Lights & Motion Sensor in Bathroom?


I am expecting a new Aeon Labs G5 6 in 1 multi Z-wave in a day or two and very excited. :sunglasses:

Current Setup
2 Wall Switches
2 ceiling incandescent bulbs (60W)
3 incandecent bulbs (Above Medicine Cabinet)(60W)

Will be replacing smart led bulbs or Z-wave/Zigbee either ways…I know with the switches i would probably need to involve an electrician ( As I am not an expert)

I would appreciate any input or suggestion regarding smartapps/setup.I know there is Smartapps Bathroom Lighting Control but as far as i am aware its designed for a single light.


Pretty much anything that works for one light can be made to work for multiples if only by having one light follow the other. The first question, though is really what behavior you would like to see.

Lighting Controls are Based on Lifestyle and Personal Preference

Lighting is one of those things that’s very personal. Some people are fanatics about saving energy and they will set the lights to turn off after 15 minutes no matter what.

Some have fairly regular habits, and will set the light to turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity. This will work in some homes, and not in others.

Some people don’t bother to put bathroom lights on a schedule and all, they just have a lights out as part of the good night routine that turns off all the lights. Of course this works best when you’re the only person in the house!

Some people put light control under voice control and use echo.

Again, if you’re the only person in the house, you might like the “lights follow being” concept where lights turn on as you enter a room and off in the previous room. Not great if you have a new girlfriend staying over, however. :wink:

One of the issues with bathroom light is what you do when someone is taking a bath or shower. These are often read as periods of inactivity but of course you don’t want the lights to go off while someone is in the shower.

And even if you do live by yourself, you may have guests occasionally. But some people have really complex motion sensor based routines that run when they’re the only ones home, and then they have a guest mode which pretty much removes all the “turn off” functionality.

SmartThings Gives You Many Different Control Options

So, you have a lot of basic tools to work with.

You can have lights turn on and off by voice.

You could have lights turn on and off based of time of day.

You can have lights turn on and off based on whether it’s dark outside. Or based on sunrise and sunset times.

You could have lights turn on when there is activity on a motion sensor.

You can have lights turn off after a period of inactivity on a motion sensor ( this is the tricky one.)

You can have light to turn on for a fixed period of time and then turn off again (another tricky one)

You can have lights turn off when there is activity in a different room. So if there’s activity in the bedroom, turn off the bathroom light. But again, that works best if you’re the only one in the house. And if you don’t have a dog.

But Define Your Use Cases First, then Choose the Tools to Accomplish Them

But all of these are just tools. Before you can decide which ones you’re going to use design what are called “use cases.” This is just a paragraph or so explaining what’s going to happen from the persons point of view not the systems. Things like “I pull my car into the driveway and the lights come on in the garage and the kitchen.” Or, "when the bathroom door opens, the lights come on. They stay on until I tell them to turn off by voice. "

When you know what you want the system to do, you can figure out how to make it do that. :sunglasses:

10 minutes!? Other then the areas where I will be sitting or laying, I set my timeouts for one minute :smiley:

Aside from the current bug where it’ll switch of even if motion persists, when I was on Wink I think the kitchen lights only ever turned off twice accidentally.

So nobody in your house stands and looks out a window while they’re talking on the phone?

Or takes more than a minute to get their mirror selfie posed just right? :wink:

Or does standing yoga poses?

Or stands in the hallway watching the news on television while talking to a child who’s getting ready for school in the bedroom?

Or changes a lightbulb?

Or cleans inside the kitchen cabinets?

Or stands at the door while the dog goes out in the yard?

Or talks to someone sitting in the living room while they’re waiting in the kitchen for the microwave to finish?

Maybe they don’t. But the point is just that different households have different lifestyles. And the length of time before an inactive motion sensor triggers a light to go off can be very tricky. :sunglasses:

Absolutely and I honestly thought I’d have to set a much longer timer but since it was all new to me I decided that what I was going to do was set it to 1 minute at first and then keep adjusting it higher if it kept going dark, until it never really went dark while we were in the kitchen… but it never really happened so I just kept it at one minute!

