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Aqara Presence Sensor FP2, a new era of presence detection?

Hi! This is the brand new Aqara Presence sensor FP2. I am excited to test it and let you know what it can do in combination with Home Assistant! Let’s do this!


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Buy the Aqara FP2 at Amazon:

Introduction

This Aqara Presence sensor FP2 is one of the latest products of Aqara. Until now I used this other Aqara Motion sensor for detecting motion in my house. I have quite a few of these installed in my house and I am pretty satisfied with them. The battery life of these motion sensors is quite long. I think I have some that run already over a year on the same battery. They respond fast and integrate well with Home Assistant.

The only downside for these motion sensors is that they do not really detect presence. So, when you are sitting really still on your couch, they will detect that there’s no motion and might trigger some automations that you’ve created to turn off the lights for example. So, these do not work well on your toilet, or when you’re sitting in front of your TV. Furthermore, the detection zone of these sensors is not very long.

Using mmwave

But, this Aqara Presence sensor FP2 detects presence in a different way. It uses an IWR6843 mmWave Radar Sensor for Human Presence Detection.
This radar sensor possesses a high level of precision which allows it to detect very small movements. It can even detect if people are breathing. Unfortunately, it’s so sensitive that it can also detect your pets, but Aqara states that it will add pet filtering functionality in the future via an OTA update.

The Aqara FP2 sensor mount is magnetic so you can stick it to metal surfaces, but there’s also a small metal plate in the box that you can stick to other surfaces so you can attach the FP2 to it. What seems a bit weird is that the Aqara logo is upside down when you place the sensor on a table or closet and the power cable is upside down as well. But, when you hang it on the wall, it’s all fine.

Specifications of the Aqara FP2

This sensor has a 120 degrees field of view and can monitor a room of up to 40 square meters. The absolutely unique selling point of the Aqara FP2 is that you can divide your room into zones so that you can detect people in different zones in the room.

The Aqara FP2 has its own app, but can also be used in various ecosystems including HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Alice. It even works with Home Assistant, which I will show you in a minute.

This presence sensor can detect up to 5 people in one room, so you can trigger automations based on various people in the room. The device is not battery-powered, and you need to connect it using the USB-C cable that is in the box.

Next to this, the Aqara FP2 contains a light sensor which comes in handy when you are creating automations. When I received the unit, I hoped that it was Zigbee, but Aqara decided to make it a WiFi device, so you do not need an additional Hub. I was a little bit disappointed about the fact that it wasn’t a Zigbee device, but installing it turned out not to be that hard.

If you want to create automations for the Aqara FP2, you do not need to be connected to the cloud. All automations can be created locally.

Installing the Aqara Presence Sensor FP2

You need the Aqara app to install the Aqara Presence Sensor FP2. After installing the device, you can choose one of three operation modes for it. There is a default operation mode that just detects if someone is in a room or not. Next to that, it has a multizone operation mode. The room can be divided into various zones so you can trigger different automations for each configured zone. You can also set interference or ignore zones so that these zones will not be monitored. And, it has a fall detection mode that you can use to monitor if someone in your family falls down. This can be very handy for elderly people.

Multizone mode

The multizone mode is the most interesting mode for me because you can actually trigger automations based on what zone you are in the room. You first have to determine the edges of the room so that the presence sensor knows where the room ends. It’s also recommended to set up the entrance/exit zone, as it helps the sensor to better detect when people come in or leave the room. It’s also possible to set up the sensitivity for each zone, for example you can set the sensitivity to high for the lounge or study zone, where you’re more likely to sit still, so that the sensor can be more accurate.
You can create a layout just the way you like by using the stickers. When you’ve created the zones, you can create automations based on the presence in these zones. So you can trigger automations if someone enters a zone, if someone is present in a zone for some time, if someone leaves a zone, if someone falls, etcetera. I think the fact that you can define zones opens a whole new world of automations for us. You don’t have to buy multiple motion sensors for one room anymore, but can just define zones and act upon the presence in these zones. That’s totally awesome!

Installing the Aqara FP2 in Home Assistant

Let’s see how we can install the Aqare FP2 in Home Assistant. Before you connect it to Home Assistant, make sure that you’ve defined the zones in the Aqara app. These zones will be shown in Home Assistant when you connect the device. To connect it to HA you must use the HomeKit controller. Some people say that you don’t need any other HomeKit device or bridge in the house, but I could only get it to work while my AppleTV 4K was connected. Because of the fact that the Aqara app forces the device to be added to HomeKit, you first have to remove the device from the Apple Home app. Then, go to the Home Assistant Companion App.

