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Motion Sensors & Cameras

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  • Motion Sensors & Cameras

    I need some help deciding how to do this and what equipment to use. I thought I would post here for opinions and best practice advice.

    My wife wants a camera that would view anyone approaching the front door so if she is home alone, she can look at an app on her computer, phone, or tablet and decide whether she wants to answer the door. The front door is recessed 36" from the face of the house.

    Our garage faces the street and is the first thing you see of the house from the street and then there is an entry sidewalk from the driveway that runs beside the garage that leads to the front door. We would like to put lights on the front of the garage that would illuminate the driveway and lights on the side of the garage above the entry sidewalk to illuminate the sidewalk approaching the front door. We have used big box spotlights with motion detectors but they aren't real reliable so instead of spending $40 to $60 every time one of these things goes out I would rather put money into a system that will last and is controllable by HomeSeer.

    Because the front door is recessed I don't think (opinions?) we need an outdoor weather rated camera. The motion sensors however would have to mounted such that they will be exposed to the weather.

    The motion sensors also need to be light (luminance) sensors so we aren't turning on lights in broad daylight.

    Some Foscam cameras have motion detection built in. I guess Foscam had an exclusive North American distributor and they chose to part ways. Now that distributor "Manufacturers" Amcrest cameras. So I am wondering about the compatibility because it seems the Amcrest may be purchase for a little less money than the Foscam. Would also love to hear opinions on Foscam itself also.

    The lights would be hardwired to 110V. Would prefer not to use a "Wall Switch" thinking of the Go Control FS20Z-1 Zwave relay fixture to control the two lights.

    Camera would be a real pain to hardwire so I think I need to go wireless.

    I have HomeSeer V3 running on Win10. I also have HSTouch Designer.

    So to sum up.
    1.) Suggestions on hardware, ie all weather motion/light sensors, cameras, and the relay switch.
    2.) Suggestions or warnings of problems with camera setup, lag time, additional software (plugins, blue iris, etc).



  • #2
    Originally posted by cfrudolphy View Post
    My wife wants a camera that would view anyone approaching the front door so if she is home alone, she can look at an app on her computer, phone, or tablet and decide whether she wants to answer the door.
    I have a couple of Foscam cameras and have been quite pleased with them, but I do have them hard wired. (They need power, so even if you use a wireless network connection you still have to deal with running power to them.) As far as monitoring the cameras, virtually all IP cameras have their own web server, so you can easily monitor them with a web browser.

    I would opt for a weather proof camera even if the site is protected. The cost premium isn't significant and having a tightly sealed shell is good for keeping insects out too. Installing the camera will take some work, so you don't want to have to replace it any sooner than necessary.

    As far as the motion sensor is concerned, I've been using X10 wireless sensors for many years with excellent results. I'd recommend that you let HS determine if/when to turn on the lights rather than using a light sensor on the PIR. That will improve reliability and also eliminate the extra bother of shielding them from the flood lights so they don't turn off immediately after turning on.

    I recommend installing a switch that HS can control, possibly inside the garage, to control the lights. That way you can easily turn them on and off manually, but HS can handle the routine switching.
    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition

    HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3


    • #3
      Mike thanks for the feedback. Didn't even think about lights coming on and triggering them back off due to luminance sensor, I agree with you I will let HS control that. I also agree that a having a switch that can manually control would be a plus. I don't know much about Insteon or X10 so I went with Aoetec Zwave multisensor. I just won't monitor or use the other features. While still expensive was still cheaper than either sensor with its associated transceiver. I am going to get this going first then tackle the camera.