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  • How To Automate Lighting in a Large Area with Multiple Motion Sensors

    The Problem
    Automating lighting in a small room using Z-Wave is fairly easy and can be done by associating the Z-Wave motion sensor directly with the Z-Wave light switch, and then configuring the motion timeout command to turn the light off after an interval of your choice. Alternately (and for less money), you can purchase non-Z-Wave wall switches with motion sensors built into them at your local home improvement store. These sensor/switches are often installed in bathrooms.

    However, automating lighting in larger areas usually requires the use of multiple motion sensors for best coverage. In these situations, it is no longer desirable to associate the sensors directly with the switch as this will generate multiple "on" and "off" commands from each sensor as people move about the area. You'll need to use HomeSeer to manage this!

    Logic:
    • Turn light on when motion is sensed by any motion sensor
    • Turn light off when no motion has been sensed by any motion sensor for [interval of your choice]

    Solution
    1. Create a HomeSeer Virtual Device and name it "Master Motion Device" (or something similar)
    2. Create a Timer and name it "Master Motion Timer"
    3. Create The Following 3 Events:

    Event #1: Do Things When Motion is Sensed by Either Sensor
    IF Motion Sensor 1 changes and becomes Motion
    OR IF Motion Sensor 2 Changes and becomes Motion
    THEN Set Master Motion Device to On
    THEN Start Master Motion Timer

    Event #2: Turn Living Room Lights On When Master Motion Device Changes to On
    If Master Motion Device changes and becomes On
    THEN Set Living Room Lights On

    Event #3: Do Things When No Motion is Sensed for 10 Minutes
    IF Master Motion Timer is more thank 10m, 0s
    AND IF Master Motion Device has a value equal to On
    THEN Set Master Motion Device to Off
    THEN Set Living Room Lights to Off
    THEN Stop Master Motion Timer

    note: Event #1 could be changed to turn the living room lights on directly. However, this will lead to sending redundant "On" commands to the wall switch adding unneccessary Z-Wave traffic to the network. However, sending redundant "On" commands to a virtual device is harmless. Event #2 provides the necessary buffer by only sending a Z-Wave "On" command when the virtual device CHANGES and becomes On.
    website | products | support | youtube

  • #2
    Personally I would do this a little differently.

    If motion 1 becomes motion
    OR IF motion 2 becomes motion
    THEN turn the light on

    IF motion 1 has been no motion for at least 10 minutes
    AND IF motion 2 has been no motion for at least 10 minutes
    AND IF the light is on
    THEN turn the light off

    I have a bunch of events like this.
    Originally posted by rprade
    There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by S-F View Post
      Personally I would do this a little differently.

      If motion 1 becomes motion
      OR IF motion 2 becomes motion
      THEN turn the light on

      IF motion 1 has been no motion for at least 10 minutes
      AND IF motion 2 has been no motion for at least 10 minutes
      AND IF the light is on
      THEN turn the light off

      I have a bunch of events like this.
      Did you see the note in red at the bottom of my post? The problem with your first event is that you're generating useless Z-Wave traffic (noise) by sending On commands to devices that are already on. The problem with the second event is this: If your light switches don't support instant status and were turned on manually... and HomeSeer was not updated, that event would not fire until polling updated its status.
      website | products | support | youtube

      Comment


      • #4
        'Tis true. Your method is safer.

        You're right about the Z-Wave traffic. I have an AND IF light is off for all such events. Forgot to put it in. My switches don't support instant status but I have to say that since moving to the Z-Net and with the latest Z-Wave plugins my dimmers are always updated within a few seconds. It's fantastic!
        Originally posted by rprade
        There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by S-F View Post
          'Tis true. Your method is safer.

          You're right about the Z-Wave traffic. I have an AND IF light is off for all such events. Forgot to put it in. My switches don't support instant status but I have to say that since moving to the Z-Net and with the latest Z-Wave plugins my dimmers are always updated within a few seconds. It's fantastic!
          Again, same problem with the first event even with the IF statement. If the switch was turned OFF manually but HomeSeer thought it was ON, the first event wouldn't fire until the the device was updated. That's a much bigger problem since you'd be walking into a dark room! I could see this happening easily if you hit the wall switch on the way out of the area and then turned around and walked back into it. So... while my solution is a bit more complicated to set up, it should work with better precision.

          Note also that if you're using Jasco switches, we can only support quasi-instant status for those switches that are directly within range of your Z-NET. If routing is involved, instant status won't work.

          Glad you're happy with your Z-NET!!!
          website | products | support | youtube

          Comment


          • #6
            I do mine with a pair of events and a delayed device action to turn them off, coupled with short (60 second) motion timeout on the multi-sensors.