  • Click Settings.
  • Go to Devices & Services.
  • Click Add integration.
  • Search for Homekit and click on the Apple link.
  • Now Select Homekit Device.
  • Select the Presence Sensor FP2 and click submit.
  • If everything went well, you will be asked for the pairing code that you will find on the device. Enter this code.
  • The device will now be added to Home Assistant.

When you go to Settings, Devices & Services and open the Homekit Device integration, you will see the Presence sensor in the list. Click on the Presence sensor and you will see the zones that you defined as Presence Sensor 1, Presence Sensor 2, etcetera. Presence sensor one is the overall presence detection. This sensor will be set to active as soon as one of the zones is entered by a person. The other Presence Sensor numbers are for the zones. You can rename them so that they fit the names of your zones.

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Creating an automation for the zones

Now that the Aqara FP2 is added to Home Assistant, you can create an automation to detect presence in the different zones.

CreatING the presence detected triggers
  1. For that, go to Settings, Automations and Scenes.
  2. And click Create Automation.
  3. Click Create New Automation.
  4. Go to the three dots in the upper right corner and select “Change Mode”.
  5. Set the mode to “Queued”. This way you make sure that if you move quickly from one zone to another, the lights will follow you correctly.
  6. Now first define the triggers for each zone.
  7. Click Add Trigger.
  8. Select State.
  9. Select the Zone that you defined.
  10. Select “Detected” in the “To” field.
  11. Don’t forget to click on the three dots in the trigger and select “Edit ID”.
  12. Enter a name for the Trigger ID. In my case, this is Study Zone detected.
  13. Repeat this step for all your zones.
Creating the presence cleared triggers

So now, we’ve created the presence detection triggers for our zones. In the next step, we will create triggers that trigger if motion has stopped in the zones.

  1. Click Add Trigger again.
  2. Select State.
  3. Select the Zone that you defined.
  4. Select “Clear” in the “To” field.
  5. To make sure that the light does not turn off immediately, you can enter some minutes in the “For” field. I won’t do that now because I want to demonstrate the effect later in this video.
  6. Give this trigger a Trigger ID. In my case, this is “Study Zone Cleared”.
  7. Repeat this step for all your zones.
Creating the actions

Now we have to define the actions, so go to the Actions section and click on “Add Action”.

  1. First, start with a “Choose” action.
  2. Then click “Add Condition”.
  3. Select “Triggered By”.
  4. Select the first Trigger ID. In my case, it’s “Study Zone Detected”.
  5. Now click “Add Action”.
  6. Select Call Service.
  7. Select the service “Light Turn On”.
  8. And select a light entity that you want to turn on when motion is detected in this zone. In my case, it’s a spot.
  9. Now repeat this step for all your zones by clicking “Add Option” and adding new conditions and actions.

The actions for turning on the lights are now working. We also have to add the actions to turn off the lights when someone leaves a zone.

  1. So, click again on “Add Option”.
  2. Then click “Add Condition”.
  3. Select “Triggered By”.
  4. Select the first Trigger ID. In my case, it’s Study Zone Cleared.
  5. Now click Add Action.
  6. Select Call Service.
  7. Select the service “Light Turn Off”.
  8. And select a light entity that you want to turn off when motion is stopped in this zone. In my case, it’s a spot.
  9. Now repeat this step for all your zones by clicking “Add Option” and adding new conditions and actions.

All actions are now defined, so let’s click “SAVE” to save this automation. Give the automation a meaningful name.

Test the automation

Let’s test the automation. When I walk around my room, you’ll see that the light follows me. Sometimes it took a while for the occupancy sensor to detect if I was leaving a zone, but that shouldn’t be a problem in day-to-day use, as you’ll still want a delay between turning the light on and off.

Price

The Aqara FP2 costs around $84 or €84 and can be purchased at Amazon. See the links in the description below where you can buy it.

Conclusion

I’ve tested the Aqara Presence Sensor FP2 for a couple of weeks now and I must say that I am really impressed with it. The fact that it does zone detection so well is mind-blowing. Now I only need one sensor in each room for presence detection, and it even detects me when I am sitting quietly on my couch. This device is an absolute must-have in every smart home!

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home assistant, Aqara, sensor, motion, motion sensors, proximity sensors, home automation system, motion detector, presence detection, presence sensor, smart assistant



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