SmartThings Community

Outdoor motion sensor

(Scott Finlay) #1

Can somebody please explain (in layman terms) what motion sensor I can buy to sense when someone has entered by drive and send a signal to turn my Lifx light bulbs on via the SmartThings hub. I’ve no idea why this is so difficult. Surely this is quite a common request? I’m prepared to spend a bit to ensure no false alarms.

(jeubanks) #2

I use my camera system. Motion is detected, triggers an event. I’m sure others will have suggestions for a motion sensor. I think there are some outdoor rated, but none I know off the top of my head.

(Bryan) #3

I would suggest that you search for “outdoor motion sensor”. There are numerous threads on this topic.

(Ryan) #4

I bought a normal outdoor motion security light and wired in a vision zwave relay. It uses the sensor as the switch input and allows me to control the light via zwave.

(Martin) #5

I use the Dakota Alert DCMA-2500 Motion Alert solution coupled with a MIMOlite - works like a boss.

The Dakota solution works extremely well over extended distances (up to 1/2 mile between sensors and the base station). The base station has a great feature in being able to open/close dry contacts when motion is detected (via different channels if need be). Those dry contacts interact with the MimoLite which is connected to ST via Z-Wave.

It works like a charm. The Dakota solution has different transmitter/sensor types - I use two from their range. the general driveway/motion transmitter and their universal transmitter. The universal transmitter is really flexible as it can hook up to regular magnetic door close sensors.

Ive dropped a few of the universal transmitters into weatherproof boxes to monitor three gates around my property plus general motion at front and back yards.


(Mike) #6

I used a standard mains powered motion sensor that is wired to a standard mains powered 30w LED security light, the sensor is powered from a standard plug in my garage, at the plug face i added a power sense Zwave pocket socket

when motion is detected the power draw goes above 10w and anything i want turns on or off, i have outside LEDs, they switch from colour change to Police flash, i have other security lights all plugged into pocket sockets which also react simply via a custom device handler written by Cobra

However if you dont want a security light the pocket socket will not detect a power draw because nothing is being drawn so it wont help you

My setup has never gone wrong and is pretty cheap because all you need is cheap parts and one zwave pocket socket

Monitoring Sump?
(Bryan) #7

Do you have the light plugged into the Zwave socket? It’s the light activating, not the sensor alone, that pulls above 10W to trip, right?

(Mike) #8

Power socket to sensor
Sensor to light

The sensor is on 24/7 but because they have there own adjustments for lux and on duration they draw basicaly nothing until lux reaches your set amount and movement is detected, then the sensor triggers its own in built switch to power in my case a 30w led light

At that point power draw goes from 0.5w to 30w at the socket. Detected by the power sense pocket socket and controled via a custom smart app writen by Cobra here on the forum

You could buy a all in one security light with motion sensor or 2 seperate items dependant on needs

(Scott Finlay) #9

Can I just reiterate the phrase in "layman terms ". To those that have replied, thank you, but phrases like dry contact and relay input mean absolutely nothing to me. Why would they?

What I need is someone to tell me specifically what to buy and to ensure me that it’s compatible with UK SmartThings. And then how to rig it up.

So, can anyone help me using simplistic terms and language?

What do I need to buy to make my LIFX wifi lights come on when a car enters the drive?

(Scott Finlay) #10

Thanks for your help Bryan

(Mike) #11

Laymens terms
do you have the ability to afix a motion sensor, security light and connect a cable to make it work ??

If so then buy a cheap motion sensor from toolstation, 30w security light from toolstation, cable and a 3pin plug, dependant on your install location you may need ducting for the external cable or armoured cable or grey or white cable, only you can decide

If this is not something you can do then you will need an electrician but they really are easily done by a DIYer, if you are looking for a battery powered sensor that just sticks to a wall and it works, nothing exists, you have to find what suits you best and work at a solution

When it is all wired up and working, the app will see that power is being drawn on motion, send a zwave signal to any switch or Smartthings connected device and turn it on and off if needed
Even if your LIFX lights are wifi you can still use IFTTT to contrl them from within smartthings

I also have a proper security camera fitted outside that has awsome Night vision but you cant beat actual daylight for recognition, so it auto switches to daylight mode if the security light comes on add to that a Fibaro RGBW led light set up as well which switches to police mode on motion after a set time of night and all triggered by a cheap motion sensor, once you have the motion sensor installed you can have all sorts of fun

or an all in one unit

plus a smart plug


app to make it work from the very awsome Cobra

(Scott) #12

What light did you use for this project? I picked up a cheap LED security setup to wire the switch side of the relay to the motion sensor. However it turns out the sensor needs to see a load to trip the timer. So my z-wave relay will fire but never auto shuts off.