ecobee

SmartSensor: FAQs, Setup Guide, and Troubleshooting

Whole-home comfort in one small sensor. 

This article applies to all ecobee thermostats except Smart, Smart SI, EMS and EMS SI.


FAQs

ecobee SmartSensor was redesigned from the ground up and offers expanded and enhanced features and capabilities over its predecessor, the ecobee Room Sensor. 

It has an updated design that's sleek and modern and fits perfectly with any home décor. It's portable, so you can place it in the spaces that matter most in your home—with the option to move each sensor around later.

And in spite of its small size, it's powerful—with better occupancy range and faster detection than ever, an improved battery life of 5 years, and an immunity to detecting pets.

SmartSensor is as easy-to-use and set up as Room Sensor, but with a new pairing process: with SmartSensor, all you'll need for pairing is your ecobee app! Complete pairing from anywhere in your home for added convenience. 

The best part? It's backward compatible with previous generation ecobee thermostats so more ecobee customers can experience enhanced whole-home comfort.

SmartSensor is designed to supplement the temperature and occupancy sensor built into your ecobee thermostat*—unlocking its full potential.

Install these portable powerhouses throughout your home for comfort in the rooms that matter most (bedrooms, nursery, living room, etc.), and place them in rooms that run too hot or too cold for a more balanced temperature throughout the home.

See your SmartSensor readings remotely with the ecobee app or the web portal.

Compared with Room Sensor, our previous generation ecobee thermostat sensor, SmartSensor features the following improvements:

  • Captures and sends more occupancy and temperature data more often with faster transmission speeds, further improving Smart Features like Smart Home/Away and Follow Me.
  • Brand new curved front face optimizes sensor's field of view for improved occupancy detection.
  • Enhanced occupancy sensor "pet immunity" to prevent false readings triggered by our furry friends.
  • Powered by a bigger battery (CR-2477) for an improved battery life of 5 years.
  • Improved pairing range between the SmartSensor and thermostat.
  • Sensor attaches to its satin-steel stand magnetically and clicks into the adhesive wall-mount.
  • Backward compatible with previous generation ecobee thermostats.

* ecobee3 lite does not have a built-in occupancy sensor. Not to worry! Pair it with SmartSensor to take advantage of ecobee Smart Features like Smart Home/Away and Follow Me mode.

There's no wrong way to use SmartSensor.

Place a sensor in a high-traffic room to take advantage of ecobee Smart Features like Smart Home/Away and Follow Me mode. Other spots that are great for SmartSensor include areas that are either warmer or cooler than the rest of your home. Using SmartSensor along with your ecobee can help you achieve a more balanced temperature throughout the home by minimizing hot or cool spots.

Every time you pair a SmartSensor to your ecobee thermostat you'll be asked which Comfort Settings (e.g. Home, Away, and Sleep) you'd like it to participate in. For example, if you're putting a SmartSensor in your bedroom, but you don't spend a lot of time there when you're not sleeping, you can choose to have the bedroom SmartSensor only participate in the Sleep Comfort Setting. Doing so will ensure that your bedroom remains the temperature you like throughout the night. No more going to bed too hot or too cold!

In order to best detect occupancy changes, the best placement for a SmartSensor is about four feet off the ground in a location that is facing the entire room. Avoid locations that may have the sensor come into contact with any external factor that may influence its readings. These can include vents, fans, exterior walls, windows and other places where the sensor would be exposed to direct sunlight.

Occupancy and Temperature detection

  • Detects both temperature and occupancy and communicates those readings to the thermostat.
  • Occupancy detection uses infrared technology to detect body heat signatures.
  • Occupancy is based on a person's continued presence within a SmartSensor's viewing angle—not merely motion detection. The more time you spend in front of a particular sensor, the more weight your ecobee assigns to that sensor's readings.
  • Enhanced occupancy sensor "pet immunity" to prevent false occupancy readings triggered by our furry friends.

Communication

  • SmartSensor uses 915MHz radio waves—not Wi-Fi—for secure, energy-efficient communication with your ecobee thermostat.

Range and Viewing Angle

  • Range: SmartSensor can communicate with thermostat to a range of 60 ft (barriers and obstacles such as thick walls or different floors, and other devices operating on the same 915MHz frequency, such as a baby monitor, cordless phones, etc., may lower range).
  • Viewing angle: 140° horizontal and 100° vertical. Occupancy sensor accurate to a distance of 20 feet (6 m).
    • For optimal placement for pet immunity, wall-mount at a height of 6.5 ft (2 m).
    • For optimal placement for temperature readings, set at a height of 4 ft (1.2 m).
  • Occupancy viewing distance: 20 ft (6 m).

