I have 2 of the latest ikea motion sensors which I plan to use to detect people walking in the bedroom at night and turning on some floor lighting.
I can position the motion sensors under furniture so that they aren’t set off by movement in the bed, only by feet on the floor.
Motion is detected perfectly and I have it triggering a scene that illuminates light strips on the floor (at about 5%, red, just enough to see where you are walking in the dark).
I do however have an issue
These motion sensors will only report a ‘no motion’ after about 3 minutes of no motion - this I read is by design to conserve battery.
But, I was hoping to turn the lights back off after about 10 seconds of turning on
Does anybody have any suggestions on achieving this?
I guess I could set a timer for 10 seconds to turn off the light following the ‘motion detected’ event - but of course this will mean somebody taking more than 10 seconds to get into bed will find the light cut out before they get there. And it means if somebody sets it off, gets into bed, then somebody gets out of bed within the 3 minutes the lights wont come back on for them.
As @GSzabados notes, some devices are configurable in this regard, some are not. Because a quicker “cooldown” period will use up the batteries MUCH faster, many mass market brands just don’t let you change it.
Also, with any mesh protocol product messages can and do bounce around the network before triggering an action, so most platforms, including SmartThings, will tell you that one minute is the minimum delay you can set between commands and feel certain of reliability. You can try setting a rule based on 10 seconds, but you may find the execution varies significantly.
Anyway, there are some motion sensors that do allow for more configuration, but just be aware that you’re probably reducing battery life. Going to a 10 second cooldown from 3 minutes might mean reducing battery life from a year to about 3 months, maybe even less depending on how often the device is triggered.
BTW, Probably the most configurable motion sensor is the Fibaro multi sensor, and it is popular for those who need very short cooldown periods.
See the manual for the parameters you can configure.
I certainly see why this is the usual operation for all motion sensors
if there is no way to reduce the ‘no motion’ automation, we can live with this until a better solution presents itself.
Just a point of note,
The motion sensors are located in a bedroom which we only use for bed time (not like a kids room where they can spend a lot of time in there), so ‘motion’ events will be triggered infrequently anyway.
Further, if there were a way to tell the motion sensors not to look for motion (essentially switch off) during certain times during the day and/or when the lights are on, that would conserve battery further as moving about after ‘lights out’ is rare.
I do know of an alternative way to do this, but I haven’t found the hardware to support it, and can imagine it may not be cheap:
if I could put ‘pressure’ mats under the mattress, having both sides of the bed occupied would mean ‘switch off the floor lights’. we can then use motion to ‘switch on the floor lights’ (or indeed if the pressure mats show somebody has got out of bed).
This would be a more elegant solution, but I’ve not seen a ZigBee pressure mat available online - and I’m not really skilled enough to build one. Has anybody got/had experience of using a pressure mat? where did you get it from?
There are some home automation systems that work that way, but smartthings is not one of them. Instead of deactivating a motion sensor, you use filters to tell smartthings to ignore the reports from that sensor during specific times or conditions. It’s just the way the architecture is designed, but then, most battery operated sensors don’t have a way to turn off anyway, so it makes sense.
As far as pressure sensors, there are lots of discussions in the forum about those, it’s pretty straightforward. You just get any standard pressure sensor Mat (these are dumb) and then connect it to a device that can communicate to smart things, typically an open/close sensor with dry contacts.
See the following thread (The topic title is a clickable link)
And this list of the kind of dry contact devices you can use:
You might also find the following thread of interest. Although the thread is old and you might use a different selection of devices these days, the basic ideas and approaches still apply:
Finally, there are a couple of pressure Mats and sleep monitors that have an Ifttt channel, so that’s another possibility. Several community members use the Withings Mat this way:
I will add that at our house we found it wasn’t any combination of automated monitoring that would produce the results we wanted, particularly since I have an 85 pound dog who likes to get on the bed.
So instead I put a motion sensor on side of the nightstand facing the bed. As I get in or out of bed, it’s very easy to just slide my hand so that it will trigger the sensor, but nothing else does. So it’s still on demand rather than fully automated, but it’s really easy to use and gives me full control over when to use it.