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    Yet Another Occupancy Tip

    This tip is applicable only for homes having a single occupant, so it will be of interest to only a few users.

    Like most folks, I illuminate rooms at night when human presence is detected by either PIR or door switch sensors. Detection of area entry is the easy part, because you can't reside in an area without some motion to get there. I.e., you usually give the motion detector(s) something to work with, so the lights go on fairly reliably when you enter a room.

    The tricky part is knowing when to turn the lights off. A common approach is to turn off lights after a fixed period during which no motion has been detected. And, of course, the difficulty is that sometimes the occupant will become sedentary (reading a book?), so there is no motion for the PIR sensors to detect. The unfortunate result is that the lights go out in the middle of your chapter.

    It occurred to me that, in general, the only way I can leave a room is by entering a different room having a motion detector, or by leaving through an external (normally closed) door that is monitored. So the basic algorithm is: declare an area unoccupied whenever motion is detected in an adjoining area. Sensors for adjoining areas are easily collected in groups if you have the EasyTrigger plugin. You can then specify in a single, short event definition, that the current area has become unoccupied if any member of the neighbor group experiences activity. There are two obvious advantages over the "no motion timeout" approach:
    • The lights never go out while you're still in the room.
    • Whenever you do leave the room, the lights go out immediately -- or after a short delay, if you like -- instead of waiting for the timeout interval to expire.
    But as I said at the outset, this scheme won't work if the house has other occupants.

    Because even hermits occasionally have guests, events are qualified by a virtual device (AND IF Home Alone...). Home Alone is set False if one has company. An event sets the Home Alone device True late each night.

    #2
    Originally posted by ericg View Post
    This tip is applicable only for homes having a single occupant, so it will be of interest to only a few users.

    Just wanted to say, THANKS for sharing this idea. I have the basics for this approach set up. Still have a few things to work out, but basically it is working out better than any other approach I have taken.

    Thanks again!!
    Chris

    Comment


      #3
      Exact same approach I used at previous location on a Vera3 system. Remember to enhance it with extra sensor input, so that if living room has TV still on when motion in hallway and kitchen is detected to not kill off living room light, but for HS to realize you might ran over to get a snack or heading to bathroom.

      If you're able to detect TV going to sleep (DNLA, power usage, etc.) and no recent motion after say 10pm then it's a good indicator you fell asleep watching and to then lower thermostat, lock doors, turn off lights, etc. Preferred that over trying to wake myself up to go to bed.

      Event logic totally broke down obviously when I wasn't alone, and to quickly adjust setting to rely on other logic, but it ran well.

      Now dealing with many occupants for HomeSeer location with different schedules, and use-cases to accommodate, and I'm going bonkers over everything. Feels like I'm trying to script artificial intelligence

      There are benefits to company, but occupancy detection scripting isn't one of them lol

      Comment


        #4
        I find that this general approach causes room lights to go on and off considerably more often than would occur in either a "dumb" house or some other schemes. If the bulbs involved were incandescent, there would be a downside of shorter bulb life caused by the extra thermal stress. Because I have switched my entire house to LED bulbs, I don't have that problem.

        There is a related problem that I didn't mention. To work properly, the scheme needs to keep up with you as you move about your home. Some of my PIR motion sensors (I'm looking at you, HSM200!), once tripped, are useless for the next 60 seconds or so, until they can recycle. For example: You head from the living room to the kitchen during a TV commercial to get a snack. The kitchen light comes on as you enter. Back to the living room, and its PIR detection causes the kitchen light to go off. So far, so good. But then you decide you want a soda to go with your snack, so it's back to the kitchen. Because you have returned before the kitchen PIR can recycle, you are in a dark room which forces you to turn on the light manually. (Ugh!) My workaround is to delay the living room (or other) sensor turnoff of the kitchen light until the kitchen PIR sensor has had enough time to recycle. I hope this makes sense. It works pretty well for me.