Battery

ecobee thermostats can support up to 32 SmartSensors.

ecobee SmartThermostat with voice control

ecobee4

ecobee3 lite

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Go to MAIN MENU > SENSORS on the thermostat, the ecobee app or the Web Portal and look for the following icons:

mceclip2.png The sensor is currently active/participating (sensor is filled in with white)

mceclip1.png The sensor is currently inactive/not participating (sensor is hollow)

mceclip0.png The sensor is not connected and not participating (sensor is hollow and has no signal waves)

Check out the section below on Sensor Participation and Comfort Settings for more information. 

SmartSensor has undergone rigorous testing for "pet immunity" so you don't have to worry about your furry friend or friends accidentally setting off its occupancy detection feature.

Here are a few extra steps you can take to further prevent your pets from setting off the occupancy detection feature:

  • Place the SmartSensor in a spot that is not within view of a stairwell—especially if your pet likes to race up and down the stairs all day.
  • Avoid placing the SmartSensor in front of that popular hangout spot for your pet, like their favourite chair.
  • If your pet is the curious type, consider mounting SmartSensor on the wall with the included wall-mount at a height of 6.5 ft (2 m), rather than placing it on a stand where it may be more easily knocked away.


Setup and features

Pairing prerequisites: an ecobee account, the ecobee mobile app, and a Wi-Fi connection.

1. Option A: Open the ecobee app, on the app Home Screen, tap the sign in the top-right corner, select Sensor, then SmartSensor.

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Option B: From your thermostat's Home Screen in the ecobee app, go to MAIN MENU > SENSORS, tap Add Sensors, and select SmartSensor.

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1. Tap Let's get started to begin.

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2. Scan the QR code on the sensor's pull tab with your wireless device's camera. (The QR code is also printed on the SmartSensor's battery slot.) 

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Optionally, enter the pairing code manually by selecting Manually enter code at the bottom of the screen.

If you select Manually enter code, on the next screen, enter the 8-digit pairing code listed on the inside of your SmartSensor's battery compartment (pictured below). When you're done, replace the battery, secure the cap, and tap Next.

Good to know: The Next button will greyed out until the 8-digit pairing code is correctly inputted.

3. Pull the tab to pair. If pairing is successful, you'll be able to move on to the next screen. If it's not, consider the following troubleshooting tips.

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4. Select a name for your sensor from the list or give your sensor a unique name.

ecobee_has_found_sensor.png 13.png

5. If you have more than one ecobee thermostat, select which thermostat you want to pair the sensor to, then select Sensor, meet thermostat.

6. Tap to choose which Comfort Settings (i.e. Home, Away, and Sleep) you would like your sensor to participate in, and which to exclude it from.

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What are Comfort Settings? When a sensor participates in a Comfort Setting its temperature readings are used in tandem with the thermostat’s readings to calculate an average temperature across multiple rooms. Learn more about Comfort Settings below.  

Tip: If you're unsure what Comfort Settings you'd like your SmartSensor to participate in, leave all of the boxes checked for now. 
You can always change participation settings later by going to MAIN MENU > SENSORS > Tapping the sensor in question > PARTICIPATION.

7. Consider the tips for placement with the stand or included adhesive wall-mount, then select Next.

7. Tap Done to finish or select Add another device. Keep in mind, it may take up to 3 minutes for your sensor to become available.

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To unpair a SmartSensor or Room Sensor:

1. On the thermostat, select the hamburger menu (mceclip2.png).

2. From your thermostat's Main Menu, select Sensors.

3. Tap on the sensor you'd like to remove.

4. Select the trash icon in the top-right corner, then select Unpair.

 

 

Your ecobee’s schedule consists of temperature profiles called Comfort Settings. By default, your ecobee has three Comfort Settings: Home, Away, and Sleep. You can also create additional custom Comfort Settings via the Web Portal and in the app itself.

Comfort Settings make sure your home is the right temperature during specific activities in your schedule.

For example, when you’re home, your ecobee thermostat can turn the heating on if the temperature falls below 70°F (21°C) and turn the cooling on if the temperature rises above 78°F (25°C). Or when you’re away, only turn heating on if the temperature falls below 62°F (16.7°C) and turn cooling on if the temperature rises above 85F (27.8°C).

By choosing which sensors participate in each Comfort Setting, you'll have complete control over which sensors your ecobee thermostat uses to calculate the average temperature. Keep in mind, each Comfort Setting must have at least one participating sensor.

Customize your comfort by adjusting your sensor participation settings

To maximize overnight comfort, you might decide that the only sensor you want to include in your Sleep Comfort Setting is the one in your bedroom.

During the busiest time of day, when your Home Comfort Setting is active, you may want to have multiple sensors participating; e.g. your living room SmartSensor, the one in the kitchen, and your thermostat's built-in occupancy sensor.

