Jul 13, 2022

Snag some discounted Zigbee 3.0 devices from Aqara

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Aqara has slowly but surely been moving away from their imperfect implementation of Zigbee and updating products with Zigbee 3.0 chips. While their Amazon Store has discount various smart home products for Prime Day, I do want to highlight three of them: the Aqara Motion Sensor P1, the Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1, and Aqara Security Camera Hub Indoor G2H Pro.

The Aqara Motion Sensor P1 is supported by both Zigbee2MQTT and Home Assistant's native ZHA. Support for the Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1 is already added to Zigbee2MQTT and is being worked on for ZHA. While the Aqara Security Camera Hub Indoor G2H Pro might not be relevant for the Home Assistant community, it is an interesting device for those in Apple's HomeKit ecosystem.

Aqara Motion Sensor P1: The upgrade we've been waiting for

The first generation of Aqara's motion sensor was hit in the smart home community. It was small, cheap, and functional. That is, until you moved it or accidentally turned off the Zigbee router it was connected to. As it turns out, Aqara was using a slightly altered Zigbee protocol, which didn't always play nicely with other vendor's products. Additionally, it had issues with self-healing and frequently required re-pairing.

Aqara Motion Sensor P1

  • Multiple integrations: Works with ZHA, Zigbee2MQTT, and Aqara Zigbee 3.0 hubs.
  • Configurable Detection Timeout: By configuring the timeout from 1 to 200 seconds, you can save energy or sense every movement in no time.
  • Adjustable viewing angle and detection distance: Select between extra-wide field of view (170°, up to 4 m) and standard (150°, up to 7 m).
  • Sensitivity settings: The three sensitivity modes (high, medium, and low) are configurable, and they refer to the distance the sensor will be triggered from.

The Aqara Motion Sensor P1 fixes most of the issues, found in its predecessor. It finally uses a Zigbee 3.0 chip, that will mesh nicely with all your other Zigbee devices, no matter the vendor. In addition, it also has a greatly extended battery life, lasting up to five years, and it has an adjustable detection timeout. It also features various user adjustable settings, such as the timeout, sensitivity, and viewing angle.

Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1: For a more natural alarm

The Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1 is comparable to the SwitchBot Curtain in functionality, but uses the Zigbee 3.0 protocol to communicate with a hub. Put simply, both these devices allow you to automate the opening and closing of curtains.

Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1

  • Built-in light sensor: Allows the Curtain Driver E1 to be controlled automatically based on the actual brightness. If it's too bright outside, the curtains will close by themselves.
  • Smart home automations: The Aqara Curtain Motor E1 can help you to enjoy automated control of your existing curtains based on weather, time, lighting conditions or other devices triggered.
  • Support for multiple motors: You can choose between one or two motors per window. In the case of installing two, they will be able to be grouped together so that you can open the curtains simultaneously.

You can mount the Aqara Smart Curtain Motor E1 on U rails, I-rails, or rods, though there are some notes on widths and diameters you must compare to what you have before making the purchase. It can push up to a 12 kg load and the rechargeable, integrated battery can last up to a year. Thankfully, recharging is done using USB-C and not some proprietary connector, meaning you can use your phone or laptop charger when the time comes.

Aqara Security Camera Hub Indoor G2H Pro: Zigbee hub included

The Aqara Security Camera Hub Indoor G2H Pro stands out because it is not just a security camera, but also a Zigbee 3.0 hub. If you want to stay in the Aqara ecosystem, you can use this device for both the purpose of securing your smart home, and adding further sensors and lights. As Zigbee 3.0 doesn't have nearly enough bandwidth for video transmission, a Wi-Fi connection to your network is also required.

It can be connected to Apple's HomeKit Secure Video and supports face and package recognition and notifications that are processed locally on your HomeKit hub. As with most Wi-Fi security, Aqara's offering supports two-way audio, allowing you to speak with the person on the other end. If instead you want to alert or scare someone, it also has a built-in siren.


Aqara Security Camera Hub Indoor G2H Pro

  • Privacy: Supports local software masking, which can prevent certain parts of the image from being recorded or sent to third-party servers.
  • Zigbee 3.0 hub: Connect up to 128 Aqara Zigbee child-devices.
  • Full-HD: 1080p recording with a 146° wide-angle lens offers you stable and smooth video day or night (IR night vision).

If you are not a member of Apple's HomeKit ecosystem, you won't benefit from the Secure Video and face recognition, but you will be able to store recordings on an SD card or a SMD accessible network storage device.

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