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    How are you guys using Motion Sensors?

    Hi all, I am Doing a rebuild of my HS environment right now, so I have lots of questions that probably seem dumb, but I am trying to do things more current than what I had in my previous setup.

    I have used various different motion sensors in the past, mainly for things like lighting, with mixed results. The most consistently good results I have had has been using the old X-10 RF motion sensors with the BLRF plugin and then using BLRadar and some basis script to power lights on and off.

    I have a number of Z-Wave motion sensors and have never had much success using them with BLRadar but I would like to drop my X-10 as they are the only thing I have left in my environment that use the RF sensors.

    Can anyone share some of your methods for using Z-Wave motion sensors, how you setup events, and what the reliability you see with them is?

    Thanks in advance all!

    #2
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ID:	1664176 I have no Zwave. I use inexpensive Zigbee (via JowiHue plugin) battery motion sensors: motion turns on fan/light in each bathroom for x minutes, turns on lights on each outside porch, turns on desk light when I sit down at desk.

    I also use the battery motion detectors attached to ELK alarm system (via HS plugin): motion in kitchen wakes up home automation tablet on wall.

    Combination of all motion detectors (most from ELK) let me get a picture of what is going on in house (ie, where is my wife now - usually downstairs in sewing room).
    tenholde

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      #3
      I am not doing a whole lot with them. Turning on some lights. I also use them to open some shades in the morning. Some of those shades are just outside of our bedroom. Since the shades are kind of noisy I added a delay so that they don't start until the door is closed, i.e. not to wake up the wife. If no motion was detected x minutes after sunrise they also open. The main motion sensors are hardwired into the DSC security system but I have a few multi-function devices from HS. I don't like them much, though because you can only place them where there is a plug and the light sensor is pretty much useless because it's not sensitive enough in the low range.

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        #4
        I use motion sensors to turn on undercabinet lights in the kitchen. One is near the coffee maker, so when I make coffee the light above the maker turns on. I also have a motion sensor mounted under the dining table pointing down, so that the light over the table comes on when I sit to have coffee. I don't have them turn lights off. They are very reliable. I don't use them in other areas because I prefer to turn lights on and off as I want rather than with a motion sensor.

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          #5
          Kevb what motion sensors are you using? If they are battery powered, how long do the batteries last? I am thinking of trying some additional ones.

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            #6
            I'm using Homeseer's HS-MS100+ on battery power. The batteries last a very long time, nearly a year I think with my usage. They can be usb powered. I like the magnetic mount. I mounted one in the "dead space" between two kitchen cabinets for one of the undercabinet lights. To monitor battery usage, I've started writing the date I change batteries in the "Notes" section of a device, but haven't yet done this with the motion sensors.

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              #7
              Do you just setup events directly within HS or do you use a plugin for managing the motion sensors?

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                #8
                Here continue to utilize wired to alarm panel combo PIR / Microwave sensors to trigger some events. In house two configured Ring alarm sensors (ZWave) to drive events worked fine except that batteries wouldn't last much longer than 8 months or so.

                Testing new long range outdoor 433Mhz PIRs which work nicely and for longer than a year on two AA batteries. These are connected to a Sonoff 433Mhz hub with Tasmota firmware.
                - Pete

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                  #9
                  I use motions a lot. The typical turn on lights, etc. I also use them around the house to brighten our exterior lights if motion is detected. I have tried about all the Z-wave sensors and I suggest 2 depending on what you want. Zooz is probably the most accurate/reliable. Battery last about 7 months under heavy use. I also use the Fibaro sensors under the soffit (not outdoor rated) because it is a multi-sensor that give me a lot of tripping options. These batteries last about 12 months under this use. All of these easily integrate into HS4 to set up events without any additional plug-in (except the Z-wave PI).

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by chewie View Post
                    Do you just setup events directly within HS or do you use a plugin for managing the motion sensors?
                    Like Little, just the zwave plugin. I use standard events, like "When device changes and becomes Motion, turn on light" I also have a virtual switch called "Master Motion switch" Every motion event has a condition that the Master be on to run the event. That way I can turn off motion events at night, if company is over, etc.

