Motion lighting options

I'm fairly new to HE, I've had Hue lighting for ages though and just received some Aqara motion detectors.

I want to setup motion lighting in the hall, if off turn to 30% and off after 5 mins if no motion, if on leave as is.

Initially I set it up using Simple LIghting, turns on to 30% with motion and off in 5 minutes, works okay but if someone sets the light manually to 100% then triggers motion, it goes to 30%.

I tried the motion lighting app but it didn't work at all for me, the first motion would turn the light on then subsequent motions when lights were off didn't turn them on?

Am I best off with Rule Machine for this?

Motion lighting should handle this just fine. I use many of them.

Something like this should work for what you described above.


Here is the documentation for Motion Lighting:

The following settings should do what you want.
Enable override with dimmer level change (defaults is enabled)

Disable this option if you don't want to prevent a motion inactive from turning the lights off , and stop additional motion active events from changing the dimmer level if you manually adjust it. Keep this option enabled if you want to be able to manually set lights low or bright, without the motion lighting settings overriding your manual dimmer setting when motion is detected.

Override for level only (default is automation suspend)

If this option is enabled, motion active events will not change your manual dimmer level settings, but when no motion is detected, the lights will still turn off when your specified time has elapsed.


This :point_up_2:.

I had trouble understanding the meaning of several options in motion lighting til I read the explanations of what each one does in the documentation.


Me and you both!


Thank you for the code ... very helpful

Thanks. So if my dimmer is already set to 80% then motion does not set it to 30% but turns off after 5 minutes. And if I want the light to stay on at 80% I would use

**Don't turn off if already on**

Enabling this option will force any light that was already *on* before motion began, to not turn *off* when the motion stops.

I have my motion set like below. The problem is sometimes motion is detected but the logs show that no light was turned on because it was already on, which it wasn't. Can anyone see anything wrong with my setup. Is it possible that if my lights were set to >30 then turned off, that HE thinks they're on because they were set to >30?

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if your turning lights on and off or adjusting colors or dimming manually outside of the motion app then you need to define your on and off switches etc in the app or it wont know that the state has changed and wont turn them on/off.

with your settings a manual dimmer level change would prevent the app from adjusting the level. without the on off switches defined it doesn't know if its on or off, just sees the level has been manually set so it doesn't do anything.

So yes it sounds like exactly what you asked is what is happening.

Thanks, I would usually set a higher level and turn off either via Alexa or the hue app, I guess they can't be set as switches?

In both the options for on and the options for off there is a setting Switches to turn lights on/off. Select the bulbs you are controlling under both of these options. This will ensure when the sensor is tripped the switch/toggle for the bulbs is adjusted as well.

It sounds like what is happening is when your lights go "off" they are just setting the level to 0 and not the switch as well. Then when the sensor detects motion it sees the switch is set to on and doesnt adjust your level.

The lights are technically on, just the level is set so low theres no actual light.

Excerpt from the manual for motion lighting on the switches...

Switches to turn on lights

Select any switches that are not already included in your setup, and you would like these switches to automatically turn off when motion becomes inactive. For example, these might be switches that you always manually turn on , such as a bathroom exhaust fan, but you want it to always turn off when motion stops.

No, i'm using Alexa to turn them off. For example if I need more light in the hall I ask Alexa to turn them up to 100%, then ask to turn them off afterwards. When HE is reporting that the lights are already on, they're set to 100% and off. I have no physical switches for the lights at the moment.

I need to put a Hue Dimmer switch in, then I won't need to use Alexa.

Set the lights as switches in the options and you shouldn't see this behavior anymore. Thats what fixed this behavior for me, but i also am using google minis and have the google home app integrated so im not sure if that affects things switch wise.

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Thanks, will try that.

What i would also think about doing is the following.

Remove the dont turn off if already on setting and set a cancel-able period. with your other settings this will let you adjust the lighting level and the lights will still cut themselves off after your timeout period without motion, and will come back on to that same level as they already do, BUT every time they detect motion it will reset that 2 min off period so the lights wont turn off while your using them unless your sitting still.

Here is how I have my hallway set up for comparison. Instead of timing I use outside light levels from a weather app. I can control them by voice, on, off color and level, and the motion controls still turn the lights on and off, BUT they will retain the color and level settings if changed once motion has activated them.

Still haven't figured out if there is a way to enable and disable the motion lighting via google voice commands, though im sure there is

It's a bit confusing, 'Switches' to me would be the light switch, even with the explanation it's not very clear. Surely the lights that are turning on should be automatically checked by whatever the above does. Seems to be working now though!

You have to shift your thinking out of the physical a little bit, once it clicks though it makes perfect sense. Hopefully I can explain it in a way that makes sense

Basically when working on home automation any device that can be turned on and off/has two states (toggle) can be addressed as a switch. This includes virtual or fake devices too which are used to "switch" between 2 states (true and false usually).

An RGBW bulb has multiple ways it can be told what to do. We can send a command to set the color, the brightness, the saturation, color temp, and on or off.

Because of this a light can be classified as a bulb or a switch. You can tell it to "switch" the state between on and off, or send more advanced commands for color etc.

Lets say we create a virtual switch that we name fish. We have some rules set up that say at 4pm set virtual switch fish to true. We have another rule that checks the status of the fish switch and if its set to true/on it announces on speaker x once every 15 minutes that its time to feed the fish until the switch is set to false/off.

We have a contact sensor on the lid to our fish tank that triggers another rule that sets the fish switch to off/false when it opens so as soon as we open the lid to the tank to feed the fish the system stops sending us notifications until the next day.

Hopefully that helps you understand what switches are and how they work/are used in hubitat and if not maybe someone else can better explain it :slight_smile:

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I notice you have 2 hall lights like myself. The Hue integration also pulls the room name through to HE so I have a dashboard tile for 'Hall' which turn both lights on/off. Will that cause issues with the 'switches to activate on/off' options?

ie, should that option contain 'Hall, Hall light 1 and Hall light 2'

Im not 100% sure to be honest because i don't use the hue lights and am not entirely sure how the hub interfaces with hubitat. BUT if you just set Hall as the switch as well it should change all the lights switch state at once as well.

Basically Hall is a group containing hall 1 and hall 2. when you issue a command to hall it is sent to both hall 1 and hall 2.

I don't use the group features at all, because everything is controlled via automation or voice and lights that contain the same words (room name) will all trigger at the same time unless you address them individually by full name.

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