Motion Sensor Timeout (how to lower or force it inactive)

I have a hallway with a zwave light switch that controls some lights. I have an iris v1 at each end of the hallway that toggles the lights. This seems to work well. When I pass motion switch 1, lights come on, and motion switch 2 becomes active and turns the light off when I reach the end.

The issue is that if I go to the end of the hall, go into a room, grab something quickly, and come right back out, the lights stay out. The iris v1 have a timeout of about 45s or so.

How can I get around this 45s window where the lights won't come back on/off again?

I’ve never used any iris v1 devices but I have several iris v2 motion sensors and the timeout isn’t configurable. I’m guessing the v1 devices are the same, but admittedly that’s a guess.

Is there a reason why you prefer to have the lights turn on with one sensor and off with the other? Have you tried a rule that turns the lights on with motion, then waits a minute or two to turn lights off as long as there’s no further motion detected?

I originally had it set up that way, but liked the fact that it instantly turns on and off, as if you were hitting the switch yourself. I may end up going back to a 1 minute timer or something.

Sure I hear that. You might be able to figure out a way to keep that effect but I doubt it will involve decreasing the motion sensor timeout.

Yeah, I guess either way I do it, there will always be a 45s dead zone. Can't think of any way around it.

The above suggestion is what I'd probably do--and I'd say it's how most people set up lighting automations (off after a certain period of inactivity from one or more sensors for a room/hall/area), but I admit your idea does sound cool. Most Zigbee sensors don't have a configurable timeout, though like the above poster, I don't know about the Iris v1. Most Z-Wave sensors I've used do have a configurable timeout, but most are also much slower than a Zigbee sensor and not something I'd recommend for stairs or a hall (or really most lighting automations indoors in general) where the sooner the lights can turn on, the better.

There was and may still be an eBay seller with lots of 10 Iris v2 motion sensors for $55 or so. I don't know where he got them from, but several of mine seem to have an odd firmware that resets them to "inactive" after 6 seconds (CentraLite test firmware that escaped into the wild like this? I don't know). That may work for you needs, but there's no guarantee you'd be able to find one (though I'm pretty sure I have at least one if you really want to try--just be sure not to upgrade/change their firmware!).

All of this assumes you would be willing to consider a different sensor, of course. The trend remains that this is a bit of an unusual setup and requires great care with selecting and placing sensors. (I assume you account for what happens when you walk through the hallway in the other direction--do the sensors' roles reverse, or does the first see you the entire length and the second only at the end?)

Yeah, it works in reverse. I just have each motion sensor toggle the status, so if I walk through motion sensor 2 and the lights are off, it will come on and as I pass sensor 1, it will turn off.

Interesting that some v2 sensors default to 6s timeout. I may pickup a couple if I can confirm this.

I'm not sure what you're looking to confirm--a couple of us who've bought from eBay have definitely found this to be the case. :slight_smile: It's unlikely the eBay seller knew beforehand or could tell you which ones might do this, but it is likely related to firmware versions (but that's also something they're unlikely to know). This thread has a few similar reports, including mine: Iris v2 Motion sensor-unexpected behavior. But to my knowledge, there's no way to force a specific firmware (except the latest OTA update your platform offers, notably SmartThings, which I think will update you to some 30-second-reset firmware if you do).

You'll probably have a much easier time re-doing your automations to use timeouts instead (less cool, I know) or settling for a more-configurable Z-Wave sensor (if you don't mind what will generally be a bit of a delay)--or explore one of the DIY options, like HubDuino with a custom sensor you can make to do whatever you want.

@BillyBob, if you are truly married to the lights working this way, you could replace the sensors with Hue motion sensors and be able to accomplish this. The Hue's retrigger time is configurable down to 10 seconds (with the built in Hue motion sensor driver) and they work great paired to HE. Just wait for a sale on Amazon. I got mine for $24 each.

You could use the zone motion app which does allow for a configurable timeout.

But I think that app will not be able to override the intrinsic timeout behaviour of the sensor, right? If the sensor is only sending a signal again after, say, 30 seconds for the Iris v2, there is nothing the app can do to manage retriggering behaviour prior to that signal.


That is correct. Love my Iris V2 motion sensors, but 30 seconds no matter what before they will trip again.

Not so keen on them myself. I bought a job lot of 20 from eBay like so many others on here but have had nothing but trouble. with them - dropped connections, batteries failing all over the place, getting stuck active. Strange, but for me they are rubbish. Now I'm migrating to Aqara which seem much better (although certainly slower to react).

Sounds like a zigbee mesh issue. I had all of the above until I strengthened my mesh. They are now my most reliable sensors. Got about 15 of these bad boys and only changed 2 batteries in over a year. It could just be a bad lot...but like I said, I had all 3 symptoms till I created a solid mesh (I used the Iris v2 outlet as repeaters).

Maybe something like this?

I am certainly not married to this functionality. Do most people just trigger it and leave it on for 1-2 minutes? Does anyone even trigger lights with motion? I am brand new to this.

Every light I have is a Philip's hue connected to their bridge and then onto HE via the built in app. I don't use any wall switches, just motion or voice via alexa/Google.


In the hallway I have it shut off after a couple minutes of “no motion” since people are usually moving when they are in the hallway. I have a longer time set for places like the kitchen, where one might be standing in one place longer. I think there are specific places and times of the day when this is more convenient than a switch or button device. I use whatever is more convenient.

Yeah, like others here I use motion with a timeout after a few minutes (depending on the traffic/motion of the room). It works quite well in most cases. Any issues can be fixed by adding more motion detectors or extending the time out.

Exactly that, except I leave the light on for a time period appropriate to the space. For example, a hallway might be two minutes, a bedroom 5, the garage lights might be 30 (I have a workbench there where I may not make sufficient motion for a few minutes to keep the light alive).

Given the energy efficiency of LED bulbs, the potential for having lights on a few extra minutes a day isn't worth thinking about. Of course, there might be other reasons to limit the light such as an annoyance during the night. But my light automations in living areas don't run at night anyway.

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