Solutions for Curtains Causing Motion Triggers?

I assume this absolutely must have been discussed here somewhere already, but with searching, I can’t find it…

In the master bedroom, I have some light-weight, silky, pretty curtains both on the windows on one side of the room, and as a partial barrier between the bedroom area and the master bath room.

Whenever the HVAC fan is on, these curtains (both sides of the room) are always moving and constantly setting off the motion sensors…which, in turn, constantly triggers my motion-triggered night lights (i.e. if I didn’t turn the power off to the light before going to bed, the night lights would keep coming on all night long while I’m trying to sleep).

One of the sensors is the older Aeon Multisensor which has a sensitivity adjustment feature, and the other one is PEQ 3-Series (I think), and I’m not sure if its sensitivity can be adjusted.

Are the sensitivity adjustments and/or sensor placement the only things that can be done to deal with this, or is there anything that can be done programatically (in the SmartApps, etc)?

If you’ve encountered this and found a solution (short of ditching the idea of having either the curtains or the motion sensors in the bedroom), would you please share it with me and/or point me in the right direction?

If you have the Aeon Multisensor that I have (Z-Wave 4-in-1) and you simply adjusted the sensitivity to solve it, is there any chance you’d be willing to share which setting you put yours on that worked to avoid curtain-triggers, but still keep it sensitive enough to always, promptly trigger upon human movement in the room?

p.s. I know for sure that the curtains are causing the unwanted motion triggers, because although in the daytime, the nightlights don’t come on, because of illuminance threashold, the motion sensors continue to get triggered all day long, and when I tie them up or remove them, the triggers stop.

The short answer is probably not without changing your current sensor placement: motion is motion. In fact, just the temperature differential from the HVAC may be enough to set it off, that’s a pretty common issue in bedrooms With window air conditioners.

The medium answer is that “pet immune” motion sensors can typically be set to ignore curtain movement, although they may still be triggered by gusts of hot air. These are based on the temperature differential being big enough to represent a 50 pound object. They’re not perfect, but they can help a lot.

The long answer is there are two ways to address it, but both often require adding additional devices.

First is to significantly limit the range that each motion sensor detects. For example, I have a motion sensor on the side of the nightstand pointing at the bed. I can wave a hand over it as I get out of bed but nothing else in the room will trigger it. Whether this kind of approach will work for you or not depends on exactly where you’re trying to catch motion and how many devices you want to use.

Second is to use zone detection, where movement is required to register on multiple sensors before it counts. This can significantly reduce false alarms from a single area of motion, such as curtains in front of a window wall. But placement can be tricky and it requires having multiple sensors instead of just one.

@Mike_Maxwell has a zone detection smart app for this purpose:

Smart Zone motion detector (Zone Motion Manager) [Deprecated -- no longer supported] - #29 by Walter

So there are ways to approach it, but it depends on the exact use case and your budget for devices.

You might also find the following topics of interest.


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Thank you, very much! It seemed like the only other places I could find the word ‘curtain’ were in threads relating to power window covers, and I didn’t even think of just looking for ‘bedroom’ lol (to be fair to myself, it was quite late)

I will re-read your response again as I get more settled into working on this later today, and I will definitely check out the other threads you linked to, but for right now, I think the solution in my case will be something along these lines…

I have already done this kind of thing with my non-smart motion-activated night lights in the hall (so they only turn on if we’re actually at the end of the hall where they are, etc and not all lighting up like NYC).

I think I may be able to figure out a combination of ‘blinders’ and placement to do it. Mainly, I just want them to trigger I guess when we enter the room, or when our feet hit the floor. So, I will do some looking at the situation to see where this method will be the most effective.

Perhaps right at feet level at room entrance, and next to both sides of the bed or something like that.
I will come back here to let you know what I end up doing.

Thanks again, JDRoberts. :slight_smile:

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