Light switch on and off based on sensor—but not every time?

I want to rig the bulb in the toilet to come on when the door is closed and off when it opens again (cos the kids tend to leave the light on no matter how often I shout at them). I have a multipurpose sensor, which I’ve set to do this - however, this now means I can’t close the toilet door, for obvious reasons. Is there a way of adding a layer to the automation that will check for presence? I do have a presence sensor (though I don’t think it does what I thought it did before I ordered the starter kit) as well but I was hoping to use that for something else - though if I don’t have any other choice, there’s the option of that.

Is there anything I can actually do or am I stuck with just leaving the door slightly ajar?

Maybe a motion sensor would work better. Turn on with motion and off after X minutes of no motion.

Thank you, I’ll try that instead.

Sure, there are lots of things that you can do. If you use webcore, which is an advanced rules engine for smartthings, you could have the light only turn off every other time the door is closed, for example.

That said, my own Experience is that an open/close sensor just doesn’t tend to work for bathrooms Unless you live by yourself and have very predictable habits.

There are just too many different reasons why someone might open the door a second time or leave it ajar. Kids are obvious, But also you may need to get a towel or toothpaste or something and you may not shut the door behind you each time.

For this reason, I do think most people use motion sensors rather then contacts sensors for bathrooms, or a combination of the two.

The following FAQ explains how you can set up more complex rules. (This is a clickable link). But before you get into that, you may want to just think through all the different patterns that would be detected by the devices you have, and whether that will work for you.

Well, it’s literally just a little room with the toilet in, not the bathroom, so that might actually work. I’ll give that a go, thank you :slight_smile:

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As far as what the presence sensor does, It’s not for room by room detection. It has a range of about 50 feet from the other zigbee devices in your home. Once it has been away from your network for at least three minutes, your system will mark it as “away.” When you return, within about 30 seconds of being back in range of your house (not a specific room) it will mark it as being “home“ again.

So it’s for tracking coming and going from your house, not for room to room location.

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you might be interested in the rooms manager smart app


Do you need to automate On? My family are experts at turning on switches but terrible with off. I put a contact on my toilet closet that turns off the light when the door is opened and that solved my problem of light being left on.