Smartthings Motion sensor for light triggering

Before i make a purchase, wanted to see if a couple questions could get answered.
With the Smartthings Motion sensor, can you set it to trigger not only lights coming on when someone walks into the room but also trigger to turn the lights off when it senses no movement in the room after a selected period of time?
Is the Smartthings Motion sensor the one most people have found to be the most dependable sensor?
Thanks in advance

The motion sensor by itself can’t do anything – – you also have to have the SmartThings hub and a smart light switch or a smart bulb. Were you planning to get the whole system? If so, then yes, you can definitely create a rule so that The lights turn off again after inactivity.

Yes I already have the ST hub and lights throughout the house. I was just curious as to whether there was an option to have the lights turn off after a selected amount of time with inactivity. So this sounds like what I’m looking for. I had someone here in the forum make the comment to me “True home automation is when you smart devices react without you needing to give voice commands”. So I’d like to expand my current setup to react instead of relying on voice commands alone. Those rooms you don’t walk into regularly, but often enough a light trigger would be handy is going to be my first start. Next on the list is a garage door opener/closer. Thanks for the quick reply.

If your question is around how quickly the motion sensor detects motion than it is very quick. The lighting automation within the ST SmartApps will definitely support what you need to do.

Yes, the " turn off after inactivity"option is built into the official smart light feature, as well as being available in routines and webcore. You can use it with any brand of motion sensor which works with SmartThings. :sunglasses:

As for which specific brand/model of motion sensor, unfortunately at the moment the SmartThings brand is probably one of the least liked for a number of different reasons. Different ones will work for different people. Over the last year, that Lowes iris brand has been very popular for zigbee sensors, but in the last month or two more and more people have been reporting reliability problems with zigbee due to some platform changes (not due to the sensors themselves). Which is really unfortunate.

There was a recent discussion on motion sensors you might find of interest: ( this is a clickable link)

IMO an important thing to consider here is latency and reliability. Latency in terms of how long it take to turn the light on when you enter the room and reliability speaks for itself. For this type of use case I would try to select components that run locally on the hub as opposed to those that run in the cloud as this will help with the latency and run if your internet is down.

I have several type of motion sensor, including smartThings and have never had an issue with the SmartThings ones. They run locally. The SmartLighting automation also runs on the hub. If you can use a light control that also runs locally. Here is link to the local devices FAW.

Thanks for the explanation and list Simon. My question is this… You mentioned Smartthings Motion sensor works in the cloud however I see it is listed as a device that runs locally. Is smartsense motion sensor and smartthings motion sensor one in the same? I’m confused as to whether it runs in the cloud or locally. Thanks again…

Yes, sorry a typo. SmartThings (Smartsense) do run locally.

1 Like

Great. Thanks for the help. I’m gonna grab one Motion sensor to try out and go from there.

Let me know how that works cause I’d love to automate my lighting with motion sensors.

I’ve been considering if I want occupancy switches or smart switches with motion sensors.

I’ve been using the Aqara motion sensor with Philips Hue and Smartthings, it works perfectly and is very cheap, what are you waiting for?

After having had the Motion Sensor installed for nearly 2 weeks and not had any issues it was time to let you know everything is working perfectly. I have the sensor currently located in the bedroom. When you walk into the room, within about 3-4 steps max the lights in the bedroom turn on. I have it set to turn off after 5 minutes of No motion and have it set to only work bewteen the hours of 10am and midnight. Works without a hitch so far! Very pleased. Will definitely purchase more for other sensor type uses.


Could you tell me which motion sensor and lights do you have? Do you have SmartThings hub too? How did you connect the lights and the sensor?


I have the Smartthings motion sensors and sengled lights. I have a routine created in the Smartthings app to trigger the lights on when motion is detected and to turn off after so many minutes of no motion.

1 Like

The app is called Smart Lighting and your original ask is probably the most common thing people do. The app is pretty straightforward.

Sorry to revive an old post, but I have a question building off this: Is it possible to have the motion sensor only trigger the lamp/switch/smart plug etc after sunset/before sunrise? Would be wasteful to have a light come on in the middle of the afternoon when entering/exiting a room

Sure. The official feature offers many different ways to restrict the action. Between sunset and sunrise is very common, but there are lots of others as well.

Assuming you are using the new V3 app, you would do this through custom automations. See the following official support article:

1 Like