Turning Motion Lighting On and Off?

This is something I have grappled with on and off (pun intended) ever since I moved my lighting rules from my Hue bridge to Hubitat. No real fault of Hubitat, it opened up a wide array of new and exciting options for me to choose from, I just never nailed down how I wanted to use them in this space (the Google / Alexa activation device came very close, but not quite what I needed in all cases). It has also been something that has come up once or twice in recent times, including an ongoing conversation on this topic. So I am keen to capture some examples in Motion Lighting and Room Lighting, potentially Rule Machine for this requirement. Note, I am very much guiding the solution here by the use of a switch. Feel free to step outside of this if needed, it just seemed to keep things simple for me and opens up a lot of possibilities in triggering and reporting the state of motion lighting in a room.

  • We have a motion lighting rule. Let's treat this as a black box to begin with.... It could be a Motion Lighting rule or a Room Lighting rule that is triggered by any number of motion sensors, contact sensors, buttons, switches, etc, with any number of restrictions and options included, etc, etc.
  • We have situations where we don't want motion lighting to operate in the room. Triggers for this can range from when a physical button is pressed to an event is detected (watching TV), etc. Triggering the move back to motion lighting may be an equally open afair, time-based, another button press, mode change, etc.
  • We have a virtual switch that will be turned on when motion lighting is intended to be disabled and turned off when the motion lighting rule can resumes. This can be done with any number of rules or apps such button controllers, etc.

So the question is, how do we best:

a. Stop Motion Lighting or Room Lighting Rules using a switch?
b. How do we best resume Motion Lighting or Room Lighting rules?

I guess my ultimate aim is two-fold, both a consistent way to apply this in my own setup, plus provide some reference to point others to for applying in their own setup. I will work on it myself and report back anything I come up with, but happy for input from others in the meantime.

I hesitate, under the rule of "if you can't say something helpful say nothing at all" but I am overcome by the need to say this is exactly why I don't like my lighting automated. Sorry :slight_smile: (I look forward to seeing the proposed solutions however)

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Valid comment, I wouldn't discount that as a position many people hold. Just like the platforms we all use, I would propose there are levels to that stance, i.e. there are levels of complexity people are willing to go to, but no more.... Some stop sooner than others, but no judgement from me on where people land.

My setup on my Hue bridge, though complicated if I had to describe it in detail, largely centred around modes and triggering based on motion (I can't remember how the dimmers came into things...). But I definitely upped the complexity when I moved into HE, which is why I am not wanting to paint HE as the thing that caused my frustrations, it just provided too many damn options :slight_smile: Which is what I was ultimately after.... So no complaints on that front. Well not really complaints at all... I'm just wanting to find the best solution for what I expect is a common request, if not explicitly posted about by other Community members.

I agree. I rely mostly on Picos all over the house to turn lights off/on. In most locations, I don't think I could come up with the logic when or when not to rely on motion lighting because there is no logic to my thinking. :grin: The only lights I have hooked to motion lighting are in rooms I don't spend much time in like bathroom, basement, and laundry room or security situations like exterior lighting.

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Interesting.... not where I was expecting this conversation to head, but still useful for some I would hope....

I do have 2 lighting automations. 1) a contact sensor on a cupboard door 2) lighting that comes on and sirens that sound when motion is detected outside during sleeping hours. Otherwise it's buttons, dashboard and voice to operate different scenes and lights. Means I can sit down and read and if it begins to get dark while I am sitting down I can just speak to google. But I'd not want a luminence sensor to decide that for me - I might be reading a kindle book on my phone then I don't need the light on to read.

I am sure soon there will be some actual helpful suggestions :smiley:

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For what I am suggesting / proposing.... I would suggest that you have motion lighting in that space where you like to read, so if you pass through lighting still works.... But if you want to stop and read a book, you have some method to stop the motion lighting.... that could include voice activation of a virtual switch on HE.... which in turn would stop the motion lighting rule... like I described in the initial post. It's the internal of the motion lighting to make use of that switch to pause the motion lighting that I am am interested in.

I do understand what you mean, and the logic behind it. It's worth doing for the joy of problem-solving alone! But being a bit lazy I have found it easier to tell a button or google when to change the lights than to help the lights decide when not to be changed.

Though... you could have a point. The times my DH has complained that he's not noticed a chair pulled out in his path through the room that leads to the kitchen, because he never turns on the light in that room and waits till he gets to the kitchen. If I could force the light on just in that room when someone passes through, it might save his shins.

And that's the kind of minor inconvenience that we are all here trying to solve... :wink:

For my situation to work I really need beam interrupting sensors. Normal motion sensors are going to sense any movement in the room including me when I am just sitting minding my own business with a Kindle

In a few places I have motion sensors placed under furniture, like a bedside table or buffet alongside my hallway entrance, where I have limited the field of view using the structure of the furniture.... if you know what I mean... placing the sensor either towards the back underneath or alongside a leg....

I could also use a pair, one each side of the door jamb, and make them into a motion zone so they both have to fire within a very short space of time. I could put them in boxes so they can't see sideways

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Now you're talking.... :slight_smile:

It's naughty of me to start hijacking your thread. For your watching TV scenario I think Brian Read had a video about making a pressure sensor for the sofa. Or maybe put the TV on a metering smart plug so it knows when someone is probably watching?

For me I'm just being lazy, I have a perfectly adequate and reliable setup in Dan's Harmony integration, I just haven't spent the time to setup the rules. So it was more of an example than something I can't solve. The part I want to capture for myself and for others is, if you can capture that period of time, whatever triggers it, how to apply that switch consistently in Motion Lighting or Room Lighting.

That said, that does raise an interesting option... Could we request various built-in apps to "pause" other built-in apps, e.g. RM rules pause ML or RL child apps?

Well, assuming you already have a scene set up for TV viewing, when that scene is triggered it could also trigger the turning on of your "don't change the lighting" status. I see what you're saying, but it seems simple enough to have the don't-change-lights switch in the required expressions. (But only if the ones you want to pause are RM 5)

That's the point, I am interested in capturing how do we do that for those who have defined ML or RL rules, using a switch... RM would also be useful to know how people have achieved the same outcome, but it is more open-ended in terms of how you could achieve this... so wanted to focus on the more targeted apps to begin with.