Room Lighting - Is it possible to Stop Motion / Contact Activation But Allow Manual Activation?

Part question, part feature request.... Not sure which it is at this stage...

With the options to disable activation in both (I think) motion lighting and room lighting, it would nice if I could disable the sensor-driven activation via motion and contact sensors, but still allow the manual activation using things like physical buttons and switches.

Open for both ideas on how best to achieve this with current options and/or a willingness to add a new feature to the app, if needed.

To explain the use case a little further.... I have an RL setup for my Study which includes both motion-based activation, the use of a Hue Dimmer and a Samsung button that is used to drive an "I am working" type de-activation of motion-based lighting. When I am working from home, I want to disable motion-based activation, preferring to have the lights set to the day-time scene I have constructed. But if I want to manually control the lights, I need to separately define either a Button Controller or equivalent rule in RM, etc, which is already perfectly defined in the RM setup. So it seems unnecessary to define the choice of scene and mode combinations again in a separate rule... If that makes sense.

Thinking (always a danger sign btw) that you may be able to use a virtual sensor that is only updated by a rule during a set time frame…

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I was expecting a programming solution.... :slight_smile: but you may be onto something.... Still would be nice to have something built in and simpler to configure.... but that may still be an option in the interim....

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There are some Limit Activation based options, but haven’t played with them enough to see if you can isolate the limitations to a device or set of devices instead of globally.

Just looked at the Zone Motion options, which I use in each room, and can't see a way to use those options for my use case, but happy to be proven wrong....

That said, I'm sure there are weird and wonderful RM options that could be leveraged..... but was wanting to avoid that if I could by requesting for a change to the RM / ML apps or direction on how to configure them to achieve this...

I had a setup that kept getting activated when it shouldn’t have. I ended-up finding that a motion sensor was being triggered by a certain light turning off.

I created a rule to activate/deactivate a virtual sensor only when a specific sensor was open, and that fixed my issue. (I changed the other rule to use the virtual sensor instead of the real one as a trigger.)

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This is exactly what I've been trying ti figure out . Would also be nice to be able to just do it with a dashboard.

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I wonder if they could make motion/contact sensors disable-able from the device page/dashboard? Or if there's a reason that's a bad idea?

I use RM for most of my lighting automations but I wanted the ability to disable motion sensor triggers easily. I basically created a "Motion Sensors" virtual switch and made all my automations require that "Motion Sensors" is ON for the rule to fire. The end result is I can disable all my motion rules with a single click. I even exposed this switch to Google Home so I can just tell Google to "turn off the motion sensors". It works great but is really just a work around for "disabling" motion sensors.

If you could directly "turn off" sensors then you would still have manual control in RL without creating separate rules.

Another less elegant work around is to have RL only work off of manual triggers and create RM rules that trigger the manual triggers when motion is triggered. Then you can create whatever conditions for enabling or disabling the motion triggers.

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You can disable any device from the Devices page. There is a hidden left column of check boxes, that can be exposed by the grayed out X in the upper right corner of the page.

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Oh wow didn't know that!

Can the disable be toggled by a rule? Or by a dashboard button?

No, only from the UI.

What about my original idea @bravenel? Being able to disable the motion / sensor based activation and turning off inside a Room Lighting instance? Would that be something you would consider?

Obviously it can be worked around, but would be nice if it was built in...

I just realized that I have one of my rooms disabled at night so the motion wont turn the light on, but this also disables any level settings I have for night mode as well. I also have the RL to activate if you turn the switch on manually. I assume this is what you are looking for.

My idea to get around this currently would be to either make a virtual motion sensor as others have stated, and have it mirror the main one but not during the night mode. Or the other option would be to split the motion part out by adding an activator device, and then putting the motion sensor in a separate RL that just turns the activator on and off. You could then limit just the motion RL.

But yes I agree it seems like it would be useful to limit just the motion activation, separately from the global limiting.

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It sounds to me as though this would get to be a huge amount of complexity.

I am basically doing this already for another motion sensor using two RL. The main RL has all the settings and other ways to activate, plus an activator. The second RL just does the motion part and activates the main one.

Just set up a simple motion Lighting Automation, then restrict it's Activation using a virtual switch. Your button/remote just toggles the virtual switch. I used this in SmartThings a lot and am using a similar setup in Hubitat so the Kitchen/Dining area can have extra ambiance settings with button driven scenes (no motion detection) when desired.

The app is nice in that it allows you to set lighting for all of your modes. Night lighting runs 10% dimmers etc. So between modes, the lighting app and a few virtual switches, Hubitat is doing just fine with my lights as I port over from SmartThings :slight_smile:

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I have been using something like this for some time, with some success, but have never had it working exactly like I wanted. My request here wasn't designed to solve all the problems I have with this... My main issue is in managing the virtual switch. I like to disable the motion lighting in various situations, so when I initiate manual control with a button / remote (like you described), when I enter certain modes like a Relax mode I often use later in the Evening. I then need to manage turning motion lighting back on when I switch to a different mode such as Night or Day or Away.

Where this request came from was that I could not make use of a virtual switch to control the motion lighting activation, without also setting up a button controller like the one below, still needing to include the activation of the scenes per mode, plus managing a short delay where motion lighting is disabled or enabled. I only tweaked this just now to cancel the delayed action, and I think I may have landed on something that will work, albeit complicated with various RM rules, Room Lighting and a Button Controller. Like I said, this request wasn't intended to solve all of these complexities, just the need for the Button Controller definition.

I hear you. I found it easier to just manage a single virtual switch (like in my home theatre stuff) so for example, motion is held off while the theatre is in use. With switches that hold off motion, you can also just automate the virtual switch so say it is turned off within 120 minutes etc. I use about four of them to pause motion lighting and kick off lighting scenes in various parts of the home.

I've yet to migrate my remotes over to Hub, so I'll definitely make use of your example on activation for button 4.

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I still only use a single VS, it's just coordinating all the touch-points to make sure you cover the various sequence of events that can occur.

I've kept my Hue stuff on the bridge... well I moved it across to HE and more recently back again :slight_smile: Now that some of the Community apps can receive push notifications for accessories it means I can now leave them on the Hue bridge and get the best of both HE and other integrations that can make use of the devices on the bridge, e.g. using the Hue app, etc.

So HUE motion sensors (connected to HUE hubs) can drive HE events now? If so, that is sweet. All of my lighting is either HUE, or IKEA Tradfri.

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