Aeotech MultiSensor 6 Brightness Notifications

I just received and installed an Aeotech MultiSensor 6 on my Vera Edge. I have the MultiSensor continuously powered by the USB cable and pointed outside in an attempt to measure outdoor sunlight.

As a test, I configured notifications so that I would be notified as outdoor sunlight changes. I have notifications configured for Brightness is over 100 lux, Brightness is over 200 lux, etc. I have similar notifications configured for Brightness is under 200 lux, etc.

The problem is that it’s not working as I expected - as a real-time brightness indicator. Each hour, I get a notification for each of the “Brightness is over…” messages back-to-back. I haven’t received any for “Brightness is under…” events. I assume that the one-hour timing is due to wake and polling settings, but I don’t understand how those work well enough to play around with them.

The eventual goal is to trigger a scene based upon outdoor light fading prior to sunset and increasing prior to dawn. I have installed and used the Day/Night Device, but find that it’s not accurate enough for determining when to change lighting. I need to enable indoor lights about 20 minutes before calculated sunset and disable them around 20 minutes after dawn. Also, the Day/Night device doesn’t consider weather anomalies that might require indoor lights to come on sooner or remain on longer.

Why doesn’t this work as I expect? Is there a way that I can adjust wake and polling times to obtain the data more reliably? Is there a better Z-Wave solution for measuring outdoor sunlight?

Thanks!

Ken

I have yet to hear from anyone that they were happy with using the lighting level sensor for their automation. They do not respond quick enough.

There is usually 30 min to 1 hour on each end of the day where the measurement would be useful … and it’s very likely you will not get a reading during those intervals.

I do have a Solar Radiation sensor on my weather system. It reacts very fast … you can see the changes when a cloud passes by. But I access the data from my weather station via the weather underground … and that only happens every 15 minutes and does not include this measurement. So a custom solution would be needed.

So I still use the Day or night plugin and have adjusted the offsets to meet my needs 90% of the time.

I just installed once of these and it does take a long time for the Light Level to report… so it is basically useless. I hope Aeotec can fix in firmware update.

I’ve opened a case with Aeotech Technical Support and received an initial response. Aeotech claims that the MultiSensor is continuously awake when USB powered. They said that the Wakeup Command Class is still present, but doesn’t do anything when USB powered.

That brought up a follow-on question about how often data is reported. The response back was: “When USB powered, Vera can poll (request) data from the multisensor at anytime. There should be a polling interval for this. Generally the rate at which the sensors report is the setting on parameter 111 which sets the interval of reports in seconds.”

I’m a newbie at this and so I could have this wrong. But I interpret that to mean:

  1. Vera can poll at any time and receive current data;
  2. parameter 111 controls how often the sensors initiate an update to Vera.

I think that means we can set parameter 111 to a non-default value to make the MultiSensor update more frequently.

Ken

I added parameter 111 = 60 in the UI and it does what I want. The MultiSensor 6 now updates Vera every 60 seconds.