Using a motion sensor just to switch off only? (UK)

This may be a dumb question, especially as I can’t find anything online about it. My use case is that people often leave the lights on in the kitchen. I don’t want to use the motion sensor to switch on the lights, but I do want it to switch off the lights if no motion is detected. Will all motion sensors allow me to do that? Any potential issues?

It is not a big kitchen, and I want to try and position the sensor so that the dogs walk below its detection area and don’t affect detection. I don’t think I need anything other than motion detection (e.g. temperature, humidity, brightness). If anybody has any suggestions for a device, I will be happy to hear it! I am in the UK.

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Yes, it’s possible. Here is an example of a Routine that does it.

In this case, I happen to have used the motion sensor that is part of a motion/dimmer, but a standalone motion sensor will work too. For the UK, I see several Z-Wave sensors that should work with ST from Ecolink, Zooz, Homeseer, etc.

Definitely not a dumb question, it’s a very practical and popular use case. :sunglasses:

As @h0ckeysk8er mentioned, it’s actually quite easy, you just have to get a motion sensor that reports “no motion detected“ as well as “motion detected“ and then you can build a rule around that. So not all motion sensors can do that easily, but there are many that can.

First things first: do you have a SmartThings/Aeotec hub, and if so, which model? It’s OK if you don’t, there are still a couple of motion sensors for the UK that you can choose from, but the device selection will be somewhat different.

There are also some nice budget brands available in the UK like Philio, Everspring, Frient and Lidl, but again we need to first know if you have a hub. :thinking:

Thanks for both the answers. The simple answer to the first part is that the use case is normal and should be easy to set up if the “no movement” property is accessible. It was partly the point made by @JDRoberts that prompted my question. It is really hard to find out what properties are available to work with in a device. Is there a way to find this out without writing to the manufacturer, which my current experience has shown has limited success?

I have the Aeotec hub version 3 (I think). It is only about 6 months old. I quite like the Frient and also there is a great offer here: (Z-Wave Vision PIR/Temperature Sensor — Vesternet). It is not always easy to find out things like detection angles as well.

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If a product has Z-Wave certification, you can find out more information by looking the Z-Wave Alliance website. Here is the info for the Vision Sensor.

We use a Motion Detector from Dome Control: Motion Detector — Dome Home Automation. I don’t know if they’re available in the UK, but has similar-looking ones:

They work great for our use case, which is similar to yours: Close the garage doors if no motion in the garage detected in the last 15 minutes. We use a GoControl garage door opener that also connects to Smart Things.

One small caveat: the “no motion in x minutes” event only fires if there was a preceding “motion” event. That probably makes sense when you think about it: The motion controller senses motion, reports it to Smart Things. If you have a routine that says “Do X after 10 minutes of no motion”, then a timer is likely created so that the routine can be fired.

This is fine, except in the situations where you turn on the lights without triggering the motion sensor (say, via a routine or event (arriving home, for example)). Then, the lights will not turn out based on the timer, because there was no triggering “motion” event that it can measure “no motion” from.

I got around this by creating a virtual switch and a bit of fiddling. You may or may not run into the same thing, but it’s worth noting. Best of luck.

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Be cautious about going by looks: several of the big Chinese factories offer the same external cases to many of their customers, and the insides and firmware can be very different.

Note to the OP: z wave operates on different frequencies in different regions, and the frequency of the end device must match the frequency of your hub exactly or they can’t talk to each other.

The North American frequency starts with a 9.

The EU/UK frequency starts with an 8.

Amazon in the UK and Germany will sometimes list devices on the North American frequency, particularly if they are being offered by third-party sellers, but they won’t work with a UK SmartThings/Aeotec hub. So make sure you check the exact frequency of any device you are going to order.

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and JDRoberts,
“So make sure you check the exact frequency of any device you are going to order.”
Thanks to both of you, that is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to find out.

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