Motion Sensor Activate if Switch not Already On?

Can one accomplish scenario 1 and 2 below using basic rules and if so, how could one set this up?

Scenario 1:

  1. Switch is already manually on for a staircase light at 100%.
  2. No need to do anything else. Don’t want a staircase motion sensor to detect motion then dim light to a preset of 50%.

Scenario 2:

  1. Switch is NOT manually on. Staircase light is off.
  2. As you walk to to the stairs, staircase motion sensor detects staircase light was off and will turn on staircase light to a preset of 50%.

Yes, this is one of the scenarios Room Lighting can help you with. Here is an example setup, except you'll want to substitute "Living Room Lights" with your staircase light and my virtual/test sensor with your actual motion sensor:

If you're not familiar with Room Lighting, unless you already have both this sensor and the light in the same "room" on the hub (using Hubitat's "Rooms" feature) – in which case just choosing that room under "Rooms to Automate" might pick sensible defaults like this for you – you can just select your staircase light under "Devices to Automate" (like I did with my lights here). Then, in the table, click/tap the value in the "Level" cell for the row with your lights and set it to 50 (which I already did by the time this screenshot was taken; also, note that the values in parentheses are the current states, there to help you but not important for your actual setup).

Second, select your motion sensor under "Means to Activate Lights": click/tap into that page, then select "Motion becomes active" as an activation method, along with your sensor. While on this page, click further into the "Activate Lights Options" page, and make sure "Activate even if already partially activated" is not selected under "Additional Options." It isn't by default, but if you do check this, it will not do what you want (instead, it will set it to 50% even if they're currently at full brightness any time motion is detected) – so that's why I'll mention it here.

The rest will probably be automatically set up with what you want: the motion sensor plus a 1-minute delay after inactivity will already be created as a means to turn off. If you want to adjust that delay (or for some reason only turn lights on with motion but not turn them off), you can click/tap into that page too to adjust your settings as needed.


Thanks very much for the detailed write-up.
But there’s no way to accomplish this with Basic Rules? I only ask because BR seems so much more straight-forward/easier.

Average person probably wouldn’t be able to figure this Room Lighting one out without much testing or asking.

Actually, just set it up relatively easily. Will see how it works. I suppose your showing this interface just looks/reads more confusing/complicated on the surface. Thank you again.

The problem I saw with Basic Rule is that there are no conditionals, so no way to test if the lights are already on. Looking at this again, it could actually work if you couple this with Groups and Scenes, which had similar options to not activate if already partially "on." Room Lighting was actually deisnged, in part, to replace these apps (plus Mode and Motion Lighting), so it has all of the same options available in some way, plus a lot more.

Groups and Scenes actually was actually briefly "retired" for a bit in favor of Room Lighting. It was brought back due to some confusion over how to create new "group" or "scene" setups with it. So, you're not alone in thinking the Room Lighting UI looks complicated. :slight_smile: But once you start playing around, it's not too bad. Your setup really only takes a few clicks (I just spelled every step out in detail in case you couldn't find the options)--and it encompasses things all in one app that you might have otherwise needed multiple apps to accomplish, as you may have seen by now.

But as usually with Hubitat, there are lots of ways to accomplish the same goal--so whatever works best for you!

Thanks again for your help and I don’t want to sound unappreciative. I’m more annoyed with the HE User Interface and having to ask the community. The more I dug into room lighting, the more confusing it gets with all of those additional options to check. For example, I doubt most people are using this section UI feature to turn on and off lights - I would just remove this from the UI. Conditionals are written like a coder would write them and not a typical end-user. Or at least freakin bury it so that it only exposes the meat and potatoes.

Keep it simple. Simple is good. The default setup probably works 90% of the time for most people which is great. But beyond that…

Like for example, I wanted to perhaps set up a schedule so that at night bathroom lights would turn on auto on low/25% between the hours of 11 pm to 6 am. But then during the day, it would turn on automatically 75% between 8 am to 9 pm. But then I started digging into the timeframes and I gave up. Tried reading the help section and then my head exploded.

.begin rant. It really doesn’t need to read this confusing - I have better stuff to do with my time which is the whole ironic point of automating everything lol. I love HE, but there are some things (mostly simplifying and explaining things more clearer to others) which it could do much better if they approached it from a total noob beta-tester standpoint.

*Would add that the occasional user who has other things to do 11/12 months during the year (and is forgetful like me) - it’s not always easy to remember. I know Wink was simple, but it was great for the longest time (minus obvious issues) due to its simplicity. It just worked. Then you could extend it by digging deeper. I feel like HE hides some built in apps that are commonly needed THEN once you activate it, it hits end-users over the head with a hammer. On the other hand, I recognize that it’s a VERY well optimized and reliable device - a very powerful little device for tweakers.

I like how the recently made a move towards Basic Rules (although there could be arguably additional love/features put into it but it’s getting there.) RM on the other hand was always the next level massive amount of confusion. Personally, I’m probably a mid-level HE user which is still a leap up from the general public but not quite where you are at and probably wont be. These separate rule sections could be combined and gradually walk noob users up. .end rant.*

Different brightnesses at different times is easy to do. I find it worth creating custom modes for different times then use the modes in your lighting rules.

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