Motion sensing advice for lighting


A topic of how many motion sensors do you have was posted and some of you have quite a few or should I say " A PILE" of motion sensors. I'm looking for some ideas on setting up motion lighting in a house (Bedrooms, Kitchen, family room) and how it has worked for you.

A- Is motion controlling just the off or on function?
B- Is there more than one Motion Sensor?
C- Is this controlled by using RM or some other app? If so, some ideas?
D- Minimize pet activation?
E- Sleep time?

Thank you..


For my house, everything is either motion, contact or voice controlled. All my motion and contact rules operate based upon mode and all my rooms determine their dimming levels based upon mode (and some upon lux as well). I have modes setup for every part of the day (early morning, morning, afternoon, evening, night, and overnight). So, using my bathroom as an example, for early morning, the lights come on at 100% (while my wife gets ready for work). In the afternoon, they only come on to 50%. In the bathroom, I have two motion sensors; 1 over the door and 1 in the shower and they both compliment each other and also work independently.

For most of my motion rules, I use a combination of Motion Lighting and Rule Manager (the latter for lux calculations).

Minimizing pet activation... Not in my house. My dog trained himself to turn on the lights when he wants to go out. LOL However, taping over the lower part of the sensor and/or placing them strategically helps loads with pets.

Sleep time in my house is controlled by the mode Home - Overnight. When in this mode, only my hallway and bathroom motion sensors are activated for lighting and excluded from HSM. So, if my wife or I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, only those lights come on at 5%.


A- Is motion controlling just the off or on function?
No, it controls both
B- Is there more than one Motion Sensor?
In many cases, yes
C- Is this controlled by using RM or some other app?
Most are simple lighting, remainder rm
D- Minimize pet activation?
Via placement, nyce curtain and sensors with tubes over the sensor to limit field of vision
E- Sleep time?
Have sleep mode, then use as a constraint


A) All of my lighting automations that turn lights on automatically also turn them off automatically. I have a couple (e.g., my dining room, which I walk through far more often than I use and don't care to light if I'm just passing through) that don't automatically turn on with motion but will still automatically turn off after motion stops. Unless my virtual "kill switch" is enabled, all of mine will also turn off automatically after motion stops if turned on for any reason (e.g., manually outside of the location mode conditions that would have warranted them turning on automatically).

B) I only have one motion sensor in most rooms, but I'm thinking about two. Usually I can put one in a good spot as a "turn on" sensor, one that will turn the lights on when active and be in a good location where it won't catch incidental motion from other rooms. I'm thinking of places I can put a second "keep on" sensor I can use to keep lights on but not activate them (something likely to see more motion in the room but might catch it in other rooms from time to time). This might also make "sunlit curtain blowing in the wind" false positives from HSM less likely if used as part of a zone.

C) Most of my lighting automations are driven by a custom app I wrote exactly for my purposes since I couldn't find anything that did what I wanted. I use mostly smart bulbs and have a lot of multi-bulb fixtures controlled by a single switch. I don't always want all bulbs on. I also liked a feature Hue advertised where bulbs would dim before completely turning off as a "warning," then restore their state if motion resumed before then. My app is here: [RELEASE] Lights on Motion Plus (dim before off, remember individual bulb states, etc.). For simple cases, I use the Hubitat stock Motion Lighting app. You can use RM for anything more complicated, but since I wrote my app, I haven't except when I was new to RM to help me learn it. :slight_smile:

D) I don't have pets, but I suspect a second sesnor as I mentioned above might help. But I've seen other people use careful placement and even blocking or restricting part of the sensor lens to reduce false alarms from smaller/shorter animals.

E) As I mentioned in the other thread, location mode (and a couple virtual switches) restrict all of my lighting automations. In short, almost turns on by motion when in Night mode, which I activate when I go to bed (or which activates for me late at night just after my usual bedtime in case I fall alseep and forget to do so myself).

There are, of course, no wrong or right answers, just whatever you think works for you. Hopefully you'll get some ideas from this thread! I like seeing what others have done to give me ideas for improvement.


When I've tried a room and I'm on the computer and not much motion is happening, how would you keep the lights on with one motion sensor to control on/off?

Thank you for all your responses. All great information. It is very much appreciated.


Two things:

  1. Move the motion sensor closer to you so that it can pick up on your hands. I have a motion sensor in my office that is positioned between my monitor and my keyboard. When I type or move my mouse, it picks up that movement.

  2. In Motion Lighting, set the timeout period to something like 7-10 minutes. Then, utilize a switch or button remote to turn off the lights if you want them off quicker. So, again, for my office, I use a motion sensor, but I also have a remote on the wall that if I want the lights off (and to disable motion sensing), I hit the second button. If I want motion sensing back on, I hit button 1 on the remote and the lights come back on and the motion sensor is reactivated.


Again..Thanks everyone for all your assistance.