You can change your Participation Settings in the app or on the thermostat itself in one of two ways:

Shown: Steps for changing Participation Setting on thermostat.

MAIN MENU > SENSORS > Tap the sensor you wish to change > PARTICIPATION

sensor_participation1.png sensor_participation2.png sensor_participation3.png

OR

MAIN MENU > COMFORT SETTINGS > Tap the Comfort Setting you wish to change > “Participating Sensors”

sensor_participation4.png sensor_participation5.png

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SmartSensor participation questions and answers

How does my ecobee thermostat manage sensor participation when it's changing from one Comfort Setting to the next (e.g. from Home to Sleep, or Home to Away)?

Because each Comfort Setting might have an entirely different mixture of participating sensors, a sudden change from one Comfort Setting to another could result in a rapid rise or drop in average temperature. To avoid this, your ecobee makes the transition from one Comfort Setting to the next gradually. This process usually takes about 30 minutes.

How does sensor participation work when I adjust the temperature manually?

Adjusting the temperature with your ecobee's temperature slider or in the app activates your Home Comfort Setting. (This is called placing a Manual Hold.)

When your Home Comfort Setting is active, your ecobee sets the temperature by averaging out the temperature readings from each SmartSensor participating in that Comfort Setting. (To resume your scheduled Comfort Setting, tap the X icon on your ecobee's Home Screen; using the app? Press Cancel on the thermostat Home Screen.)

Good to know: By default, a Manual Hold continues until you cancel it. You can adjust this setting according to your preference by going to the following screen on your thermostat or in the app: MAIN MENU > SETTINGS > PREFERENCES > HOLD ACTION 

When a SmartSensor isn't participating in a Comfort Setting, what does my ecobee thermostat do with its reading?

When a sensor isn't participating, it still reports the temperature to the thermostat, but the reading isn't used to help determine the average home temperature.

How can I tell which sensors are participating in the current Comfort Setting?

Go to MAIN MENU > SENSORS on the thermostat, the ecobee app or the Web Portal and look for the following icons:

mceclip2.png The sensor is currently active/participating (sensor is filled in with white)

mceclip1.png The sensor is currently inactive/not participating (sensor is hollow)

mceclip0.png The sensor is not connected and not participating (sensor is hollow and has no signal waves)

With Smart Home/Smart Away enabled, when your thermostat senses you're home during a scheduled Away period or away during a scheduled Home period, it automatically overrides your schedule for comfort (Smart Home) or savings (Smart Away). So even when your schedule changes, your ecobee knows to adjust on its own—helping you save energy and stay comfortable.
 
Smart Home/Away works independently of the sensor participation rules you've set up for your Comfort Settings. That's to say, it acts upon the occupancy readings from all of your sensors—not just the ones participating in the scheduled Comfort Setting. Smart Home and Smart Away cannot be triggered during a scheduled Sleep period.


How it works

By using the occupancy information reported by your ecobee thermostat's built-in occupancy sensor* and the SmartSensor(s) paired with your ecobee, Smart Home/Away tracks your household's comings and goings to set the temperature for comfort or savings.

* ecobee3 lite does not have a built-in occupancy sensor. Not to worry! Pair it with SmartSensor to take advantage of ecobee Smart Features like Smart Home/Away and Follow Me mode.
 

Smart Home

When your ecobee senses someone's home during a scheduled Away period... 
 
And the following conditions are met:
  • The Away or Custom Away Comfort Setting has been active for over an hour.
  • Smart Home hasn't been active for at least two hours.

Smart Home intelligently switches on your Home Comfort Setting for maximum comfort. 

How long does Smart Home run for?

When it's active, Smart Home will stay in effect until a) two hours pass with no occupancy detected; b) it is cancelled; or c) the start of the next scheduled Comfort Setting.

What temperature set points are in effect when Smart Home is running?

Smart Home uses your Home Comfort Setting's hot and cold set points.

 

Smart Away

When your ecobee senses nobody's home during a scheduled Home period... 
 
And:
  • No occupancy has been detected for two straight hours during a scheduled Home period or when Smart Home is running.

Smart Away intelligently overrides your usual schedule—helping you save on your energy bill.

How long does Smart Away run for?

Smart Away runs until it detects occupancy or until the start of the next scheduled Away period.

What temperature set points are in effect when Smart Away is running?

Since your ecobee thermostat knows that it will have to recover the temperature gap should you return, it sets the temperature to where it can quickly get your home back to your Home Comfort Setting set points while still conserving energy. (Typically, 1–4° Fahrenheit lower than your Home set points.*)

*Actual number is based on your ecobee's ongoing analysis of your HVAC's equipment's ability to recover the temperature gap.