        Many of my PIR motion sensors are hard wired to my security system, and they recycle in 3-4 seconds. My external door sensors are likewise hard wired with zero recycle time. Although I don't have any, the HS-MS100+ sensors caught my eye because you can set the motion timeout period as short as you like. This is nominally a battery operated unit, so they set the default timeout to 10 minutes to conserve battery life. But you can plug in a wall wart to run it off mains power, so I imagine that would be a good way to sense motion with a PIR short recycle time.

        Edit: When you first plug in the HSM200, it enters a temporary mode where it flashes its integrated LED to show you its PIR detections. In this mode it has excellent response, near zero recovery time. However, there is, to my knowledge, no way to maintain the short recovery time in normal mode. The HSM200 (it is coming back, right?) runs on mains power, so presumably the firmware could be adjusted to allow short timeouts without penalty. I.e., specify the timeout interval in seconds, not minutes.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by ericg View Post
          There is a related problem that I didn't mention.
          If you are lucky the Z-Wave sensor allows you to adjust the times via Z-Wave parameter at the cost of battery life, and I've adjusted them on mine to be much faster in the response time.

          The other method as you already indicated is to adjust the scene to account for this by delaying accordingly.

          PS: LED bulbs for the win, especially dimmable ones, so you can tweak your scenes even more to not go full brightness on a sleepy walk to the bathroom. Removing blue light from bulbs that support it at certain hours also avoids messing up melatonin balance.

          Comment


            #6
            I did encounter something similar. I changed the pattern of way mine turns lights off to help avoid the dark walk! I also tried setting a slight delay in the scenario you mentioned as well with good results.

            I have a few different Motion Sensors. I have read tons of places that the Eco Link ones can be put in and left in "test" mode ( as you were referring to ), Yet I can not manage to get mine to go into test mode regardless of what I do. In test mode, the Ecolink ones are reported to have a 5 second delay for re-set.

            The small round Neo and Dome type sensors have about a 30 second reset time. I do not own any of the Homeseer ones, so I am not sure of the reset time on those.

            Even with these few adjustments, I like the outcome compared to other methods I have used !

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Meapilot View Post
              I have a few different Motion Sensors. I have read tons of places that the Eco Link ones can be put in and left in "test" mode ( as you were referring to ), Yet I can not manage to get mine to go into test mode regardless of what I do. In test mode, the Ecolink ones are reported to have a 5 second delay for re-set.
              Do you mean the PIRZWAVE2.5-ECO? You're correct that they reset after ~5 seconds in test mode. Odd that it's not working for you--I have 9 of them all in full-time test mode. To verify, you need to have a jumper on the TEST pins, and no jumper on PET1 or PET2.
              -Wade

              Comment


                #8
                The Fibaro FGMS-001 sensors (eyeball I prefer to call them) can be adjusted down to 4-seconds to lower sensitivity on motion trigger sensitivity, and cancel-alarm window to be ready for next one as low as 1-second.

                Left mine at the default 12-seconds and 30-seconds cancellation to conserve battery as much as possible for most, but had one running at 4-seconds sensitivity and 1-second cancellation. It went through batteries much faster obviously, but it was used in an area I had low movement at from irritating rodents, and now after HomeSeer inclusion and factor resets I'll have to decide if I still need that at new location seeing as cat works her magic.

                From their manual:
                Click image for larger version  Name:	Screenshot_2019-10-17 FGMS-001-EN-T-v2 1 pdf.png Views:	0 Size:	97.3 KB ID:	1333800

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by RoChess View Post
                  The Fibaro FGMS-001 sensors (eyeball I prefer to call them)
                  I have an "eyeball" as well. Have seen some reports of not being pleased with them. This is one of my best ones for sure!

                  The Fibaro and Dome/Neo are my best/favorite by far!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by cc4005 View Post

                    Do you mean the PIRZWAVE2.5-ECO? You're correct that they reset after ~5 seconds in test mode. Odd that it's not working for you--I have 9 of them all in full-time test mode. To verify, you need to have a jumper on the TEST pins, and no jumper on PET1 or PET2.
                    Yes, I have it that way. No idea what deal is. I may try it again. I have older and newer model. They do behave differently.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Meapilot View Post
                      I have older and newer model. They do behave differently.
                      We all behave different with age

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by RoChess View Post

                        We all behave different with age
                        True!

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