EZMultipli How-To for SmartThings

SmartThings, now part of electronics giant Samsung, is a popular home automation platform and with the recently published Device Type fully supports the EZMultipli multi-sensor. Samsung_SmartThings_LogoSmartThings (a.k.a. ST) relies on the Cloud for processing which makes it flexible but is a little slower executing commands compared to a system with local processing. The ST user interface is exclusively thru a smartphone or tablet, there is no web interface for desktop computer access.  The system is easy to use with good support and an active user community.  SmartThings requires a $99 hub to interface to Wifi, Zigbee and Z-Wave devices. This post will show you how to get the most out of Express Controls EZMultipli Z-Wave MultiSensor. Refer to the EZMultipli User Manual for more details.

EZMultipli Multisensor

ezmultipli200The EZMultipli performs five functions:

  1. Motion Sensor
  2. Temperature Sensor
  3. Light Level Sensor
  4. Color LED indicator
  5. Z-Wave Range Extender

What sets the EZMultipli apart from the typical battery-powered motion sensors is that it is wall powered so you never need to change the batteries! Because EZMultipli is wall powered it functions as a Z-Wave range extender which adds another routing node in the Z-Wave mesh network. If your Z-Wave network is a little flakey and you have some nodes that are having trouble communicating reliably, adding an EZMultipli or two will provide additional routes for every Z-Wave node to talk to every other node. Then the sensors are a bonus!

Because EZMultipli is firmly plugged into an outlet, there is no mounting required. No screws, no tape, no mending of the wall when you move. This makes EZMultipli ideal for apartments, offices or other short-term uses where you’ll want to take it with you when you leave. But what if you don’t have an outlet in the right spot for detecting motion? Ah… that is a problem and not every device can solve every problem. EZMultipli was specifically designed with a wide-angle lens to capture motion in any direction out to about 12 feet. So it doesn’t have to be placed in the perfect location to be able to detect motion where you need it. It is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and garages which often have unused outlets in handy locations. You can also put it in unused outlets under a table or chair. Obviously it isn’t much good behind a couch or other solid furniture. Some locations like hallways will have to use a battery-powered motion sensor because the sensor has to be in just the right place and there are no outlets nearby.

STEZMAddThingAnother placement problem involves pets. If you put the sensor down low in a typical wall outlet, virtually any pet from a cat to a small dog will trigger the motion sensor. You have to either put the sensor up on a higher outlet or in a room that pets are not allowed in when you need to detect if a burglar is in your home. In my case we always close off our home office from the pets during the day when we are not home. Only the EZMultipli in the office and the one in the garage will send us a text when the home is in Away mode.

Setup and Configuration

STEZMfullInclude EZMultipli into the ST hub in the normal way: Just click on the +Add A Thing button on the ST app. Next then press the button on the side of EZMultipli. You should get a device called “EZMultipli” which is the default name.
Rename the device if you want then click on Save and then OK.
You should now have the screen shown here. The main Tile at the top will turn the LED behind the lens on and off or if you click on the color circle you can change it to be any of 8 different colors. The motion sensor, temperature sensor and luminance sensor are on the next row of tiles. The REFRESH button will force the ST hub to poll EZMultipli to be certain it has the latest sensor readings. We’ll get to the CONFIGURE tile in the next section.

STEZMConfigAt this point, the best thing to do is to click on the Gear icon in the upper right corner. This brings you to the configuration screen where you can adjust various parameters to suite your needs. Generally the defaults will work fine for most applications. The next section will get into more details.

The temperature and luminance sensors are set to send a report every 6 minutes which is fine for an average sized Z-Wave network. However, if you have a lot of nodes (more than 50) in your network and specifically more than a few EZMultiplis, it would be better to reduce the frequency of sensor updates just to keep the traffic from getting clogged up. If you set the report frequency to 0 then that sensor will never send an update so if you’re not interested in a sensor then make its value 0. Click on DONE and then CONFIGURE to push the configurations down to the EZMultipli.

Initially the temperature and light level sensors may not have a value but in a few minutes the sensors will send readings the values will update.

For the first several minutes after joining the sensor to the ST hub the LED will blink white anytime is detects motion. You can use this to make sure it will detect motion where you want it too. If it is not detecting motion, try flipping it around in the outlet as this will change the orientation of the lens elements. Remember that EZMultipli detects MOTION, not people. So the people have to be moving within range of the sensor otherwise the lights will turn off while they are still in the room!

Configuration Parameters

Screenshot_20170410-125808EZMultipli has five configuration parameters that change how the device responds to various events.

  1. OnTime – Number of minutes the light will stay on when motion is not detected
  2. OnLevel – Dim level sent to Association Group 2 nodes
  3. LiteMin – Number of minutes between luminance reports
  4. TempMin – Number of minutes between temperature reports
  5. TempAdj – Temperature adjustment and 1/10ths of a degree F

Generally ST works best with a fairly short OnTime parameter of 2 minutes. This allows a SmartApp to control the amount of time a light stays on after motion is no longer detected. The current Device Type doesn’t provide access to the Z-Wave Association command class so that feature of the EZMultipli is not available. Thus, it is best to leave the OnTime at 2 minutes and configure your SmartApps to do all the other work. Refer to the EZMultipli User Manual for details on the other parameters.

After changing any configuration settings, be sure to click on the CONFIGURE button to push the configuration settings to EZMultipli.