 

How to enable Smart Home/Away 

On your thermostat's screen or in the app, go to: MAIN MENU > SENSORS > SMART HOME/AWAY > set to Enabled
 

How to tell when Smart Home or Smart Away is active

Look for the following indicators on your thermostat:
 
Smart Home:
Smart Away:
 
 
Working hand-in-hand with your Comfort Settings, Follow Me mode allows you to target comfort where it matters most. With Follow Me enabled, your thermostat's built-in occupancy sensor and your SmartSensor(s) detect which rooms you and your family are in and your ecobee thermostat sets your home's temperature to prioritize comfort in those rooms.
 

How it works 

When Follow Me mode is enabled your thermostat:

  1. Takes the temperature and occupancy readings from each of the sensors participating in the scheduled Comfort Setting.
  2. Ranks them according to wh­ere you’re spending the most time.
  3. Based on the rankings, calculates the optimal home temperature for the active Comfort Setting.

How to enable Follow Me mode

Go to MAIN MENU > SENSORS > FOLLOW ME > set to Enabled from your thermostat's screen or in the app.
 

Follow Me mode questions and answers

What happens if none of the sensors participating in the active Comfort Setting report motion?

If none of your participating sensors report motion for 30 minutes, your ecobee will set the temperature based on the average of all participating sensors (even in the Sleep Comfort Setting).

I'm spending most of my time in the living room this evening, and I just walked by my kitchen's SmartSensor. I don't want a single reading from my kitchen sensor to determine my home's temperature. In Follow Me mode, how much weight does my ecobee assign to a single reading versus the many readings from the living SmartSensor?

If you walk by a sensor and it detects occupancy, the weight your ecobee assigns to that single reading in calculating the home temperature will be low. In this scenario, most of the weighting will be given to the occupancy readings from the SmartSensor in your living room. To put it differently, the more time you spend in front of a particular sensor the more weight your ecobee will assign to that sensor's readings.

When I leave a room, how long will it be until that SmartSensor's temperature readings no longer factor into my ecobee's temperature averaging calculation?

Follow Me includes participating sensors that have detected occupancy within the past 30 minutes.

If you leave a room and its sensor stops detecting motion, that sensor's temperature readings will be gradually (not immediately) removed from your ecobee's set point calculation over a 30-minute period.

If 30 minutes pass with no occupancy detected, that sensor's reading will be excluded until occupancy is detected again.

What happens to Follow Me mode if I manually adjust the temperature while it's running?

Adjusting the temperature on your thermostat or in the app with the temperature slider (i.e. placing a Manual Hold) activates the Home Comfort Setting. When Home is active the sensors participating in that Comfort Setting participate in Follow Me mode.

To cancel a Manual Hold and resume your scheduled Comfort Setting, tap the X icon on your ecobee's Home Screen. Using the app? Press Cancel on the thermostat Home Screen.


SmartSensor Troubleshooting

 

If you get a message saying verification failed during SmartSensor pairing, it means that you've entered an invalid code pairing code. Double-check that there are no typos in the code and try again.

If your SmartSensor's QR code tag is misplaced or lost at any point and you need to pair or re-pair your SmartSensor, simply pop off the battery cap, then remove the battery. During pairing, scan the QR code on the bottom of the battery compartment or manually enter the 8-digit pairing code (pictured below) into the app manually. (When you're done, remember to put the battery back into your SmartSensor and replace the cap.)

If your SmartSensor isn't pairing, please try the following steps:

1) Flip the battery from the SmartSensor + side down and leave it in the sensor for two minutes.

2) Power-cycle the ecobee by removing it from the wall and leaving it off for about two minutes.

3) Restart your smartphone. 

4) After two minutes, place the ecobee back on the wall and wait for it to finish powering up.

5) Ensure that your ecobee and phone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network once they power back on.

6) Re-insert the battery + side up into your SmartSensor and try the pairing process again.

7) If the sensor still fails to pair, please check the firmware version of your thermostat under Main Menu > About > Firmware and make sure it is on the latest firmware version.

If not, please contact support to have an upgrade manually pushed.

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If the sensor still doesn't pair, please contact ecobee Support at 1-877-932-6233 or via Live Chat for further assistance.

SmartSensor uses a single 3-volt CR-2477 battery. They can be readily found in most hardware stores as well as from online retailers such as Amazon.

To change the battery, simply pop the back cap off, remove the dead battery, and place the new battery in. Ensure that the positive side is facing up.

Note: If you're having trouble removing the back cap or removing the battery, try using a small, thin tool such as a pen, plastic card, or a screwdriver to gently coax the cover off and lift the battery out.

SmartSensor is incompatible with CR2477N batteries.

 

 

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