Leverage Dumb Garage Door Motion Sensors

Many garage doors have built in motion sensors that trigger integrated lights on a timer. Does anyone know of a clever device that can be screwed into a light bulb socket but would appear like a motion sensor to ST? That would indirectly allow ST to get events from these dumb motion sensors without wiring in a relay.

I considered a regular smart bulb and messing with the driver, but looking for a plug-n-play solution if one exists.

Some door/window sensors have a mode where you can make them an overhead door sensor as they measure tilt. There are other overhead door sensors as well. I added the old Smartthings Multipurpose sensor to my garage door long ago and it works great. I have the MyQ system on my garage door which has it’s own sensor but does not work with ST.

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It all depends on the details. I can think of at least three options.

  1. start with the smart bulb idea.

I don’t know of anything that would “appear as a motion sensor,” but if a smart bulb would fit the socket AND it’s a brand that reports restoration of power (not all do), you could use that bulb coming on as a trigger event. If necessary, have the bulb coming on turn on a virtual motion sensor if you truly need motion sensor events. That way you don’t have to change the bulb driver.

I would try a Sengled bulb first as they are one of the only smart bulbs designed to handle regular power cuts from a manual switch. If that doesn’t work, just be aware that any other smart bulb you get is likely to burn out much sooner than usual because of the inrush current each time the power is restored to the bulb.

  1. Another option is not to replace the existing bulbs: instead add a nearby lux sensor to report when the lights came on. You might need to put it in a box on the ceiling with only one side open so it would only trigger when those specific lights came on. It could take some trial and error.
  1. Historically, though, what most people have done for this use case is just put a standalone tilt sensor on the door that works with SmartThings. Usually these can even report the difference between opening and closing. Then use that as the trigger event. And again, if necessary, use it to trigger a virtual motion sensor.

I think the ecolink has been the most popular for this purpose. :sunglasses:

@Mike12 / @JDRoberts Thank you for the replies. I don’t think I was very clear in my question. The goal wasn’t to check the open/close status of the door, but to use the actual motion sensors built into the garage door opener as part of a lighting and security setup. Obviously, motion sensors aren’t very expensive, but I was looking for a way to take advantage of these since they are here.

@JDRoberts The virtual motion device is a good idea if paired with a bulb or lux meter. It at least removes the need for a custom driver.

The tilt sensor accomplishes the same goal for most use cases in that it is reacting to the physical event that the same garage door motion sensors are reacting to.

You don’t use it just to check open and close: you can get event reports for opening and closing. Triggering on those should be the same as triggering on the light that comes on from the existing door.

Door opens, light comes on and tilt sensor sends an event report; both are responding to the same action.

And the tilt sensors are pretty cheap, often on sale for $30.

But obviously it’s up to you. :sunglasses:

The motion sensors I am referring to are unrelated to the door opening. They are triggered by walking in and out of the garage and turn on the integrated lights for the GDO. They do also turn on when the door opens. Imagine the door is left open, or someone comes in through a side door. That is the motion I am looking to capture.

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Got it. Sorry I misunderstood.

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The overly complicated solution that comes to mind is to open up the GDO case, connect a 120V relay to the wires supplying the lamp socket (like this: RIBU1C - Functional Devices RIBU1C - Enclosed Pilot Relay, 10 Amp, SPDT w/ 10-30 Vac/DC/120 Vac Coil) and connect the NO output to the secondary contacts on a WADWAZ-1 or similar contact sensor. You’ll need a device handler that tells ST to treat the contact sensor as a motion sensor in order for it to show up as expected in your automations.

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