Dim lights at night, but temporarily bright if motion

Hi all, newb here. I want to turn the front lights on from sunset to 10pm at 40%, and if the front yard sees motion then bump it up to 100%. After a minute, bring it back down to 40%.

I have a new zooz outdoor motion sensor and I can set motion detection timeout all the way down to 5 seconds, so I'm not worried about the 'brighter for x seconds' part - I can adjust it shorter or longer to my liking.

I see that there is a Rule Machine and a Rule-4.0. Would those be appropriate? I also saw this post Help with Motion Rule(Solved) - #34 by davidcwright59, but it ended up he did it a little different than what I want, and I don't know how he wrote code (would love to be able to write code myself - I am a programmer so that would be easy). What is the best way to accomplish what I want?

Rule Machine would certainly be an option, but you may want to look at the Motion Lighting app first to see it would be quicker/easier to set up and maintain.


I did a few tests with that app, couldn't figure out how to go back the previous setting (40%). Just has a delay for off. I don't want it off, I just want it to go back to low lighting since no one is out front anymore

Fair enough. I'd look at Rule Machine (Rule-4.0 is version 4 of Rule Machine BTW) then, just wanted to make sure you knew about that app. Looks like your example is reasonably close to what you want to accomplish logic wise, so see if you can implement it and holler if you get stuck - lots of folks here to guide you.

I have a separate rule that turns the light on and off at Sunrise/Sunset, but I use this to do the dim/brightness on motion:

If anyone comes looking, I ended up doing 4 Simple Automation Rules:

  1. On low at sunset
  2. On high on motion
  3. On low on motion stopped
  4. Off at 10pm

1-3 were Restricted between sunset and 10pm. Works fine, and the wife understands it, too. I'd still be interested if there is a good article or video on rule engine.

I did that in my kitchen. I made a virtual switch that I turn on and off with the lights. Another rule triggers when the virtual switch is turned of. It checks the time and if it is within the window it turns the light back on at a low setting. Another rule turns the dimmed light off completely a few minutes after the light light rule time window ends. One more rule turns the night light mode on at Sunset (otherwise it would take motion to initiate it winding up in the night light state.

Note that if you are using Hue Lights and try to check if they are on or off, there can be a long delay... a minute or so... hence the reason for adding the virtual switch and using that for the night light trigger instead.

2 & 3 can be done in 1 rule. Just turn on the lights to 100% using a scene, then either use a delay or a waitfor event (no motion).

I do the same thing for my outside lights. My pots are always at 75% and front porch at 50%. When motion is detected in the front or rear of the house (using zone motion controller app), then I put all the lights on at 100% for 5 minutes, then I se a scene to bring them back down to their normal levels.

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