Motion sensor doubles as emergency light

Wouldn’t it be nice if your motion sensor could double as an emergency light when power goes off? The idea is even more practical when it only goes on when motion is detected. Why waste battery power when it is not needed especially during the day or sleeping or away.

Looking through the Fibaro Motion Sensor documentation, I think this is possible:
You would have to have your Internet connection and SmartThings backed up with a UPS and need a power loss event (several posted on forums). Then the mode on the Fibaro needs to change to Flashlight:

Flashlight mode - LED glows in white through 10 seconds. Each next detected motion extends the glowing by next 10 seconds.

Seems like a project up @wackware’s alley.

One could only wish this would work, the Fibaro being battery powered will not accept configuration changes unless it’s awake. And there’s no way to wake it remotely…


Bummer. Is this a design choice by Fibaro or is this how Z-Wave works?

I believe most if not all battery sensor devices work this way.
The more time the radio is on (transmit or receive) the less the battery life will be.
Since the device is designed as an output only sensor (meaning it doesn’t control anything, unlike a light switch), it makes sense that its radio is sleeping until it’s time to send a state/sensor update.

It’s a manufacture choice. But all manufactures do this because if they didn’t battery life would be 3 seconds lol.

Makes sense. I wonder how much the battery is depleted when the Z-Wave radio is always on. I know the battery powered August Smart Lock uses Low Energy Bluetooth somewhat successfully.

Some newer Z-Wave devices use FLiRS technology or “beaming”. It allows Z-Wave controller to communicate with battery-powered slaves at any time (with maximum 1 second wait time). All Z-Wave locks are FLiRS devices. I don’t know about Fibaro motion sensor though.

I found a German page that indicates Fibaro Motion Sensor does NOT support FLiRS:

FLiRS: Nein

Zis iz too schlecht. :smile:

On the second thought, it may still be possible. Typically, Z-Wave controller queues up commands destined for sleeping slaves. When the sensor detects motion, it wakes up to send command to the controller, then controller sends all queued commands to the slave.

I’m not sure I understand the use case here.

When I lived in a rural area with frequent power outages, most people just got a $10 power failure flashlight which plugs into a wall socket and lights up brightly if there’s a power failure. The point is you want to be awakened if the power goes off so you can deal with it (if nothing else, to call the power company). You take the light out of the socket and use it as a flashlight if needed. Although at our house we just also keep a stand up LED emergency light in each bedroom with a carry handle you can take from room to room.

Eton is the Red Cross recommended brand for the power failure notifier, but there are lots of others.

And this is the 96 lumens Energizer standup lantern we use for area light in a blackout, over 100 hours on D batteries.

So the Eton wakes us up when the power goes off and the Energizer is easily portable and provides wide area light.

If your fibaro isn’t going to light up until you move into its path, where are you going to position it? And are you just going to sleep through the outage unless you happen to wake up for some other reason?

With so many good standup flashlights available now, I don’t think I’d want to use UPS power to maintain motion detector lighting in an emergency, it seems like there are higher priority uses for emergency power. What am I missing?

Nerds will always be nerds. :smiley:

Family Acceptance Factor. This one is worth a lot of points.