Feature request for Motion/Mode Lighting app

A valuable option seems missing for the Motion and Mode Lighting Apps app. The basic 'turn on light if motion' works great, but I see no 'turn off light if motion elsewhere' option.
Under " The following options turn off the lights irrespective of other options" heading would benefit from having a pick list for 'Motion Sensors to turn off lights" similar to the Switches to turn off lights. In this way, once triggered, and a person enters another room, the lights behind would go back to off.
Currently, as a work around, I'm trying a virtual switch that sets on/off with motion but it's really just a kludge.
Edit was unable to use Motion /mode app with a switch. Had to write a RM rule to handle this - it is working great.

1 Like

What would happen if there’s motion in both rooms?

For example two people enter room 1, then one person walks into room 2. Do the lights turn off in room 1 even though someone’s still in there?

1 Like

I always feel you overthink things - but for the sake of argument, I would guess you would need to write a more custom rule using RM.

In my case, I have a hallway with multiple lights in it and multiple motion sensors. It enables as we traverse the hallway but stays on longer than necessary - when we get to the other end, to enter one of our offices or the kitchen, the hallway should just go off behind us. Even with Delay set to 0, it still waits for the sensor to go inactive which is 45 seconds or 1 min.

That's pretty much necessary. What happens if you walk back in the hall again before it goes inactive? The lights won't come on because an "active" event never happened, and most people would consider that a problem. Each model of motion sensor has its own built-in timeout for this, some longer than others, some configurable, some not. If this is that important to you, I might suggest using one that is either naturally short or configurable--or maybe use the switch (or a button device) at the other end to the hall yourself.

But personally, the way I see it: leaving lights on for an extra few seconds is pretty much insignificant in terms of energy use (especially compared to the rest of the house) if you have LEDs, and it's way better than the alternative of leaving the lights on indefinitely if that would have been the outcome in an alternative universe without sensors at all. So...still a win.

1 Like

This is not unreasonable. I will look into it.

This feature will NOT be implemented, see below.

2 Likes

I always feel you make overly broad statements :wink:.

2 Likes

Yeah, this feature pretty much depends on there only being a single person involved. Let's see, I'll just turn off those ensuite bathroom lights once motion is detected in the bedroom. Hmmm, I'm in the bathroom and wife comes into the bedroom -- lights out. Or, much worse, we're both in the bathroom and I leave her behind. "BRUCE!! LIGHTS!!"

5 Likes

This was always my conundrum, even when writing my rules on my Hue bridge, they might work find for me on my own, but if people come over to stay, etc, then it essentially comes back to "room occupancy" problem. Not necessarily impossible to solve, but often a very specific solution would be required, I expect, a hard one to do in a generic sense in a built-in app. But don't let that stop people trying.... :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yeah I get how someone might want this if it’s really important for the light to turn off quickly as a single person (or group) moves from room to room.

It looks cool, but it’s not particularly practical IMHO and risks some hazardous situations like the one you mentioned, if there is more than one person in the house.

1 Like

I guess in the end having the tools to achieve the outcome people want, with some configuration required by them to make the best use of the feature, is a good thing. It just requires some thought by those setting it up at to how best to apply it in their situation, just as it would with any RM rule, etc.

2 Likes

I've been thinking about this since the post originated and can see the problem with multiple people in a household and things getting crossed up. I will have a use case for this but it will only be for times during the night when it's unlikely multiple people will be up or moving around. As an example, if I get up and want to go to my home office which would take my through several rooms I would love to have my lighting follow me through the areas and turn off immediately after entering another area.

I think it's a great request and applaud the Hubitat team for looking at it and agreeing to implement it on such a short notice.

2 Likes

That's not a bad thought :thinking:.

@bravenel maybe a way to restrict it to only happen when a variable is true/ false or a mode?

To restrict what? You can already restrict Motion Lighting in these ways.

The feature request. As you said it only really works for a single person but it could be a useful feature to others if it only did it in certain modes for example. Ie at night when you go though the house.

The idea of introducing limits to individual options is a bridge too far. It's easy enough to create multiple instances of rules. There are any number of ways to accomplish this without burdening Motion Lighting with added complexity for something that is an edge case to begin with. The OP even admitted:

I've approached this by having a virtual switch that is on when I am alone in the house. When this switch is set several rules become enabled that only make sense for single occupancy, including the example here of turning off a light when motion happens somewhere else. As I walk from room to room, lights follow me like in the movies. Its pretty surreal, but of course this would be a mess if there were more than one person in the house. The holy grail would be to know who is in which room, but that is unfortunately beyond the current state of the are in smart home tech.

2 Likes

We've decided not to add this feature after all. We believe that it will cause more problems than it would solve, and would be easy to be misled by it.

There are two primary problems:

  1. If more than one person is involved it will certainly not work as intended, as pointed out by @marktheknife.

  2. What's worse is that if the motion controlled area is re-entered shortly after the lights have been turned off by motion elsewhere, the lights will not come back on. The motion sensors in the original area are still reporting active, and then see more motion. Hence they don't report an active event, and they won't do so again until motion has truly stopped and then started again. Consequently, the automation would fail miserably in this circumstance. In general, it is not a good idea to turn off motion activated lights by other means for this reason.

7 Likes

I’m a bit of a noob, so I may be totally wrong, but I believe there are presence sensors that are different than motion sensors. However, I’m not sure if they are available in theU.S., or are too expensive, or don’t really work. With those too you could know how many people are in the house, even if they are still for a long period of time, and write rules that consider that.

As it is, I like the idea of a virtual switch you could turn on if you are alone (or create an “alone” mode?) and then a rule that says if motion detected in room 2 and light(s) is/are in room 1 then turn off room 1 light(s).

As mentioned, you may have a problem if you go back into room 1 again too soon, before room 1’s sensor’s cooldown time is up. But if you are OK with that, than it seems to me you probably can do that now with Rule Machine as is.

Download the Hubitat app