Motion sensors in the bedroom - how are you handling "tossing and turning?"

I’ve seen people say they have motion sensors in the bedroom. I’m thinking about adding one to our bedroom to control some lights in the middle of the night - LEDs under the bed (not installed yet), etc.

For those that do have this kind of setup, how are you handling the normal tossing and turning that people do in the middle of the night while asleep? Are you using a specific sensor with a high threshold? My wife is sold on the idea of LEDs under the bed (I’ll shoot for purple since that is her favorite color). But, I really need to get this one correct from an activation standpoint since it is our bedroom and she is a light sleeper. If they come on all the time…epic fail on my part. :frowning:


Oh man, I sleep walk, or pop up like a 80’s mummy movie randomly, so accent lights are the way to go for me! A motion sensor would be disastrous! That, or if she’s using a Fitbit, she can manually turn on the lights by tapping it 5 times and lights turn on, through

I have a motion sensor in the den of my house. It turns on a nightlight after sunset but my cats were setting it off constantly. Ultimately I ended up sitting it on a bookshelf at about knee height pointing upwards. Now only the humans set it off.

I tried to do something like this in the bedroom, but I haven’t been able to find a good place to put the sensor so that it is higher than the bed, but no too high that it fails to go off when we are walking around in the room.


I have motion sensors in the bedroom but they are used to shut stuff off after set inactivity time. Same with most of my motion sensors. 2 cats 2 dogs it was more of a hassle. Even the pressure sensors on the steps which I do use the animals have set off a few times.

I haven’t done this, but instead of having something too high, maybe you could put one below the bed so it only sees feet on the ground. This of course wouldn’t work if there are pets involved.

You’ll have to experiment with placement. Mine is high, pointing somewhat away from the bed. I also have different behaviors based on what time it is. When sleeping, it only fires up a couple of blooms in a dimmed red.

I’ve found Mr Beams lights to be preferable to networked lights in this use case.

The lights are in the cool side, so I ‘corrected’ that with yellow nail polish.

If you want to hook them up to smartthings, once the Fibaro binary sensor ships this should be easy enough with the addition of a 23A battery for 12v power. There is plenty of room in the plastic shell to house everything.

I separated it as a zone. I have bedroom sensor setup to change mode to “I’m Here” so that can take dog out and such before it times out and goes back to “Night”. However, similar to you I do not want to disarm system (or turn on light) just to get up to go to bathroom.

The code below sees if zone 1 and then zone 2 are passed, else will reset to previous mode (i.e. “night”) within 10 seconds rather then 15 minutes (configurable).

You could take that example code and if not constant movement for 30 seconds or couple zones passed do or don’t or do something like turn on light.

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When it’s time for bed, I tap a widget on my phone’s homescreen (using SharpTools) that activates my Good Night mode. The motion sensing lights don’t work in this mode. When I wake up, I tap another widget that activates Good Morning mode.


This is pretty much how we do it…but I think the motion sensor in good night mode linking to accent hue strips under the bed frame is an awesome idea.


I think Im going to end up getting two cheap motion sensors, probably Monoprice sensors, and put them under each side of the bed aimed outward. That will catch our feet as we get out of bed.

The only thing that stinks about the monoprice senrors are the shape. They are designed to aim downward on a flat vertical surface. I need to take mine for the garage and figure out the best way to mount it to our frame.

No pets in the home?

I have my foot level touchless switch fairly hidden and pointing straight down. . I can swing a foot over and intentionally trigger it, but the dog doesn’t set it off.

I have another friend who put it on the side of the nightstand facing the wall. He can wave a hand over it intentionally as he stands up, otherwise it doesn’t trigger.

If you’re willing to require intentional action, you still get ease of use but you can leave the lights off altogether if you want.

Also, you won’t run the batteries down by triggering as you’re getting into bed or just walking around the room.


This is one room in my entire house which is motion sensor free because of obvious reasons.

Looking at activity logs for my bedroom sensor, it detects motion on average of 20 times a night because of my tossing and turning. As a result, I set Night mode and don’t use it when I’m in bed for the night (but it’s active when I’m in Away mode). My Night mode is only used for my alarms.

All pets are kicked out of the bedroom when we go to bed. My wife is a light sleeper and the cats would wake her up.

So, I think the motion sensors under the bed to just catch our feet will work fine.

Just remember they’ll trigger whether you’re getting in bed or out of bed.

Want kind of LEDs are you looking at? Something plugged into a zwave power outlet or something else?

I was looking into this before I ran across the SmartThings hub. Another person had done it pretty much the exact way you’re talking about. He put a PIR sensor under his bed connected to a RaspberryPi to trip when his feet passed by. He said it worked out really well.

He also did a stair lighting project that utilized a light beam to trip the system. Could be useful if you wanted to trip it as you walked into or out of the room, but only if you cross the threshold of the door. The sensors he used obviously aren’t Z-Wave, but could probably be adapted if you’re handy enough.

Funny you should ask that. I was going to write a post tonight asking for suggestions on using inexpensive blue LED strips from Amazon. So, I just need to know how to best connect them AND make them dimmable.

Something like this…

Although maybe purple if my wife wants it. I don’t think I need multi-color, but if they aren’t expensive I might be persuaded! I need to run it down both sides of the bed underneath, so I need to be able to connect them together to just use one power source.

Use red or extremely warm light. Blues, greens, etc dilate the pupils and signal that it’s time to wake up.

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