How to be able to switch lights off manually even when there’s a motion sensor routine to switch them on

How to avoid fighting with the motion sensor…
What if you want to turn the lights off so you can look out at the sky or the weather at night, but don’t want them, turned on again by the motion sensor?
Or maybe just want to sit in the room lit by candlelight?
There’s also a way to do this by only allowing sensor to switch lights on if they have been off for x seconds, but that approach won’t work if you stay in the room too long so I think this approach is better.

Step 1
A routine to detect at least 3 mins of no motion detected

Step 2
A routine to turn on the lights when motion is detected but only after 3 minutes of no motion. It also switches off the no motion switch

Step 3
A routine to switch off the no motion switch when any motion is detected.

Step 4
Turn off lights after 5 mins of no movement

Just to manually keep it from turning on I would add a virtual switch as a precondition. If switch is off as precondition the motion sensor will work. If you turn the virtual switch on then the automation vwont run.

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Yep, but then you’d need to resort to the app to turn the virtual switch off, my wife doesnt use the app. You’d also need to manually switch the virtual switch back on again.

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Add Precondition: Presence: Wife not present. That way when she is at home, automation does not run

Yes, you are correct. Or if you have an Alexa or Google home you could just ask it to flip the switch.

The approach that @milandjurovic71 suggested could also work. However if you want the automations, when she is at home it wouldn’t work.


I’d want the automations going regardless who is at home.
Mostly happy with my own approach, so just sharing for interest really

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@Jake_Mohl I have automations for all possible cases for entire family (wife & 2 kids). They all want to control something manually :exploding_head:. Especially if we have guests.
Adding virtual devices for presence for parents, kids and guest, can help you fine tune automations.


As @milandjurovic71 says, you can use a virtual switch that you add as precondition to the motion automation:

  • Precondition: virtual switch OFF
  • IF: motion detected


  • Turn ON room light

Do another automation to turn ON the virtual switch when you want to disable the movement automation:

  • Precondition: If Motion is Activated
  • IF: the room light turn OFF


  • Turn ON Virtual Switch

To Enable motion automation:

  • IF: Room light turns ON


  • Turnt OFF virtual switch

This is similar the logic I’ve used in my original post.
With the virtual switch as a condition to switch the lights on only true when there’s been no movement for 3 minutes (that is, you’ve just walked into the room)

It doesn’t seem the same to me.

What I propose is to be able to manually disable the motion detection automation when you are in the room, turning off the switch in the room or from the app whenever you want.

Motion detection automation will no longer re-run until you turn on the room light with the switch or from the app

So if you’re in the room and want to switch back on automation. You turn On the light? But then if leaving the room my wife is likely to switch the light off again manually at which point it’ll trigger the automation to switch it on again?

Unless she’s needs to leave the room with the light on…