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Most of mine are 1 or 2 minutes. But, I did discover the unpleasant way that my wife can remain motionless in her closet for longer than that, and likewise while putting on makeup. I just pushed those up to 5 minutes, which I think is overkill, but happy wife is way up on my priority list. :grinning:


Yeah once I get round to more motion sensors I’m sure different rooms will require longer timers, I figured there was going to be a longer time for number 2’s in the bathroom for example :smile:

yeah, “happy wife, happy life” and “cheaper to keep her” are two sayings to live by :wink:

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Sandy, understanding what you are looking to happen is critical to figuring out how to do it. Is it just switching on and off lights are you putting in dimmers? What about a fan?
I am not sure which Bathroom Smartapp you are referring to, but don’t get stuck with what “room it is” look for the functionality in what you are trying to automate.

I have several different lighting routines in my kitchen that run at various times of the day. I have all of them running using Smart Lighting, but some of the lighting scenarios take two automations to accomplish (one motion detector triggers two routines.)

@JDRoberts is on the mark with “Define Your Use Cases First, then Choose the Tools to Accomplish Them”

And another JDRoberts-ism “your use case is not my use case.” Only you know what your lights to do, once you define that then you will get a dozen answers on how to do it. They may run the gamut of a simple smart app to a Rube Goldberg setup.

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Lee,I am just looking for simple things now,no complications for now,I don’t have a fan for now and I also don’t intend to automate the medicine cabinet lights for now.Agree with Bruce & Jovan… Happy ife is everything in life.One step at a time.I just want the lights to stay on when the wife and kid goes inside the bathroom for 5-10 mins other then shower.The lights should not go off when someon’s in the shower.That’s all.

Surprisingly,I take long showers too :smiley:

I put motion sensors in the showers (way up high and away from any water). That was the easiest way to keep the bathroom lights on when someone is in the shower. Then, my daughter discovered for me that you need a much longer timer for someone taking a bath, and just soaking!!

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I’m still thinking pooping will require the longest timer, at least with a bath/shower you’re moving around cleaning yourself, it’s not like you’re doing jazz hands while going for a poop now is it? :smile:

…I mean… unless that’s your thing? :neutral_face:

I just solved the shower / throne issue with a timer switch for my lighted exhaust fan. I set it for however long I wish to shower and I vent the humidity.

You could try a pressure sensor on the seat and you wouldn’t need a timer :smiley:


Thanks JDRoberts I am going to try some of my uses and see how it goes.

However,I just had a question for everyone…

Does anyone know if power is being consumed if the lights/switches are in “On” position but have wifi bulbs/other electrical appliances that are in “Off” state.

The point being is that the switch is still on.

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It’s a very tiny amount of power, just enough to power the radio to hear the next on command. Much less than the bulb itself will actually use when it’s lit up.

Sorry I answered the wrong question. If you mean the dumb switch is on to provide power to a smart bulb which is off, then it’s the bulb that does continue to draw a tiny amount of power to keep its radio active. But a very small amount.

If you have a smart switch which is on enough to hear the next “on” command, it uses a very small amount of power to run its radio.

So whether the radio is in the switch or the bulb, a very small amount of power will be drawn so that the radio can hear the next on command. But it’s much less than you would use when the light is actually on.

Okay.I have my bathroom setup with cree connect bulbs and Aeon Gen5 multisensor that triggers it.I am having a slight delay in the lights coming on.Is there a way around this?

There are a lot of different things it can improve the timing. You just have to try them and see.

The first thing is to make sure that the mesh is strong so the signal can get relayed as quickly as possible.

When you paired your devices, both the bulbs and the motion sensor, were they sitting physically in the same places where they are now? Or did you pair them close to the hub and then move them?

It may be that they don’t know who the real neighbors are, in which case you need to “heal” the network and that can clear up a lot of latency. But you may not see the results of the improvement for several hours.

I think that is more a sign of how unreliable Wink is when the sensors only report from 3-30 minutes (days) . I know according to my Wink Spotter at one point the sun never rose for almost a month. So my outside lights never shut off. I thought the world had ended and I missed it .

I have bathroom lights set for 5 minutes and even then the wife has issues of the lights turning off on her when she’s in the shower and the PIR can’t see her moving ( she’s only 5’4" , at 6’4" it has no problem seeing me )
I have the fans set for 15 minutes to clear out any residual steam ( or other gasses ) left in the bathroom after somebody leaves.