Tricky Sensor placement puzzle

I have a little bit of a tricky setup that I could use some help on. My office is downstairs. Right outside my door is the bathroom and you can see the hallway that leads upstairs. I would like to turn on the hallway lights with motion but not when I use the restroom throughout the day. Is there anyway to set up a motion sensor to only trigger once I move past a specific point? ie: When I walk down the hallway but not when I enter the restroom? I have access to either an Iris or Hue Motion sensor. Thanks everyone.

This can certainly be done. It may help to think of the sensor’s detection zone as being similar to the light from a single light bulb. How would you set it up to keep the back end of the hallway lit well the front and was not?

The usual answer is just some kind of shielding, the same as you would do with the bulb. You can put the sensor inside a little box and make one side of it longer than the other. A lot of people just put tape on one side of the sensor lens, which works depending on the exact type of sensor you have. Other people put a tube over the sensor lens to really narrow the detection field. Any of these can work, it just depends on your exact setup.

Remember that all of these sensors work best when the person is walking past them rather than walking straight on towards them. So a ceiling mount sensor in a box with the longer side on the bathroom side might work very well.

See the following FAQ:

Also, I’m assuming this isn’t just a time of day issue? With either smartthings or Hue you could set your rules so that you ignore the motion sensor during the day if you want.


Thank you - I have read the FAQ before my thread but wasn’t exactly sure how to pull it off. I think I may try tape at first and see if this works. Then I may try a small box solution Thanks.


I would mount it at an angle facing the direction you want sensed, with it’s back to the dead zone. Either on the wall or the ceiling.

Most sensors have about a 120 degree sensitivity range horizontally, and about a 30 degree range vertically, look at the data sheet that they come with.

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I was able to “sorta” get this working how i want. I did exactly as Ac7ss suggested and then used a small piece of tape to mask my entrance to the bathroom. So when I go in, the hall lights dont turn on but if i walk down the hallway, they go on. I am probably 2 steps in before it triggers though and would like to fine tune that.