Motion lighting force to stay on

I am using the motion and mode lighting app to automate Zooz switches in most of my 1st floor rooms. The issue is that my wife (who hates tech) doesn't always trigger the motion sensors and gets mad anytime they shut the lights off on her. This happens a lot when she is sitting at a table working on something. I would like to set it up so if she manually turns on the switch it will stay on until she manually turns it off, but have the motion control to function any other time.

First I tried the "Don't turn off if already on" option. This does not seem to work as the light will still shut off after the set time of inactivity. I suspect the motion app is turning on the light before she can hit the switch.

Next I tried "Switch to disable turning off". This worked too well. It unfortunately does not distinguish between a manual turning on of the Zooz switch and the app turning it on. Any time the motion app turns it on it triggers the disable.

Any suggestions on how to make this work? I did some searching and know I can create a virtual button and tie it to a Google Assistant trigger but she hates talking to the house. I also have an unused ZEN34 remote switch I could set up, but I don't really want to have to put one of those in every room.

Are these switches or dimmers?

The main ones that are bugging her are dimmers, but I also have switches in a couple rooms.

For a dimmer you could use the override option. She would adjust the dimmer, and that would stop it from turning off until manually turned off. You can do this with Alexa. Suppose the dimmer is set to 90 by ML. If you change it to 95 that kicks in the override.

This feature was created specifically for the use case you are describing, including in bathrooms.

This is under "Options for Turn-on, Disable, and Enable Lights-On".


Not ideal but may work. I know she won't use a voice assistant. It might be acceptable if I set the motion sensor to 90% and tell her to hit up twice or just hold, both of which would set the dimmer to 100%.

I spent some time a couple of months ago trying to get this exact same scenario working in motion lighting with no success. I was going to try and recreate the functionality in RM, but it ended up not being a big deal for my wife once she got used to it.

I thought my wife would use this, but she didn't end up doing it at all. I set the off time sufficiently long so it covered how she actually used the room. Sometimes you need to add another motion sensor to keep lights on where there is low motion. I have one sitting right in front of me at my desk for just that reason.


I've done that also - and I've used the "Additional Motion Sensors to keep on" option in Motion Lighting.

I've wondered if there any sensors that detect body heat rather than just motion?

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I’ve purchased a bunch of Sonoff motion sensors for that same purpose. I put them under desks, tables or by the keyboard/mouse. I have found that when sitting working, that works to pick-up hand or leg motions and keeps the lights on.


Button switches on the bottom of the chair legs to detect someone seated in the chair?

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Wouldn’t that make the chair wobbly? :wink:


Bruce and his wife wouldn’t notice.


I ended up doing a motion setup in RM because my lack of knowledge with the motion app prevented me from getting it right.

When the physical switch is hit (or alexa) it also turns on a virtual switch that disables further motion events until it’s turned off manual.

My goodnight routine flips it back to motion mode and gives me the times to off.

It works and she doesn’t complain. I’m sure It can be tweaked further but I plan to play with the motion lighting app more.

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did not work for me either .. i gave up using that and have these rules.. using physical change on the switch if yours supports it to override.

Thanks for the replies. I did set up the dimmer change override. I also ordered a second motion sensor for the room. Between two of them it may be enough to keep the lights on with just the motion sensing.


You can also try the Alexa option in ML, it creates a virtual dimmer switch that you can turn on and off to essentially override the motion lighting app. Don't let the name fool you though, you don't need to use a voice assistant to trigger it, you can include it in a rule light any other switch, so you could do this in response to a smart switch / button being pressed or some other rule that applies in your case. I have used it successfully and documented some of my setup on another thread. Let me know if you need any more info.

yes i do that for the outdoor lights on the hot tub while we regularly don't use the switch on.. they turn on when the slider opens at night.. I setup a virtual switch just as you say and when well tell alexa to turn the outdoor lights on , it enables and consequently disables the other automations so that we can shovel the deck at night without the lights turning off.. Let me kmow if you wan tto see the actual rules.


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