SmartApps

STEZMSmartAppNow that you have a motion sensor, the most common thing is to turn a light on or off when there is motion or not. In ST that is done using a SmartApp. Go back to the home screen and click on Automation at the bottom. Then click on + Add a SmartApp and select Lights and Switches and then Smart Lights. You can then easily pick the light(s) you want to control and which sensor will trigger which lights as shown here. Turn on the Turn Off After Motion Stops and then pick a reasonable amount of time for the lights to turn off then no-motion is detected. In a hallway, this number can be quite short like 2 or 3 minutes. In a kitchen it needs to be more like 15 minutes and if sitting in a living room reading you might want it to be more than an hour. You can also set different timeouts using multiple SmartApps that are only active at certain times of the day. For example, I significantly extend the OFF time during meal times because while sitting at our kitchen table I don’t want the lights to turn off while we’re eating but no one has moved enough for the kitchen sensor to detect motion (which is next to the sink, not the table).

Color LED

The color LED of the EZMultipli is easily controlled using the phone app. But the more interesting use is to display things like when your garage doors are open or what the weather will be today (Blue for nice blue sky, Yellow for sunny and warm, Red for blistering HOT, White for snow, Green for rain, etc.). I’ll follow up later with more posts on how to do fun things like this with SmartThings and EZMultipli.

10 thoughts on “EZMultipli How-To for SmartThings”

  1. I just installed an EZMultiPli in my wine cooler with the idea that I would set it up to alert me if the cooling unit failed. I’m using a Smartthings hub and have connected the EZMultiPli to it. What’s not so straightforward is how to generate an alert (e.g. SMS) when the sensor detects the temperature above a certain value. Can you suggest how I might go about doing this?

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    1. You have to write a SmartApp I believe.
      I’m not an expert with ST but the community forums are great and there are tons of experts who can help you there.

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    2. I don’t see a SmartApp for this already so I suppose you’d have to write one.
      There is a SmartApp in the other direction – it’s called “It’s Too Cold” in the Climate Control SmartApp category.
      Via the ST App – at the bottom of the screen click on Automation.
      Then click on the + Add a SmartApp
      Then click on Climate Control
      Then click on It’s Too Cold
      Then on Which – tap on the EZMultipli
      Then on Temperature – enter the desired temperature to cause a text or Push Notification
      Then enter your phone number to send the text too

      So the easy thing would be to copy this SmartApp and just reverse the temperature from Too Cold to Too Hot.

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  2. Is is possible to have luminance reported in seconds instead of minutes. One minute update is too late to use the device to trigger an event for my application. Is this a limitation from the device, or is it something that requires a simple change in smartthings custom device handler code where I could use LiteSec instead of LiteMin?

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    1. I suggest you read my post on 7 habits of highly effective Z-Wave networks: https://drzwave.blog/2017/01/20/seven-habits-of-highly-effective-z-wave-networks-for-consumers/
      While it is possible to constantly blast luminance readings, your Z-Wave network would be so clogged nothing would ever get thru (reliably).

      Why do you want to sample luminance so quickly? Luminance readings generally change quite slowly. The typical use for the luminance readings is to determine the level of natural sunlight in the room which typically changes relatively slowly thruout the day. So readings once/min is more than enough. You don’t want to constantly try to adjust the light level based on luminance readings (I tried that – the light level constantly changes and you immediately hate it).

      In addition, Z-Wave Plus Certified devices cannot send more than 1 sensor reading every 30 seconds. Sigma has begun enforcing this quite strictly as we’ve seen Z-Wave networks become completely unusable when sensors constantly blast out readings and clog the network.

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  3. I bought this unit mainly to use luminance to trigger a switch using Smart Lighting app and SmartThings hub. I have audible notification set up that tells me if door/windows are not secure, which is triggered by a switch in SmartThings. I would like trigger this switch before going for bed upstairs. Since I turn off my lights on main floor before going upstairs, I want this unit to trigger the switch immediately (or may be with few seconds delay), using luminence. This way I will have an automatic audible notification about my door/window statuses just before going upstairs around bedtime. Please let me know if this unit can be made to work for this need? If so please advise how.

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    1. The luminance sensor on EZmutlipli wasn’t designed for this type of instant reaction. As I mentioned, the typical use for the luminance sensor is a slow change in the natural light in room based on the sun.

      You should be using the switch that turns off the lights, and not the luminance sensor to trigger your audible notification.

      ST could qualify the time for the switch turning off to be roughly your typical bed time to prevent the audible notification happening for example in the morning or the middle of the day.

      You can also use the color LED of the EZMultipli to display the status of the door/window sensor. Turn it RED say at 9pm if the door/window sensor is still open and then turn the LED off when it is closed.
      I use the color of the LED in my kitchen to display the status of my garage doors – blue if my door is open, green if my spouse door is open, cyan if both open and off when closed.

      Lots of creative ways to use EZmultipli!

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  4. As you mentioned I can used color of light as way to know the status of door/windows, but I am also looking for an audible alert for which the luminance sensor to react quick enough. By the way the lumens are not refreshing around 6 minutes by default, instead it is refreshing something like in 15minutes. I tried to change setting from 6 to 1 minute but saw no difference. Another reviewer on amazon commented about luminance sensor not working, it could be the same issue. Could you look into this?

    Also for my application I would like a refresh rate of around 5 seconds. You mentioned I may hate it if I set faster luminance refresh rate, but I still would like to try and see if it is going to work for me. Could you suggest what changes I need to make in the device handler to set refresh rate in seconds?

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  5. You cannot set the update rate faster than once per minute. Reporting faster than that would violate the Z-Wave Certification rules and your entire Z-Wave network would become unreliable. EZMultipli is sending luminance readings every minute if you set the LiteMin parameter to 1. How ST displays the updates is up to them. Maybe they are filtering it?

    What do you mean by an “audible alert”?

    Why are you using the luminance sensor to tell if the lights are on or not instead of simply using the state of the switches that are controlling the lights?

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