Technical Specification

  • Brand: Aqara
  • Model: ML-S03D
  • Protocol: Thread, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Thread Device Type: MTD (Minimal Thread Device)
  • Detection Range: Max 7 meters (23 feet)
  • Detection Angle: 170° horizontal, 45° vertical
  • Batteries: 2xCR2450
  • Dimensions: 33.1×33.1×41.6mm (1.3×1.3×16 in.)
  • Operating Temperature: -10°C to 55°C (14°F to 131°F)
  • Operating Humidity: 0-95 % RH

Package Contents and Teardown

The Aqara P2 Motion/Light Sensor came in a recognizable branded box with brownish colors, containing the sensor, a user manual and two mounting stands. I have no clue why they decided to include two, but It’s appreciated anyway.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor Featured Package Contents

On the backside of the Aqara P2, the company information is printed, along with a QR pairing code and button. Holding this button resets the P2 and puts it in pairing mode, indicated by a blue flashing LED on the front of the device.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor Featured Back View

The bottom cap holds some information about the device and battery type. The P2 uses two CR2450 button batteries, which Aqara claims can last for 2 years. This cap is removed by prying it upwards with a small screwdriver or a similar tool.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor Bottom Cap

Taking out the bottom cap and you can also remove the battery holder. The batteries are sandwiched together and come out as one piece. They take about 40% of the inside space of the Aqara P2.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor Battery Removed

Once I removed another piece of plastic separating the P2’s internal components, I could see the battery contacts and the main PIR sensor, tucked away at the bottom. The black color of the main PCB is a recognizable Aqara trademark, found across all their product range.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor Inside View
Inside Aqara P2 Motion/Light Sensor

Above the PIR sensor, an indicator LED is installed used for visually announcing the state of the Aqara P2 (pairing, offline etc.). The illuminance sensor used for obtaining a lux reading is installed above it, scanning from behind a special lens when inside the case.

The Aqara P2 uses the NXP 32W41AM [Datasheet] module for enabling Thread communication, a multi-protocol microcontroller with Thread, Zigbee 3.0 and BLE capability. NXP is a well-known Dutch semiconductor designer and manufacturer with headquarters in Eindhoven.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor PCB PIR Sensor
PIR Sensor
Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor PCB Thread Communication Module
Communication module

Finally, here’s a photo of the Aqara P2 Motion/Light sensor fully disassembled.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor PCB Fully Disassembled

Home Assistant Integration

The Aqara P2 can be onboarded over Thread to Home Assistant directly if you have a border router. If you Thread network is up and running, simply navigate to Settings > Devices & Services > + Add Integration > Add Matter Device and follow the onboarding process.

If you need a Thread Border Router for HA, the Sonoff ZBDongle-E can be flashed with Multi-PAN Firmware and used simultaneously with Thread/Zigbee. Or, your old Conbee II stick can be converted into a dedicated Thread Border Router.

Aqara P2 Thread Motion/Light Sensor integrated in Home Assistant
Aqara P2 Motion/Light Sensor in Home Assistant

With the current state of Matter, only the Illuminance, Occupancy and Battery entities are available in Home Assistant. Future Matter updates should enable the ability to set range, sensitivity and other settings for the Aqara P2 Motion sensor.

Good news is, the device responds very fast when motion is detected. I don’t expect a delay from the PIR sensor itself, but I am still not certain in the reliability of Thread networks. I am slowly adding more and more Thread devices in my testing setup based on the Sonoff Dongle as a border router, which appears to be working perfectly fine.

Occupancy is cleared automatically after 60 seconds and just like the P1, illuminance level changes only when motion events are detected. Since illuminance readings change very frequently, this is a design decision made on purpose to save battery.

Google Home Integration

Onboarding the device to Google Home directly can also be done easily if you own a dedicated border router. I managed to integrate the P2 seamlessly using the Nest Hub 2nd Gen as a router. Here’s how the process looks:

Sharing the Aqara P2 over Matter

The Aqara P2 can also be shared between Matter controllers, which is one of the perks of the protocol. For example, if paired to a Google Home Thread Network I can link the device to Home Assistant and use it simultaneously between both ecosystems.

Final Thoughts

Integrating the latest Aqara P2 Motion/Light Sensor over Matter to Home Assistant or Google Home is a seamless thing. Tap here, tap there and done. If you want to use both, you can also share the device between Matter controllers.

Regarding the Aqara P2 itself, it’s basically identical to the P1 model with Matter support enabled. Besides the communication module, I did not notice a single difference between the new generation P2 and last gen P1, which relies on Zigbee for communication.

Since Matter is still in Beta, adjusting and tweaking parameters are missing from the Aqara P2. Motion clearance is set to default at 60 seconds and sensitivity at medium, which is around 5 meters. You also cannot use the P2 in the Aqara Home app without the M3 Hub, which is brining Thread to the ecosystem with its release.

For comparison, the P1 Zigbee model has adjustable sensitivity, detection interval or the ability to turn off the indicator LED. If you already have the P1, there is no need to swap it for the P2. Here are some links for the new Aqara P2 Thread Motion/Light sensor:

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor Buying Links

Aqara P2 Thread Motion Sensor


United States | Canada | United Kingdom
Germany | Spain | France | Italy
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11 thoughts on “Aqara P2 Thread Motion and Light Sensor Review”

  1. One of the issues with the original IR motion sensors is they only send their current status (motion detection/no motion) every couple of mins.

    How often does this send it’s status?

    Reply
    • Not a single PIR motion sensor sends its state on a delay, including the P2.
      Whenever motion is detected, it sends a payload immediately. Clearance is on a set schedule.

      Reply
  2. Great review. I’ve come to trust everything you have written, and my purchases have been helped by your insights. Some of the best equipment in my home automations have come from your very thorough reviews. Thanks for everything you have done and continue to do.
    I find myself looking forward to the next notification from your site. Well done.

    Reply
    • It’s possible, although I don’t see how it could be different.
      Maybe its set to periodically update (still not frequently).
      This would destroy the battery.

      Plus, Illuminance is overrated.

      Reply

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