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                      #11
                      I use these from Ecolink. Battery lasts a few years, easy.

                      https://www.amazon.com/Z-wave-Detect...98&sr=8-1&th=1
                      Michael

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                        #12
                        I use many motion sensors for a variety of purposes. Prefer mains/USB powered whenever possible.

                        The most comfortable is to sense motion at/near hot water taps to activate a domestic hot water recirculator pump. Voila, turn on the faucet and get HW in about 3-5 seconds. When disabled, my second floor bathroom could easily take a minute to fill the pipe with hot water.

                        I have another interesting application where a two very large patio areas, each about 100 feet, have several lights, and having direct connected motion activated lights was just plain annoying. Several motion sensors set/reset a "motion detected" timer so that any motion in the entire area keeps all of the lights on. When there is no motion detected, the timer expires and the lights are turned off. Light are NOT turned on with motion because we have nocturnal animals constantly visiting so it takes a human touch to first turn the lights on.

                        Perimeter security and safety lighting - sensors control a light directly and also turn on lights down the driveway to the carport and garage/entries. Lights the pathway for safe entry.

                        Multi-sensors to detect motion and report on temperature, humidity, lighting.

                        Motion sensor in certain areas inside where one does not expect or permit entry/usage (eg home office). Much better than, and more private than, an indoor camera.

                        Pre-lighting and occupancy-based lighting control inside... basement steps to pre-light the basement, then pre-light laundry area, etc.

                        Also use them as occupancy sensors to change the temperature in different heating/cooling zones in addition to the usual wake/sleep/leave/return type of cycles. Motions are not the best for occupancy but when the timeframe is long enough it usually works fine.

                        Motions are not exceedlingly precise but they are good enough is the use case is predictable.

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                          #13
                          Just a thought: I haven't really used motion sensors very much because they, for the most part, don't tell me what I want to know. Now, motion reported in a place where there should be no motion is helpful. Say, somebody in proximity to my house and buildings at 2 AM is useful to know. But, inside the house, what I really want to know is (1) if a room is occupied, (2) where in that room is the occupancy, and how many occupiers are there. Given this information and can add appropriate automations that turn on/off lights, operate HVAC, and set appropriate scenes according to the position of a person (or persons).

                          Given that, I think we are on the cusp of using the new (sorta not here yet) occupancy sensors. These are going to be game-changers as they become available in bulk. It might be well to give a wait-and-see attitude while awaiting their arrival.
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                            #14
                            Originally posted by ewkearns View Post
                            Just a thought: I haven't really used motion sensors very much because they, for the most part, don't tell me what I want to know. Now, motion reported in a place where there should be no motion is helpful. Say, somebody in proximity to my house and buildings at 2 AM is useful to know. But, inside the house, what I really want to know is (1) if a room is occupied, (2) where in that room is the occupancy, and how many occupiers are there. Given this information and can add appropriate automations that turn on/off lights, operate HVAC, and set appropriate scenes according to the position of a person (or persons).

                            Given that, I think we are on the cusp of using the new (sorta not here yet) occupancy sensors. These are going to be game-changers as they become available in bulk. It might be well to give a wait-and-see attitude while awaiting their arrival.
                            This is the main reason I am asking this question now. I am in the process of rebuilding and updating my Homeseer setup and I want to move toward more true automation rather than intelligent remote control. Presence detection opens up a world of possibilities for things like bathrooms/showers (Close the shower curtain and lights go off on you when in the shower, etc.) but also makes monitoring of home areas much more reasonable.

                            As mentioned in my initial post I have never had much luck with z-wave motion sensors, although I honestly have not spent a tremendous amount of time actively troubleshooting what my issue could be.

                            It feels to me like waiting for the presence sensors is going to be the way to go, and then gradually add them into all of my key rooms.

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                              #15
                              In some rooms, like laundry room, garage or closet, I use a "dumb" motion sensor switch. I don't need the complication of automation for those areas. Walk in, light comes on, then goes off after so many minutes with no motion.

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