2 Motion Sensors, 1 Light?

I hope this is the right place to post this question.

My scenario is very simple; 2 ST motion sensors, one at the top of the stairs, one at the bottom.

A GE smart switch controls the staircase light.

I want the staircase light to turn on when either senses Motion, then turn off 10 minutes later. I’ve tried programming this both in the Smart Lighting app and with the SmartRules app. I can only get it to work with one sensor.

I create 3 rules:

  1. If Motion downstairs, then turn light on.

  2. If Motion upstairs, then turn light on.

  3. If no Motion from either sensor for 10 minutes, then turn light off.

Seems pretty simple, but alas, it doesn’t work! If I trigger the downstairs sensor the light comes on, then goes off 10 minutes later, but subsequent trigger of the upstairs sensor doesn’t turn the light on.

If I trigger the upstairs sensor first, it works, but only once. I get down the stairs which triggers the downstairs sensor and after that the upstairs sensor no longer turns the light on, ever.

These are new sensors with full batteries. It doesn’t seem to matter if I let the light time out or I turn it off from the switch. Same behavior.

Hoping someone can offer some insight on this. Thanks for your time.

You can use the lighting director smart app. It’s located in smart apps, lights & switches. It allows you to select multiple motion detectors as the trigger. So if motion on either of them will trigger the selected switch and you can set the turn off time as well.

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Use CoRE.

A Basic Piston

If (any) motion is active (select both motion detectors)
Then First-(using convenience switch) turn on (you can use dimmer if you want a certain percentage)
Second-Wait 10 minutes
Third-Turn off

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Thanks folks!

Lighting Director appears to work. I’ll flush it out over the next day to see if there’s any odd states it gets left in. I’ll take a look at Core too when I get some time. Funny that the other apps can’t handle something this simple, though.

Thanks again.

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I have primarily the same setup for the front hall. Motion sensor in the hall, and a motion sensor outside on the porch. It works as expected. If you walk into the hall the light turns on, if somebody walks onto the porch the light turns on. Both are set to turn off after 5 minutes of no motion. If memory serves I also added a power limit on light to turn off after 5 minutes. ( I like redundancy ) .
My thought is that maybe you could be walking in during the refresh time period.
What I am picturing

  1. You approach the bottom motion sensor and light comes on.
  2. You go up the stairs and trigger the upstairs sensor.
  3. Both sensors are now waiting 10 minutes before they will trigger again ( after the normal 1- 3 minutes before reporting no motion. )
  4. You walk into the upstairs hall and nothing happens because the prior trigger is still active.

I would get rid of the 10 minute delay. Just go with simple on with motion, off with no motion for both sensors.

I’m doing this with SmartLighting. I have both motion sensors (one per flow) selected, light comes on when motion starts and turns off 1 minute after motion ends.

I’ve had this working successfully for months. Because it’s SmartLighting it will run locally if the cloud is not reachable.


Hey Steve,
When you say “one per flow”, do you mean you have 2 separate automations set up? One for each sensor?

I’ve tried all kinds of combinations in Smart Lighting as yes, I’d like it to run if internet happens to be down. But so far setting it up in lighting director is the only success I’ve had. Still experimenting though…

Here’s a screenshot of my SmartLighting automation. I didn’t include the switch selection. The switch is triggered by motion start.

Try creating an automation like mine.

You can also try using Zone Motion Manager, which creates virtual motion zones that can include multiple motion sensor inputs. You can then base your automations / CoRE Pistons on the virtual motion zones.


This works for me. My kid told my wife that he thinks I might have installed a pressure plate on the top and bottom stairs

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Steve, thanks for posting.
I have tried this but it is not working for me. When you put two motion sensors, do you think Smart Lighting does a logical OR, or a logical AND between the two?
What we need is OR. However I think Smart Lighting maybe doing an AND.

I have this working fine with Smart Lighting, though I do have two different motion sensors. I have a Samsung Motion sensor at the top of my stairs and an Econolink one at the bottom. I have both sensors selected and have it set to turn off after 0 minutes due to the Econolink requiring 4 minutes to reset. Has been working without a hitch for the past week.

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I don’t know if lighting director is no longer an option, because all I see is vacation lighting director.

I have two motion sensors in one room and using Smart Lighting when one sensor shows no motion, it shuts off even if the other sensor shows motion.