New and planning what I want.... how would you do this (long hallway)

Planning my system and trying to learn as much ahead of time. I have a VERY long hall with light switch at each end. I would like to set it up this way, Motion detected in the hall between the hours of 7am and 10 pm hall lights turn on and 5 minutes with no motion they turn off. So, what equipment would YOU use to do this? Thanks

You will need a hub, a main 3 way compatible z-wave or zigbee switch, an add-on switch and a motion sensor. Depending on how long or if you have turns, you may need additional sensor for coverage. To set up your hub, it would be very straight forward and very easy to do.

For switch, I prefer GE z-wave, because they are less expensive and ST handles them very well. With the dimmer model 12724, you can even set different light levels for different times. For example, I set mine to 50% brightness in the evening and 10% while we sleep, which gives us enough light to see where we walk but doesn’t bother your eyes when you come out of a dark bedroom.


What motion detector(s) would you use?

Smartthings, which are zigbee or Ecolink if zwave, but I prefer ST own motion sensors, although they are not pet imune, which does create a positioning challenge with a cat walking around the house.

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My experience:

Zigbee: ST motion sensors (as Bobby said)
Zwave: Fibaro’s

These are costlier than the other motion sensors and of course pets trigger it. There are tons of parameters on Fibaro’s which can be customized including the sensitivity. I like these because of faster resets where I don’t have to wait 4 minutes to reset motion.

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When considering motion sensor placement, remember that the motion sensors will be most effective when the motion is across the field rather than directly towards the motion sensor. Also, most motion sensors have a sort of teardrop shaped field with the pointy part right at the sensor and then open up away from it to a depth of around 30 feet. Typically they will come down at about 40° from the flat plane of the sensor.

If you have a very long hallway and you put a motion sensor down at one end of it, it may actually have a hard Time picking up people walking towards it in a straight line.

So many people end up putting one motion sensor at each end of the hallway angled from a corner.

You can also use ceiling mount sensors pointing down because the people will be crossing the field as they walk underneath it.

The other question is where are the people going to be coming from and is the purpose of the motion sensor to have lights come on as they go. For those kinds of situations you may need a motion sensor near each doorway in order to have the light come on right away as the people change from one room to another.

So in some ways it’s less the shape of the room then it is the flow of the traffic that will determine the motion sensor placement.

Also, motion sensors will be triggered by a change in air temperature blowing across the motion sensor. They need to be placed away from any airflow from heaters, direct sunlight from windows, or air-conditioners.

I have seen motion detectors set off when a bedroom that had a window air conditioner going opened and let cold air blow out into the hallway.

Some of this is just trial and error to see the conditions that your particular house. So just something to be aware of.