            It will send an ON command to a light that is already ON, but I am really not worried about Z-Wave traffic any more. Each motion detector is already generating Z-Wave traffic every time it changes state, so one more to the switch is of little concern. It will also send an OFF command to the switch even if it has already been turned OFF locally, but so will Mark's event #3. More often than not the lights will be turned off locally.

            Mine also has other events that let me enable and disable motion controlled lighting from the local switch.

            The bottom line is that Mark has illustrated one way to do it, S-F another and I have presented a third. None is measurably "better" than the other, they just illustrate that there are often many different ways to accomplish the same goal.
            Attached Files
            Randy Prade
            Aurora, CO
            Prades.net

            PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by macromark View Post
              Again, same problem with the first event even with the IF statement. If the switch was turned OFF manually but HomeSeer thought it was ON, the first event wouldn't fire until the the device was updated. That's a much bigger problem since you'd be walking into a dark room! I could see this happening easily if you hit the wall switch on the way out of the area and then turned around and walked back into it. So... while my solution is a bit more complicated to set up, it should work with better precision.

              Note also that if you're using Jasco switches, we can only support quasi-instant status for those switches that are directly within range of your Z-NET. If routing is involved, instant status won't work.

              Glad you're happy with your Z-NET!!!
              Yes butt...

              Your event structure would be subject to the same problem. Your first event won't have any effect on the light until the Master Motion Device is set to OFF.

              Event #1: Do Things When Motion is Sensed by Either Sensor
              IF Motion Sensor 1 changes and becomes Motion
              OR IF Motion Sensor 2 Changes and becomes Motion
              THEN Set Master Motion Device to On
              THEN Start Master Motion Timer

              Event #2: Turn Living Room Lights On When Master Motion Device Changes to On
              If Master Motion Device changes and becomes On
              THEN Set Living Room Lights On

              Event #3: Do Things When No Motion is Sensed for 10 Minutes
              IF Master Motion Timer is more than 10m, 0s
              AND IF Master Motion Device has a value equal to On
              THEN Set Master Motion Device to Off
              THEN Set Living Room Lights to Off
              THEN Stop Master Motion Timer

              If you walk out of the room, turning the light off, then walk back in you would enter a dark room. Yours would have to wait for the timer to elapse, set the master device back to OFF, readying it to trigger event 2 again. You could add a 4th event that would reset the timer and master device if the light was set to OFF, hopefully it is not a device that fails to send instant status

              The same problem exists with any motion event that waits for the Motion Timeout of the sensors. In my pair of events that window is only the 60 seconds I have the multi-sensors Motion Timeout set to.
              Randy Prade
              Aurora, CO
              Prades.net

              PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

              Comment


              • #8
                We might be slitting hairs here. These types of scenarios have been gone over a bunch of times and there are many ways to get it done. I like my method because it's simple. Other people put a bunch of fail safe measures in. I haven't done that because what I have just works every time. I know about the limitation on non instant status devices when routing but, since I got the Z-Net, I have a direct connection to all of my devices. That's in a 2,200 Sq. Ft. house which is 50% below grade. The thing is ridiculously effective.

                At first I felt a little uncomfortable about posting a different solution in a How-To thread, but now I'm glad because this is all doing a great job of highlighting for everyone the different possibilities.
                Originally posted by rprade
                There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by S-F View Post
                  We might be slitting hairs here. These types of scenarios have been gone over a bunch of times and there are many ways to get it done.
                  I made the same observation above and completely agree
                  I like my method because it's simple.
                  Like most of us, you are comfortable doing it the way you always have. We get in a rhythm and it is hard to change.
                  Other people put a bunch of fail safe measures in. I haven't done that because what I have just works every time. I know about the limitation on non instant status devices when routing but, since I got the Z-Net, I have a direct connection to all of my devices. That's in a 2,200 Sq. Ft. house which is 50% below grade. The thing is ridiculously effective.

                  At first I felt a little uncomfortable about posting a different solution in a How-To thread, but now I'm glad because this is all doing a great job of highlighting for everyone the different possibilities.
                  Motion events are the most likely to generate discussion because there are so many different ways to do it and all of them have one weakness or another. Pointing out ways to construct the events as well as their inherent weaknesses will give others better tools to decide which works best in their circumstances.
                  Randy Prade
                  Aurora, CO
                  Prades.net

                  PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thats an interesting approach, Mark. I never through of using Timers to control the OFF. Like Randy, I've always used delayed event actions to turn lights OFF.

