Best Practices

For my outdoor lights I have:
Front Door
Garage Door
Front Flood #1
Front Flood #2
Side Flood

and 2 motion detectors

I'm currently using a Basic Rule to turn the lights on and off and 2 seperate Room Lighting rules for the motion detectors.
This setup is unpredictable and the rules seem to have trouble determining the light states. Sometimes they turn on with motion sometimes they don't sometimes they stay activated all night.
My goal is relatively simple. I want some of the lights to come on at sunset off at 11pm and back on an hour before sunrise.
I also want the driveway motion to turn ALL the lights on anytime after sunset and I want the other motion to just turn the side flood on.

My question is would it be better to try and incorporate all these devices into one Room Lighting rule or maybe two Room Lighting rules and delete the Basic Rule?

In order to better understand what you have setup, I would suggest posting some screenshots of the setup of your Room Lighting and other rules. This will help us understand in more detail what you have configured so far.

If you are experiencing intermittent issues with lights not turning on / off, then I would suggest turning on debug logging in the Room Lighting and/or other rules to see what is happening (or not).

My initial thought is that you might have this backwards where the lights should be in Room Lighting and then use Rules to control the motion sensors. First, I would use Room Lighting to set the lights via time periods. Your time periods would just be sunset, 11pm, sunrise-60 minutes, and whatever time you normally want them turned off. From there, have the Means to Activate be sunset and Means to turn off at whatever time that is. Make sure to select Adjust lights on Time Period Changes and Activate even if already partially activated. Finally, create an Activator Device.

Once you have your daily setup for the outside lights, set up a rule for each motion sensor adjusting the lights as you want. The key thing is that after the motion sensor(s) go inactive, you want to turn on the Activator Device from Room Lighting. Because you have the activate even if already partially activated selected, Room Lighting should reset your lights to the correct time period.

Thanks Simon, I bug you guys enough and you are always willing to help so I was just trying to point myself in the right direction.
It may come down to posting screenshots and logs before it's all over.

That's an interesting idea, I guess I thought using Room Lighting would give me a bit more flexibility.

I'll play around with it.


The idea from @JB10 is good I may have to try that some time. Having motion and timers on the same lights does get tricky and they can clash with each other.

Here is one example where I have motion turning on the light but then during certain times it is blocked from turning off. It actually gets turned off from a separate RL that controls all the outdoor lights.

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Similar example to @jtp10181's, but mine changes the dimmer level depening on time:

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FYI you only need the force option if the devices do not report their state back to the hub reliably, or possibly if they are non-plus zwave devices that do not report state changes.

Yeah, the force is there from previous "bad times" when I was having issues w/Z-Wave reporting reliably from that part of the house. Since the C8 Z-Wave has been 100% reliable and I just haven't updated the automation. :slight_smile:

There is another way you could set this up without changing much. You can use Basic rules to set the lights based on time periods (or create it in Room Lighting). For your motion rule lighting, set them up with matching time periods. When Room Lighting gets activated, it sets the motion lights like you want. When the motion room lighting turns off, look at setting up the preset off options. You can have it preset off by time period where the preset matches the desired setting for the time period. This works very similar to my first suggestion, it just puts everything into Room Lighting.

Before I jump into this again I'm going to replace my Kasa Plug Controller that I'm using for my ground mounted floods with a Zooz Z-Wave Plug Controller. Then everything will be Z-Wave except for my Hue Driveway motion Sensor. The Hue is the only one I've found with enough range to cover my driveway and cars.

Circling back around to this. I replaced the Kasa with a Zooz Zen14 was still having issues. Then my Kasa lamps started acting up. Then my Blink cameras went on the blink.
Multiple reboots of my router didn't seem to fix the problem but I had multiple 2.4Ghz devices not connecting. These are devices that had worked OK for years.
Finally got Xfinity support on the phone. Tech ran a couple of tests then confessed to me that the XB7 router was garbage for multiple 2.4Ghz devices. I suspect a recent firmware upgrade was the culprit but no proof to back it up.
They sent out a new XB8 and that seems to have cured a lot of the issues I was having.