I't **CAN'T** be this expensive or this complex! Two lights on one switch

This should be easy and cheap, but I am somehow finding only expensive and complex "solutions".

I have a SPST switch that turns on two bulbs, one inside the front door, one outside the front door. Since the 1950s, one flipped the switch, and both lights would light. Simple! Next to that switch is a 2nd SPST switch that controls a wall outlet, intended for a lamp to turn on when entering through the front door. Also simple.

THIS is likely how millions of front porches have been wired, including all the post-WWII boom housing, so there's "a market need" here.

Now, enter Hubitat...
First, I got a motion sensor, and put a 2-inch length of 3/4" PVC pipe "snout" on it to make it look only at the welcome mat. The idea was to detect the arrival of packages delivered by people who consistently refuse to ring the bell, and use a Tasmota SonOff to make the door bell ring a distinct "package" rapid-triple-bong. Sounds simple.

But the Hubitat can't receive Zigbee signals from devices on the front porch, even in our tiny cottage, so the solution is to take a Tradfri socket, remove the plastic case, and wire that into the weatherproof housing of the front porch light to relay the Zigbee signals. This is great, but now power has to be on all the time to the fixture. So, the switch is on all the time, and the Tradfri makes the porch light "smart".

But now the inside foyer light is also on all the time, so another smart bulb for the foyer. Now a question of manual control arises, as there is no sensor-based scenario where I want to turn on either light. And this is where the wheels come off.

A simple obvious solution is to hardwire the circuit to "on", and install a pair of smart switches to signal the Hubtait to turn the lights on and off individually or together. But its $60 for a no-neutral switch, none of them are simple toggle switches of the traditional sort, and this is not "worth" $120 plus the $10 Tradfri, and the $10 smart bulb (total $140!!!). The alternative is to hardware the 120Vac, and wire a older reed-switch door/window sensor to each switch to control the outside and inside switches.

But now batteries have to be replaced, and they are behind a switchplate. This is getting stupid. So... a tiny power supply to put out 3VDC to power the two door sensors?

There has to be a cleaner implementation for replacing a very standard SPST switch that interrupts the hot wire to one or more bulbs, and does not demand that I roll my own kludge!

I've got multiple outdoor Zigbee devices that work fine. You might try placing a Zigbee repeater somewhere inside near to where the outside device goes. This has never been a problem for me. I also have outdoor Z-Wave devices and sensors that work fine as well.

If you get that to work, the rest is simple.


What is it you are actually trying to accomplish. I see alot of talk about things you have done, but not what you are looking for as far as a final outcome.


I also would be surprised at this. I have a Zigbee motion detector in a plastic mailbox at least 100' from the house and it works fine. Zigbee frequency is good for penetrating many types of building material. If you can get your wi-fi signal on your porch, the Zigbee ought to work as well.


I also have multiple Zigbee sensors outside my house and have no issue with them communicating with the house. I do have Zigbee repeaters plugged into outlets on the inside of the house near the porch, however. Maybe you need something as simple as that.


How about a pressure sensitive mat connected to a sensor?

Zooz 700 Series Z-Wave Plus Dry Contact Relay ZEN51 - The Smartest House

This can wire behind your switch assuming you have enough space and no neutral is required.

OP is making this overly complicated IMO.

Surely there must be some power sockets at least halfway between the hub and the sensor (incidentally what model sensor is it?). You don't need to have a repeater right at the entrance way. In any case having more repeaters can only be beneficial in the long run as more sensors are added.

Or get a longer patch cable and relocate the hub closer if possible to the centre of the house.

Or a @lewis.heidrick high gain antenna mod!

PS perhaps also outline the specifics of your setup, distances, wall construction, number of walls in the signal path. Many things can affect range including wifi interference as well. This is why a repeater mesh is a must.

No issues with a few outdoor zigbee sensors and plug-in lighting modules here either. Focusing on how to create a stronger zigbee mesh would seem to be the lowest hanging fruit to me too.

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I have several zigbee devices and z-wave devices outside. One of my outlets is zigbee, then both my porch fans are zigbee units. My house is brick and my hub is in the center of the house and all works fine. You may think about the placement of your hubitat as well as repeaters. What you describe is a weak mesh. You have to remember that battery devices don't repeat.

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Well, I tried - perhaps my go-to zigbee repeater of choice, a Tradfri outlet, just isn't as good a zigbee repeater as I'd hoped.

The motion detector is a SonOff SNZB-03. The Tradfri was plugged into the wall nearest the front door in an attempt to remedy the problem with an "inside repeater", but did not work. Structure is not unusual - brick, dead air gap, insulating layer, another air gap, and interior plaster/lath walls.

I guess I should mess with it some more...

Sonoff also has issues as well (unless it's zigbee 3.0)

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My repeater on the inside the house next to my porch is a Tradfri outlet. My house is just clapboard; no brick there.

Did you pair the sonoff first and then added the tradfri later? If so then your sonoff is probably still connected directly to the hub. You'll need to delete the device within HE and re-pair them as below (important that the device is deleted, just resetting the device and repairing will not change the connection path).

As a note, always pair repeaters first and then sensors after that (always at the final location not near the hub).


Are you certain this is required? If I’m not mistaken, powering down the hub for ~20 mins will cause battery powered devices to seek out new routes.

Are there any other outlets relatively close by? Sometimes the one that is the closest or seems like the β€œright” one to a human is, for some reason, not the β€œbest” one according to the radio inside the battery-powered device.

Sonoff wall wart in the house for a repeater. Sonoff zbmini behind the switches. Motion sensor of your choose engages zbmini via hubitat.

I have a son off Walmart 50 ft from my hub in a detached garage hooked up to my compressor and it never dropped signal. Something's probably going on with your mesh.

Why's he hooked up to a compressor? You really should let that poor guy go back home to Arkansas.


This doesn't work for xiaomi devices, being very sticky. Not sure about sonoff. In any case OPs case sounds like either a delete/re-pair or 20min power down might be required. Would be faster to delete, just for 1 device and this would definitely reroute it.

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I have never seen a house wired like that. Maybe it is regional? The porch light was always on a separate switch in every house I have been in.

What wiring do you have in the box at the switch? (pictures?) Where does the power for each of these lights originate? You may be able to rearrange wires in this switch box or in the light fixture box to get the desired results.

Does this Zigbee device work when the device is inside and closer to the Hub?

You can purchase no neutral "toggle" switches. Or you could put a small in the box device like the " SONOFF ZBMINI ZigBee".

For the table lamp we would need to know what options you were looking to implement.