                    Will the 10-minute timer keep getting 'bumped-out' by 10 mins or does the '>' just take care of extended motion events?
                    HS3Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi3
                    64 Z-Wave Nodes, 168 Events, 280 Devices
                    UPB modules via OMNI plugin/panel
                    Plugins: Z-Wave, BLRF, OMNI, HSTouch, weatherXML, EasyTrigger
                    HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rmasonjr View Post
                      Thats an interesting approach, Mark. I never through of using Timers to control the OFF. Like Randy, I've always used delayed event actions to turn lights OFF.

                      Will the 10-minute timer keep getting 'bumped-out' by 10 mins or does the '>' just take care of extended motion events?
                      In Mark's event the timer will be restarted every time either motion sensor goes to motion extending the ON time indefinitely. Start Timer always sets it to 0.
                      Randy Prade
                      Aurora, CO
                      Prades.net

                      PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rprade View Post
                        In Mark's event the timer will be restarted every time either motion sensor goes to motion extending the ON time indefinitely. Start Timer always sets it to 0.
                        ahhhh... Thats what keeps it going to 10 mins. Thanks!

                        The more I look at Mark's approach, the drawback, at least for me, is that I would need a Timer for every light I want to control with delayed OFF as well as a virtual device for every 1 or group of motion detectors.

                        Still an interesting approach and use of timers.
                        HS3Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi3
                        64 Z-Wave Nodes, 168 Events, 280 Devices
                        UPB modules via OMNI plugin/panel
                        Plugins: Z-Wave, BLRF, OMNI, HSTouch, weatherXML, EasyTrigger
                        HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Delays with Mark's Approach

                          I first set up the two rooms using multiple HSM200s like Mark describes with with the Virtual device and timer. I switched back to events more like S-F's.

                          When the motion detector directly turns on the light with motion, the light will come on instantly to maybe 2 seconds after the motion detector should be triggering event.

                          If I go through the Virtual device method, the lights do not come on for 3 to 10 seconds after motion should have been detected and event triggered and getting to turning on the lights.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by S-F View Post
                            We might be slitting hairs here. These types of scenarios have been gone over a bunch of times and there are many ways to get it done. I like my method because it's simple. Other people put a bunch of fail safe measures in. I haven't done that because what I have just works every time. I know about the limitation on non instant status devices when routing but, since I got the Z-Net, I have a direct connection to all of my devices. That's in a 2,200 Sq. Ft. house which is 50% below grade. The thing is ridiculously effective.
                            My fail-safe virtual device addition was arrived at because my garage light didn't have instant status and my wife would complain about walking into a dark garage. That solved the problem for me and I would recommend it to anyone with WAF issues.

                            Randy: you're correct about my OFF event running into the same problem of redundantly sending an extra OFF the way it's configured now. Originally, I had a 4th event designed to prevent that but it since it only amounted to 1 extra Z-Wave command (at worst), I removed it.

                            At first I felt a little uncomfortable about posting a different solution in a How-To thread, but now I'm glad because this is all doing a great job of highlighting for everyone the different possibilities.
                            Not to worry. If I wanted to be the final word on this, I would have closed the thread after posting. I'm always interested in seeing other options, as long as folks to don't show me up too badly.
                            website | products | support | youtube

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Here use a mixture of analogue wired sensors for outside and inside.

                              The garage lighting event uses multiple analogue sensors to make the garage daylight.

                              Its been working now for a few years in this manner. (door switches, PIRs, CCTV, driveway sensors, outside analogue and combo events make it work almost 100% of the time).

                              I also tested and still have in place the old cheaper RFID stuff.

                              These devices are connected to the automobile batteries and are mounted inside and over some from the dome lights. You do not see them and they work fine.

                              For life / safety issues I do not mix / circumvent any of the built in garage door stuff nor wireless with what is in place. Mostly what I add doesn't directly manage or control security stuff; never has.

                              Years ago a few Homeseer folks utilized the older X10 wireless outdoor PIRs in their automobiles which worked fine and was cheap. Jim Doolittle did this stuff.

                              Inside the home went with occupancy sensors and PIRs for rooms. That said did play with the follow me lighting stuff and that was very low here on the WAF so while the pieces are all their it is rarely utilized.

                              I can and do today utilize the multiple analogue sensors as a passive means of occupancy in the home. I have done this for years now and it is not internet / cellular phone dependant and I guess it is a bit legacy.

                              I understand though that the OP is relating to using Z-Wave and multiple events in Homeseer. I am just posting how I do this analogue wise today.
                              Last edited by Pete; July 23rd, 2015, 07:38 AM.
                              - Pete

                              Auto mator
                              Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel CPU - Mono 5.20
                              Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.534 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 5.20

                              X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

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