Automating the bathroom lights: how to keep them from turning off while someone is in the shower?

My master bathroom has a couple of sections to it one is a dressing Room and vanity area in the other is where the commode and shower are.

I want to automate the lighting for the commode and shower using my motion sensor but this causes a little bit of a problem. You see I can automate it to where it turns off the light after 5 minutes of inactivity but with a shower curtain closed it doesn’t notice the motion in the actual shower stall so 5 minutes in your shower it goes dark. I don’t want to extend the timer on the inactivity because I don’t wanna have the light on longer than we have to when someone decides to get up at 2:00 in the morning and use the toilet.

That leaves me with the conundrum of how to make this actually work. So how would I be able to make it see as it were motion in the shower? This Room is all of about 6’ by 6’ and is simply a regular bath tub shower with a shower curtain a commode immediately next to the shower and a standard bathroom window the motion sensor is on the little piece of window wall before the wall turns on the door side and is approximately 5’ off the ground.

I use an open/close sensor on the bathroom doors in addition to the motion sensor. If the door is closed, the light won’t change state regardless of the state of the motion sensor. I have used this method for years and it works great.

Now, if your shower area does not have a door, other options will have to be explored.

This is a very common issue. People use several different approaches for this.

See the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki, look down near the bottom of the page for the “project reports” section and then for the “lists by room” subsection.

There’s a list there for bathroom projects which lists several different approaches. :sunglasses:

@oldcomputerwiz suggestion of the contact sensor is a good one. Other people use a humidity sensor to see if the humidity is rising (that will happen when showers going)

If there’s a bathmat in front of the shower area that you don’t step on unless you’re getting into or out of the shower you can use that to override the motion sensor by putting a pressure sensor in it.

A lot of people adding some logic based around the door to the bathroom being closed. That may or may not work depending on the habits of the household.

You can add a button somewhere convenient as you are getting in or out of the shower and use that to pause the motion sensor. Or you can just create a rule that if the medicine cabinet is open, that should be treated the same way as motion detected, and just remember to leave it a jar until you get out of the shower again.

You can use Alexa to override the motion sensor.

Lots of different ideas. The community is very creative. :sunglasses:

So start by checking out the existing project reports.

I do have a spare ADT door and window detector. How would I set up the rules to override the motion sensor role or say turn off the light after the doors been open for a couple minutes?

When I was using WebCORE, I did it all within one piston. When I moved everything (well almost everything) to “native” ST apps, I used a virtual switch and 3 Smart Lighting rules.

Rule #1 - open/close sensor turns the virtual switch on/off.

Rule #2 - turn on the bathroom light when motion is sensed as long as the virtual switch is off.

Rule #3 - turn off the main bath light (after 5 minutes) when motion stops as long as the virtual switch is off

I am sure there are other ways to do this but this one worked the best for me in Smart Lighting.

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I use WebCoRE to control my bathroom lights. It worked fine except for the shower part - just like your issue. So, I modified the piston so that if the manual light switch (or via the ST App) is turned on before the motion sensor turns the lights on - or off then back on after the lights have been turned on via the motion sensor, the lights will stay on indefinitely until manually/or via the ST App, turned off again. Kinda a manual switch/ST App override. Works well and once it’s use is taught, easily remembered.

I had the same problem. Solved it by putting a motion sensor in the shower above the shower head works great and stays dry.

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Or add a humidity sensor like the Zooz 4 in 1 to sense when them humidity rises at a high rate. You can then set a rule that delays the turning off of the light. This is what I did and works great.

Nothing wrong with adding multiple sensors to solve issues.

Ordered an ADT Smartthings motion sensor…

My spare contact Sensor wont pair.

But what you say about mounting it above the shower the only concern I have with that is due the motion sensor’s well I don’t have to ask it look down? So no problem my lovely bride is only 5’ tall so I want to make sure that it will keep the light on when she’s in the shower.

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I have an ecolink PIR motion sensor mounted above the wall in my shower and it works flawlessly.

I finally managed to get my spare sensor to pair and figured out the problem. It would be nice if Samsung would ship a sensor that has the same pairing code on the little sticker thing outside of the case as it is on the inside. Now that I have the door sensor and the motion sensor there how what I can figure this and software? I want the light to come on with motion in the bathroom and I want it to go off with the door open after 5 minutes but to stay on if the door is closed.

I can grab some screenshots for you of my rulrd in smart lighting before I go to bed. My show is done in a few minutes.

That would be greatly appreciated

First you will need to create a virtual switch in the IDE or use the virtual switch createt app in the market place.

Rule #1 - virtual Sw on/off with door sensor. I named it main bath door (virtual switch)

Rule #2 - light on w/motion. For this rule, ignore my DND switch and use your virtual switch. I have another interlock to keep the light from illuminating if I have house guests. Also, if you always want the light to turn on with motion, you don’t even need to put a switch in for the “only if switch setting”. I like it because in the morning, when I use the main bath for a shower, I like the subdued natural light.

Rule #3 - light off when motion stops

Hope this helps @BigHoss

Yep, that did the trick, however I think I located a spot higher up on the wall that will allow me to relocate the ADT motion sensor that is already there, that should catch motion in both the shower, and the commode… I am trying to get it all done with as little as possible…

I looked at using the motion sensor alone but sometimes other activities keep you in the bathroom for a longer period of time and I’m not one to want to have my hands to turn the lights on.

I have installed door sensors on all of our interior doors and if they are closed, the motion sensors are ignored for that room. It works well for how our house functions. Everyone has different needs.

I know this is old but thanks I will give this a try see if it works for me.

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This worked out prefect for me and the wife has no issues or complaints :+1:t6: :+1:t6: :+1:t6:

I’m glad it worked for you. I just reread this thread and noticed I had used smart lighting to set this up. You might want to see if you can duplicate it in automations (which I think is now called routines?). It’s my understanding that SmartThings is going to kill off the smart lighting app when they kill groovy in the not to distant future.

I have moved to a different brand of hub so I’m no longer familiar enough with ST to help with the move. Good luck!


just when I got it working prefect I am see if I can set it up in routines. Thanks for the info.