Ideas for integrating dumb motion sensing light?

I have an existing flood light with motion sensor. I would like to have an alert whenever there is motion. I was debating on getting inovelli Red series switch to use the meter capability and automation to know when the light turns on. I am not totally opposed to changing the light, but I changed it last summer before my smart home journey. Looking for ideas that others have done.

Often the easiest way to know if a light has turned on is just to use a battery operated lux sensor. It may need to be somewhat sheltered pending on your local weather. You don’t want to overheat it too much because of the batteries, so you probably don’t want to put it right inside the light, but you should be able to get it close enough that you’ll be able to recognize when the light is on versus off. :sunglasses:

Sensative makes one which is very thin, and can be painted so you can make it nearly invisible on the wall. It’s also weatherproof. So not the fanciest solution, but very simple.

just get a cheap motion detector and put it up next to the light.

Ebay has the well liked iris motion temp/humidity sensor for $13.

Most PIR motion sensors, including the Iris brand, Don’t work well outdoors for two reasons.

  1. they aren’t weatherproofed

  2. Way too many false alerts. Just a gust of air or a cloud passing over the sun can create enough variance in temperature that you will get an alert. This issue is so significant that Aeotec, for example, recommends that you disable the motion sensor part of their multi sensor if you were going to put it outside.

You can certainly try it and see if it works in a particular location where you want to use it. But it won’t be a surprise if it doesn’t.

Motion sensors for porch light? (2019)

you could try this

I had the same dilemma but was able to wire the dumb pir led light to a simple plug and use a smart power sense socket in between

It has been very successful and 100% reliable for 3 years, when it senses movement at night it switches on, draws current, a smart app picks this up and switches various options on without issue, I have a camera out front which was displayed on a spare pc which output the image via HDMI to the TV input in my lounge, the TV would switch input to HDMI when the power meter detected voltage increase and back when it dropped below a set threshold, although no longer used it was always faultless just by adding a power meter socket to a dumb Pir light

1 Like


I have 10 of the $15 Bosch motion detectors outside on fence posts that have worked well for 3 years. earth rain wind and sun.

1 Like

Sounds like a solid plan and you will have to ability to disable the light if needed. Power metering has always been reliable for me.

1 Like

Sounds like a similar approach. I choose this switch because of the power meter and it should be an easy install. I had already installed about 18 switches and dimmers in the rest of the house. I was worried about any delay e.g. if it polls for change then the light could torn on and off and I would miss the event

1 Like

This is just an idea, as I have not yet allocated the time and money to execute. I am considering adding something like the Aeotec Nano (ZW139) to my motion sensors. The output from the motion sensor would be the S1 switch input. The reason that I am considering this option:

  1. The motion detectors are RAB STL360 - best in the business, by my estimation.
  2. Motion detector output is a relay (NOT a TRIAC), so it is just a switch.
  3. Allows the light to continue to operate as intended.
  4. Provides the state of the light to ST.
  5. Can be controlled through ST, so I can trigger in other ways also.

For me, this will be a whole separate project - moving and adding conduit, replacing metal boxes with non-metallic, etc. Materials and time have not yet been allocated. However, I did something similar for a (4-way) switched outlet in our family room, so I don’t doubt that it will work well.

1 Like

That’s good, but unusual. That’s why I said someone could certainly try a PIR motion sensor outside, and if it works reliably, it works. but it won’t be a surprise if it doesn’t. :sunglasses: