Controlling Exterior Floodlights with HomeSeer HS-FLS100+ Z-Wave Plus Floodlight Sensors: Will this Work?


#1

Our house has four conventional exterior floodlights, one on each corner of the house. The floodlights are controlled by a three-way switch circuit with one switch on the first floor and another switch on the second floor. That way the previous owners could turn the lights on manually if they heard something outside.

Right now there is no motion control to turn the lights on. I’d like to add Z-Wave motion control that turns on all four floodlights if motion is detected by any one of them. Here’s the approach I’m considering. Does this make sense?

  1. Retrofit the new HomeSeer HS-FLS100+ Z-Wave Plus Floodlight Sensor to each floodlight fixture.

  2. Modify the wiring in the interior three-way circuit single-gang junction boxes so the Z-Wave floodlight sensors are always hot.

3A. Install a Z-Wave on/off switch in each interior junction box and cap the load wire so the switch acts only as a simple scene controller. A single tap on the top of the rocker would activate a scene to turn all four floodlights on; a single tap on the bottom of the rocker would activate a scene to turn all four floodlights off. If any of the four motion detectors triggers, it would activate the “Floodlights On” scene and that scene would time-out after X minutes.

3B. Alternatively, install a Vizia RF + 4-Button Remote Scene Controller in each junction box. The top button would control the floodlight scene (push to turn them all on / push again to turn all off), the second button would control a “Good Night” scene to turn off all the house lights. I’m not sure what I would use buttons #3 and #4 for.

What do you think? Does this make sense? Is it workable? How much programming is required to make this work?


#2

The HomeSeer should work just fine.

I have 4 of them and have done like you said and change the light switch so the power is always connected. I then put a smart switch in its place (nothing tied to the load) and use automation to turn on and off all the lights when I toggle the switch.

At the same time, if the switch is off and one of the sensors gets tripped, it turns on the switch witch in turn turns on the other lights. You have to add a little extra logic to handle turning all off but there is a lot of control over the sensor itself. I don’t even want to attempt to explain the extra features as I think it will get confusing.

In the end it should be fine for what you are wanting to do.


#3

Thanks, Gavin – it’s great to hear that you did exactly what I was thinking about. Where did you add the logic? Can it be done in the ST Hub or do you need to write a DTH?


#4

I originally wrote it in WebCore. That was probably the easiest way. However I have since moved away from smartthings and webcore to Hubitat (which is very similar) and writing my own apps. The performance difference between webcore and an app is significant. Light switches are almost instant.


(Warren Evans) #5

I’d like to be able to set my motion flood light to only come on when the alarm is Armed. The light overlooks my desk and if we’re hanging out and watching the stars, having the security light flash is a bummer.

But, I don’t see a simple way to do it. I suppose I could use Core to turn off the light if it sees motion and the alarm is Disarmed. But, I’m guessing that will still result in the light coming on briefly.

Another option would be to put the floodlight and HS-FLS100 on a z-wave switch, so I can turn the whole thing off. That adds extra complexity, and I won’t be able to use it as a light meter for other things nor will I be able to see the motion events when the switch is off.

Any other ideas?


#6

I tried the HS-FLS100+ and ended up returning it. Instead I’m using a zwave dimmable switch (connected to my dumb floodlight) and outdoor zwave motion sensor. The homeseer didn’t allow for adjusting the sensitivity of motion at all, and the parameter to adjust the length of time the lights should stay on (in the smarthings settings for the device) were ignored.

Effectively all I could do with Homeseer / smartthings combo was turn the light on or off. Motion from my dog wasn’t enough to turn the lights on, so it was kind of a waste. My new setup works perfectly and is much more configurable and feature rich than the Homeseer.


#7

Thanks for letting us know the HS-FLS100 does not have a sensitivity adjustment. That’s is a deal killer for me.

What outdoor Z-Wave motion sensor are you using? Is it reliable? Do you get a lot of false positives (leaves, spiders, trees bending in the wind, sunlight at various times of the day)?


#8

I’m using this - Motion sensor
Works like a champ and it has Lux sensor as well. I haven’t had one false positive with it yet. It’s been only 2.5 weeks, but thus far I love it. I use it to tell the dimmer when to light up the yard for my dogs (20 lbs) and 5 minutes after motion stops the light dims back down to 20%. No delay either, I open the door, dogs saunter out, and instantly the flood lights go on.

I mounted it right over the door about 3 feet from the flood light, but since it’s battery operated you can put it anywhere you want.