Outdoor Luminance Sensor

I’m looking for an outdoor sensor to report luminance more regularly that my current Sensitive Strips Comfort (Strips Comfort - Sensative). Even with increased reports, it is still very sluggish to reflect the changes in weather and cloud cover, leaving my house dark, or lights turned on unnecessarily.
I have both ZigBee and Z-Wave available and am currently looking at either the Zooz Outdoor Motion sensor or a similar offering from Phillips Hue.
Does anyone have experience with these or other devices to say which will do a better job?

I only have experience with the Zooz outdoor sensor, but I’ve got two of them and find them very reliable. I run them both off of batteries, but if you want more regular reporting the fact that they can be run from a usb plug would probably help you a lot.

I have a number of the Zooz 4-in-1 multisensors around my house and I really like how well they work. Does the outdoor version have the ability to set the light sensitivity like the indoor units do (i.e.: report a lighting change greater than 5%)?

I have a xiaomi light sensor just for that same reason. In my case it closes a shutter /blind when the sun is too bright. While it is true that sometimes it is a tad too sluggish to update, for the price and the overall quality of it, I think it’s one of the best solutions.
Just stick it and go.

No, the outdoor version allows you to set the reporting frequency in minute increments, however. That is why I said if you want frequent reporting these are good. You can set them to report lux every minute if you really want to, but you’ll have to set them up with the usb power source or you’ll be changing batteries out every couple of weeks.

I decided to get the outdoor motion sensor from Hue. The xiaomi light sensor seemed like a challenge to use since it has to be on a certain version of firmware to play nice with Zigbee2MQTT and the Zooz device isn’t really rated for an outdoor application. They say to mount it out of direct sunlight and in a covered location.

I’ll report back with my observations once I get everything set up!

Isn’t this the case with all light sensors? If they’re in direct sunlight, they can’t get an accurate reading of ambient light.

I think so, yeah, and I’ll still be mounting this somewhere out of direct sunlight. I just think it was silly to sell a product supposedly made for an outdoor application then, in different words, tell the buyer to not let it get wet.

They say IP44 on their website, which generally means you can get it wet, but can’t submerge it.


Amusingly, they show it in an uncovered location. That’s actually not terrible since the sensor can be pointed downward to avoid sunlight, but it shows the usual disconnect between “what the engineers said” and “what the marketers heard”.

Sensor has been integrated and I’ve been watching the value as the sun has come up. The update rate of the Hue device is significantly more frequent than the Sensitive Strips Comfort. I’ve plotted my two devices to illustrate the difference (Hue in blue, Sensitive in green).

I don’t really care that the numbers are different from each other; I just need to know what sunny, cloudy, and dark look like for my rules to work. I’ll be doing a similar exercise with the temperature readings once I settle on a mounting location. Only complaint is that the device natively reports temp in Celsius and, because the rest of my system is set up to report Fahrenheit, it doesn’t take to the Number:Temperature item type (it reports the Celsius value but assigns the Fahrenheit unit). I made a quick rule to convert it but it would be nice to be able to work around it without the overhead.

Now just to see what the battery life is like with these frequent updates…

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That must have been like watching paint dry.

You might want to consider also using Diffuse Radiation from Astro. You might be able to combine the data to get a sense of “how much light there should be” and “how much there actually is”.

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ok just to try to add something useful to this disscussion instead of just laughing at what Russ said, here is a rule template that uses sun elevation and radiation from astro binding and cloudyness as reported by the weather service of your choice and creates a ‘virtual’ outdoor light sensor

for the record I have a TSL2591 mounted on a node-mcu pointed out the kitchen window. It reports LUX using MQTT to openHAB

it reports every 30 secs and I use this rule (jRuby) to set the indoor light dimmers, dim the lights if it is bright outside and brighter inside if darker outside