Occupancy Sensor for use with SmartThings


(Saxnix) #1

I really hope to use SmartThings to automate lighting (and other energy saving ideas) in my house as much as possible - some rooms more than others.  For this to work I will need to integrate occupancy/vacancy sensors into the system, more so than motion detectors.  Is anyone able to comment on this Philips one, or any other one they have used or plan to use for similar purposes?


(Andrew Urman) #2

It says it uses the ZigBee Pro protocol, but doesn’t say which one. Either way all that is is a motion detector and a light switch. You wouldn’t need that specific setup.


(Saxnix) #3

How sensitive are the Smartthings motions sensors?  Will they be able to act as an occupancy/vacancy sensors in an automated lighting situation?  Would it be able to pick up someone laying on a bed/couch watching TV or would that type of movement be too subtle for it?  If not suitable for that type of situation, have you investigated any other products that would/could be compatible with SmartThings for this type of function?


(Andrew Urman) #4

Our motion sensor uses the same PIR (infrared) sensor as the one you linked. I’d say ours is pretty sensitive, and in the future you will be able to tune it via the cloud.

You could use ours, but also the Aeon Labs Multi-Sensor can be super SUPER sensitive. They have a dial similar to the philips one you linked. When dialed up all the way, sunlight can set them off.


(Saxnix) #5

Thanks for the info Andrew.  I will wait to until I can get my hands on a SmartThings pack and extra things and see how it all works.  Then if needed, it is good to know there is another option if I need more sensitivity.

Thanks

Greg


(James) #6

The SmartThings motion sensor is VERY sensitive. I actually have pulled it out of rotation until I can adjust the settings on it.


(Saxnix) #7

Thanks for the feedback James.

So assuming the the sensor is sensitive enough for the way I want to use it, is it then a matter of programming to get it to work the way I want it to?

One use I have in mind is for automatic lighting.  I would like to be able to set an auto lighting scene where lights activate only between certain times and/or light levels.  I would like it to turn on when motion is detected and only turn off when NO motion has been detected for 30 seconds.  As opposed to traditional motion sensing lights which turn on with motion for a fixed period of time then turn of, and if you are still there - have to reactivate it by tripping it again.  At the end of the day I am trying to avoid the lights turning off while the area is occupied.  I could see this being used in a room that you need to walk through or enter only for a short period of time, or at night in hallways where if kids get up to go to the toilet, the motion sensor turns on the necessary lights for them.  Adding to this even more, I would like to add light intensity settings dependant on either time or even sunset/sunrise times.  From activation to 9pm = 90% intensity, 9-11pm, and 5-7am = 70% intensity, 11pm-5am = 20% intensity.

Another use I would like to use similar programming for would be to act as a vacancy sensor - also linked to an IR blaster.  In this scenario, if the TV is on (as reported by a smart plug/outlet), and no motion is detected for 1 minute, turn the TV off, and if the lights are on, turn them off after an additional 30 seconds.  If motion is detected again within 4 minutes, turn the TV on, and if the lights had been on and turned off, turn them back on as well.  If no motion is detected within 4 minutes, revert to AutoLighting rule.  This scenario might also turn off/on an air-conditioner, music, activate/deactivate a security camera, or what ever else you can think of/want to control.

Not being a programming (just a very enthusiastic end user) I am not sure if bits of code/apps could be written as Occupancy/Vacancy modes and then added to whatever you want, or if each individual circumstance requires this coding to be built into it??

Even though I won’t have SmartThings for 2 or 3 months, and have no coding skills, I am trying to think of the different ways I am hoping to use it all, and am hoping some smart people who do code can give some feedback on the possibilities/ease of achieving these types of things.