Best way to light up driveway upon arrival- any ideas?

Hello all, first let me explain the setup, I have a couple amazon echos and an amazon show. I am looking to get a smartthings hub shortly.

I park my car in the back of my house, I have a flood light that has a motion sensor and turns on for a couple minutes when it senses motion.

The distance from where I park the car to the motion sensor(above the back house door) is about 15-18 yards, the sensor doesn’t pick up the motion when I park my car. I would like the flood light to turn on as soon as I park the car and at least until I get to the door.

I am not familiar with the Samsung SmartThings Arrival Sensor but the reviews are horrible and I am not sure it will have the range. Another option is turning the light manually from the smartthings app but I am wondering if there is another option.

I have a setup that does what you are describing, the only problem is that it is not cheap. I live in a rural area, so I have a 1,000’ driveway. There may be a cheaper way to use my idea depending on the distances involved.

I have a a Dakota Alert driveway monitor which has the ability to connect to an external device. I have this device connected to a Schlage door sensor (one of the few z-wave door sensor with the ability to connect to wired devices). This results in every time I trigger the driveway monitor, the door sensor closes. From there it is easy to set up a Smart Lighting rule that turn my smart switches that control my outdoor lights on.

Driveway Monitor -
Contact Sensor -


You can save a few bucks by using the Ecolink contact sensor, which appears to be the same hardware as the Schlage sensor. I’ve used a few in applications where I want to monitor an external contact and been very happy.

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Thanks. That one didn’t come up in my research. Did you come up with a better way to get the wires in there beyond cutting a hole in the plastic?

There is a tiny gap between the halves of the case on mine and in a couple of applications I was able to squeeze a thin cable through the gap and still close the lid, but for anything larger I’d cut a new hole :frowning:

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I’m using WebCoRE to do something similar. Basically, the logic is "if presences changes to home from away and it’s after sunset, turn on 3 lights, leave them on for 5 minutes, and then turn them off. My phone is the presence sensor. The lights come on when I get within a block of two from the house.

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this sounds like a pretty good idea. I just checked a short video on WebCoRe, is it like an IFTTT for SmartThings? can you elaborate on the code or on the instructions if possible. A tutorial for dummies will be amazing! :slight_smile:

WebCoRE is an application that interacts with SmartThings and allows you to do develop complex routines (or simple ones, if that’s all you need). These routines are called pistons. There is a mobile app, but I use the web-based interface. I find it very easy to use and have created some very powerful automation routines with it.

Here’s a snapshot of the piston that turns on my garage and driveway lights when my presence changes from away. Because I enter my home from my garage into my kitchen, it also turns on the kitchen lights if they’re off or very dim.

There’s a wiki here:

There’s also a community forum. It’s full a good examples and the folks over there are very helpful. It’s located here:

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This is exactly what I do. Works pretty darn good. If the delay is too much then just widen your Geofence in the SmartThings App.

Everyone has (or should have) a smartphone now-a-days. It works even better if you have your wi-fi enabled. I come home and the lights turn on and the door unlocks. Once inside, and I lock the door, the light goes off or it stays on for 5 minutes then automatically goes off.

I use webCoRE for quite a bit of my automations which ranges in the hundreds.


I think there are a few analog motion detectors that will wire up to the Contact sensor too. I think there is a reasonably cheap outdoor one. (Might be a Dakota product too.)

You could also try the Outdoor Blink camera and use the Blink Camera Device Handler plugin. That will let the camera’s motion sensor trigger things. I haven’t tried it, but it should work.

I have an Arlo Cam at a middle point in the driveway that triggers all of my exterior lights to turn on for 15 minutes. Works really well plus alerts us that someone is in our driveway. Usually just a deer tho lol.

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Deer are the reason I went with the driveway monitor I selected. Most, if not all, deer don’t have enough metal in them to set off it’s sensor. There are cheaper motion based ones that would work with my setup if deer aren’t a problem in your area.

I have s couple Arlo too, I have found that the Arlo q is better for motion sensor since it works with change of pixels, the Arlo pro takes a bit to pick up motion. But the arlo q would have to be behind a window. The problem is that the back of my house is an alley and there are other cars that drive by. The webcore alternative sounds very inexpensive and very interesting.

I use the Blink XT for Driveway duties as well. To turn on/off lights (Porch and Garage) but I had to be a little creative with my webCoRE piston(s) as it is necessary to regulate video length and re-trigger times according to how much motion, who’s home and whether or not the front door or garage door was opened in the last x amount of minutes.

Ring Pro works much better at motion as it sends instant motion events vs Blinks having to record a clip, send it to the cloud, then back to ST to register a motion event. The longer your initial video length, the longer the wait period is to receive a motion event.

I wanted to revisit this, using WebCoRE is a great idea but I have a question, I currently have a flood light fixture with a motion sensor, to use ST hub I would have to change the flood light bulb to a smart flood bulb. Now, I can switch the light fixture for a non motion sensor and get this smart bulb that has motion detection but I am not sure that it will turn on since it requires motion to turn on.

I guess I can also change the switch for a smart switch and have the WebCoRE code turn on/off a dumb flood light but then there won’t work for sensing motion.

any ideas? basically I want to be able to turn the flood light when I get home, the motion sensor doesnt pick it up from where I park the car, hence using WebCoRe, and turn off after 1-2 minutes and then go back to being a motion sensor flood light.

This is a lot cheaper… sensor supposedly carries a quarter mile though