Motion lighting additional motion sensors

question: what do the additional motion sensors do in motion lighting?

I have a motion sensor above the door to my office, so the light turns on immediately upon entering.
I have another motion sensor on my desk to pick up small movements while i'm sitting relatively still.

what I want to happen is this:
I want the lights to turn on initially only when the door motion sensor is active, but I want them to remain on as long as any motion sensor is active.
I do not want the lights to turn on if the desk motion sensor is active and the door motion sensor isn't (otherwise it picks me up walking down the hall.

is this what "additional motion sensors" in motion lighting do? I've had it programmed this way and it seems like I get a lot of false positives and it ends up that the lights never turn off for some reason.


Those are for sensing motion that you want to have keep the lights on for. The main motion sensors are for turning on the lights, those are to prevent the lights from being turned off.

So yes, your use case fits that.

Now this is funny! I have the exact same setup, and it never occurred to me to use that feature of ML, even though my office is automated with it. I had the problem you describe too. Thanks for the tip!!

I'm sorry...but I'm completely not following here and I have the same question. My situation is that I have a large room that I have two motion sensors for. I want the lights to turn on if either is active but only turn off if both are inactive. Would i set up both motion sensors in both options? Both in the first? use both settings? I can't seem to get this to work out correctly. Thanks.

Motion lighting is pretty much designed around that automation. Just select the motion sensors in the first part and the lights in the second.

The additional motion sensors section is just for sensors that must be inactive for the lights to turn off (but not on). For the main part of the automation, just pick your motion sensors, and either will turn on the lights, and both must be inactive for the timer to start to turn them off (and remain inactive).

Okay. I find Motion Lighting to be very unreliable. Lights only come on half the time and there are no earthly reason that I can find as to why. Do they only turn back on if a motion inactive turned them off? If I manually turn them off early but still wait well past the timeout, shouldn't they come back on?

If you could give a little description as to what everything means on the apps info page (accessed through the little i) that might be helpful. I think I understand most of it but some of it seems to be opposite to the description). I think that might go a long way to help me resolve some of my strange functionality.

Perhaps you could post the app main page here.

I was going to but the bigger issue is the GE Z-wave "semi-plus" switch that I am trying to resolve. I'm making a separate post about that. So, to be continued.

Okay, so I have another question. Let's say you have lights controlled by motion lighting. Those lights are turned off manually. Now after the sensor goes inactive but before the timeout in the app, if motion goes active again, would you expect the lights to come back on? Is there some special setting I have to set to get the manual turn off to reset the motion lighting app?

Turning the lights off manually doesn't have much to do with how the "on" side of the app works. The main constraint would come from the motion sensor. If the motion sensor was still active at the moment you turned the lights off, it won't report active again until after motion has stopped, and it has transitioned to inactive. Once it reports active, the light will come on again. So it's possible to hit a 'dead zone' where it seems like motion won't turn the lights on --> because there has been continuous motion and no new motion active event. Motion sensors only report the transition from inactive to active, not continuing activity.

I'm using Lutron occupancy sensors for most of my indoor motion sensors. They have a cycle time of 1 minute. That is, they won't report inactive until 1 minute after motion actually stops. So I have to be aware of this. If I turn off the bathroom lights with the switch, and then my wife walks into the bathroom during the next minute, no lights are going to turn on. Not good ("Honey, the bathroom lights don't work"). So, for the most part, I don't turn things off with switches.

Yeah... I know that. But my question is, it seems that if motion goes active again during the timeout, the lights don't come back on. It's not just the sensor going inactive and active again but it has to wait till after the timeout to turn the lights back on.

So, motion goes inactive, timeout begins.
Motion goes active before timeout finished. Lights don't come on.

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Are you omitting a step in this description:

motion goes inactive
light is turned off manually
motion goes active before timeout, but lights don't come on


Are you sure that the light in question is reporting the physical off? Look at its events. If it doesn't report it, Motion Lighting will think the lights are already on, and not turn them on. I have to think about that one, whether it should turn them on even if it thinks they are already on.

whether it should turn them on even if it thinks they are already on

@bravenel The correct answer is Yes. :smiley:

It becomes "self healing" in the sense that device & automation both agree, in my opinion.

No, the lights get turned off while motion is active. If the switch is in the same room as the sensor, the lights get turned off while the sensor is active... So here's a full breakdown

Motion active lights on
Switch off manually
(3 min later - that's the timeout on the sensor)
Motion inactive timeout starts (timer length 3 mins)
1 min later Motion changes to active lights DO NOT turn on.

In fact, if you don't reach the end of the timeout, motion will never turn the lights back on. After much testing I've found that this is the root of all of my motion lighting issues to date.

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That is not what I am seeing. If you don't reach the end of the timeout in Motion Lighting, motion does not turn the lights back on.

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Again, the central question is: Is the switch reporting that it's off? If not, the behavior you are seeing is the result.

What kind of switch is it? If older Z-Wave, put it on Z-Wave Poller. That should make it work.

Meanwhile, I think I will make a small change to Motion Lighting that will also fix this. The change would result in switches being told to turn on even when they are already on. That's a bit wasteful, but it would overcome the problem of a switch that doesn't report off in a timely manner.

No, I wouldn't do that because then it will reset the level if it's been changed manually.

The device is reporting off in HE. I don't know why Motion Lighting thinks it's still on but it isn't.
I'm seeing this with Casseta as well as Zwave plus and zigbee bulbs.

Then I can't explain what you are seeing, and cannot reproduce it either.

What do you need from me to prove that this is happening? Once I turn the lights off manually what should change in the motion lighting app details to show that it has recognized that the switch is now off?

Because even if the lights are off manually, the shutoff event stays on the app details page too.

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In application state, look for "on". If it's true, as below, it won't turn on the lights from motion active.

And, I believe you, I just don't know what's causing it, and as I said, cannot reproduce it here.