I have a “square” shaped walk-in closet with 2 entry points like pictured above. It has a 3-way switch. I originally planned to keep the switches dumb, put switch guards on them, and use a smart light bulb with a motion sensor(s); although, I could be convinced to change them to the Kasa 3-Way Dimmer Switch so we have a manual way to turn off as we leave instead of waiting for “Motion Not Detected”.
Based on this configuration, what would be the optimal placement of the motion sensors? Green is an island. Yellows are wardrobes. Not pictured by the window is a vanity where I’ll be most likely doing hair/makeup.
Also, what are best practices in terms of deciding when to turn off? Timer and motion not detected or motion not detected only? Unfortunately, I cannot depend on door contact sensors for this since the Open/Close condition of the doors could be anything when we leave the room. Thanks for the tips!
A motion Sensor is going to be key.. and how many. I guess I'd start with one in the center of the ceiling, pointing down.
After getting reliable triggers, it needs to turn something on... every ZWave switch is 3 way, lucky for us all. The choice for the "other" switch then gets decided by which manufacturer you choose. GE for example use their own but they are inexpensive. Zooz and Inovelli allow a wide choice and there's a good chance what you have will work with them.
You will want to trigger lights on on motion and lights off, at least 4 mins after the loss of motion. That could be 12 mins or 20 mins depending on how the motion sensor detects the small movements at the vanity.
I have several similar situations and have had good success with a single motion sensor placed (for example) where I put the X here. Catches motion by either door. I would try a battery motion detector and just place it in various places to test. A small square of alien tape would allow you to try it to see where it works best.
I would add that @csteele
's advice is excellent. I don't have any highfalutin fancy permanently installed motion detectors myself. But that would be a sweet way to go.
Lutron switch, pico, and a motion sensor.
What kind of Smart light? Are you also controlling vanity lights? If you have only one main light fixture, you are going to be frustrated with pir motion sensors turning off the lights unless you use multiple motion sensors or a long timer. I would recommend using 2-3 pir sensors, or a pir sensor and a mmwave radar. I have 5 pir sensors in my garage and still had to set the timer to 10 minutes to keep the lights from turning off when I am working on something out there. I added a mmWave sensor and now have the timer at 1 minute. You could also use a contact sensor on a drawer at the vanity that could be used to keep the lights on while it’s open.
I personally use very long timers. I use 30 minutes in the bathrooms and walk in closets. It's all LED lighting so if we forget to turn off the light it stays on another 30 minutes is not a big deal. I personally prefer to turn things off myself, and just have a backup that kicks in when we obviously left it on. Also having the lights go out on my wife in the bathroom or closet is not a scenario I want to deal with very often.
keep 'Zone Motion Controllers' app in mind. putting to sensors into a zone is working really well for me.
Can your doors be used with contact sensors? in my closet I always close the door unless I'm in it, so that could be considered if you haven't already.
I only have one fixture in the room which is a hanging ceiling light at the middle of the island. I may add smart LED strip lights on the wardrobe cabinets, too. I like that idea about the contact sensor at the vanity or even a second motion sensor.
The reason I didn’t consider the contact sensors is because the state of the doors could be anything when we leave the room. It’s both my husband and I so I have to be prepared it could be anything.
Unless you want to be able to change light color or color temperature, your best bet is probably to use a z-wave or zigbee dimmer. TP-Link switches don’t push events to the hub and have to be polled by the hub to update their state. A Zooz dimmer could be used to dim the lights, but also has multi tap events that could be used to control the light strips in the future.
I didn’t know this! I only have experience with the Kasa switches. Do you have a suggestion for the Zwave switches? This would be super helpful actually in our main bathroom that has a freakin 4-way switch
Oh man… should I switch out all the light switches? I literally just got over $300 worth of switches.
Lutron switch and a pico...
Only if you can return them. I’ve had very good luck with the Zooz Zen77, Zen30, and Zen34 (battery powered). The Zen77 can do 3 & 4 way installations. Thesmartesthouse.com is the place to go for Zooz. They are very reasonably priced compared to other z-wave or zigbee dimmers.
Do these switches also act as repeaters? We have ALOT of light switches. It’s part of the reason I got Kasa because of price. Looking at Zooz, I may be looking at twice as much for the same amount of switches. This is sort of the diagram I had drawn up for the light switches and bought all switches. I could return them potentially. I have to ask the contractor when the electrician is scheduled to come back.
Edit: I just priced it out to compare and I’m looking at $615 with Zooz vs $326 with Kasa
Generally any mains powered z-wave device will repeat for other z-wave devices; just as most mains powered zigbee devices repeat for other zigbee devices. Btw: Zooz dimmers don’t require smart switches for the other switches in 3 &4 way setups.
Kasa devices rely on your home WiFi to communicate. With 4 kids still at home, I have over 50 devices connected to my router, so I avoid using WiFi devices when I can. I do have a few Kasa plugs and a power strip, but I use Home Assistant to connect them to Hubitat. I don’t worry about Home Assistant getting too much i/o traffic since it’s running on an actual linux pc.
Looks like the actual price is $32.95. The Kasa 3 way switches would cost more if you also need them as accessory switches.
I may look into these and redo the pricing with only one Zooz at a 3 & 4 way setup.
The 3-way configuration has to have a Zooz switch and a regular on/off 3-way switch at the other end. You won't have the option to dim from the regular 3-way switch. Always use simple on/off 3-way switches when connecting them to Zooz switches. No dimmers or electronic switches with a LED indicator may be wired to Zooz switches or dimmers.
What do you use as dim control at the “dumb” switches? Or do you just not? The dumb switch doesn’t have to be on at all times does it?
That might be a good question for @agnes.zooz . I haven’t tried that with the Zooz dimmers. The 3 way dimmers were the first ones that I changed out to “smart” and I used Enbrighten at that time with their accessory switches. I have so many Hue lights in the house, and my wife wanted to have physical switches and dimmers, which is what led me to trying the Zooz dimmers. They have a smart bulb mode (activated in the device preferences) that keeps the power on to the bulbs no matter what happens at the wall switch.
No. The on and off are controlled by the dumb switches without disrupting power to the Zooz. I believe it sends a low voltage signal through the traveler wire. The Zooz has to be connected at the main switch box where the power comes in.
I have a couple of the GE, now branded Enbrighten:
and it can be purchased as a pair, but it looks like you could save $3 buying them individually because the single ZWave is reduced, but the bundle isn't.
There's no question that Lutron is the best. However, it's a pricy choice to make.
Personally I'd pick either the Zooz or the Inovelli because you can probably use the dumb 2nd switch as is.