Light Switch + light / motion sensor

This may be more of a advancement for current switches or maybe something entirely new but id love to see a motion and light sensor added to your switches. Separate devices could achieve this, but the fewer electronics sitting on shelves or hanging on our walls the happier the wife is. The light switches are already normally in a unobstructed place and are already there so they seem like the perfect place.

I’d think these motion sensors would be better for security. Even if the motion sensor doesn’t have as large of an arc of sight as standalone units there are so many light switches in a house I’d think coverage would be great.

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Hey @Wright100 - yeah this is a hot topic internally around sensors and switches. The sticking point is: How do we make something that still looks like a normal switch but also offers the motion/light sensor capability?

The ones that are out there now have that huge sensor on it (which I know is standard, but to me it’s not aesthetically pleasing - I know, I know… I’m the marketing guy who is picky about how thing look :smile:) that I’m hoping we can find a way to make it so the sensors are more blended into the switch.

Either way, there’s definitely a need for this and it would be nice to add to the repertoire.

Curious on everyone’s thoughts here. Is this something that is used in certain strategic locations around the house or is this something that you envision in every room? At Kellogg where I used to work, these in every room and I remember if we were working by ourselves and haven’t moved in a bit, the light would shut off and we’d have to wave our hands. It was a hilarious sight watching random ppl do it lol!

Too bad you couldn’t find a slightly smaller version of this:

image

https://www.sunrom.com/p/micro-pir-motion-detection-sensor-am312

Guesstimating that this is < 0.5 inches in diameter.

Small enough and maybe you could mount it in the middle of the rocker without it being too ugly…

i know a lot of people that use motion sensors but the waiving hands around thing is exactly why i dont. I want smart homes to be nearly perfect as it relates to the experience. nothing should change but for the better and i worry that turning on by motion (in most cases) will be perfect, but disabling by motion is dangerous.

To be completely honest, i worry about turning on by motion too. What if its late and im going to bathroom before bed - i dont want the light to turn on and blind me.

I think i am in the minority and there are use cases for all different functions. Maybe this switch just doesnt work well for my household - or even more possible - i havent been informed enough of where this type of device could be a perfect fit in my home.

As i type that last sentance - i just thought about my pantry closet where this could potentially be a great fit. So ignore the blabber above… i may be sold haha.

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I too worry about being blinded at night as well. For me that is where modes and settings could come in and ease the edge a bit. Say after 10:00 p.m. the bathroom lights only turn on to 5% for motion.

You will be able to set this configuration right from the switch!

Also, what about this. You are going to watch something on TV but don’t want the lights to turn off since you probably won’t be moving a lot. You could set a scene to disable the motion sensor for a specific length of time or have to execute a new scene to re-enable it.

As a disclaimer, I don’t even know if this is possible. I’m the sales guy but @Eric_Inovelli or Eric M would know more than me.

There’s a difference (though I am unclear of distinction from an operating perspective) between a motion sensor (waving hands) and an ‘occupancy’ sensor. The occupancy sensor at my office goes on when I walk in and never ever goes off until after I leave. (and they have them all over in rest rooms…I have never been ‘caught in the dark’) I have bought an occupancy sensor for my garage but have not yet installed it. My kitchen under counter lights …I have to wave my hands…it will be replaced after I test the one I got f garage. I can use em in closets.

That being said, going on when occupied, and off when unoccupied , I personally don’t see a need for it incorporating w a smart switch except perhaps to incorporate into a scene.

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Ah man, I missed notifications in my email this was being disucssed lol. I always assumed that the ball on the end of those motion sensors was mainly for the “area of sense” creation and that the electronics inside would be relatively small. I was thinking more along the lines of a very small radius of sense. Could even practically be a straight line. I’ve never broken one down though so I really don’t know for sure.

When I see people talking about motion sensors it seems that the application is more commonly security than it is for turning on lights for all the reasons that everyone here has said (it can be very situational). I was picturing a arm the house scene where if this was the matrix or the italian job or something and you filled the room with smoke there would be little beams coming from each light switch. If someone crosses the beam the alarm sounds. I see this as way more effective than a wall mounted dome if its possible. It is also easily foilable by crawling around the house, but I don’t see that as likely unless this really catches on lol. I was kindof hoping it could be done with a small hole in the light switch panel vs a big dome attached to the front. As a side note it is inherently pet proof unless you have very low light switches, a pretty big dog, or a dog that walks on his back legs (cat should be ok).

As a side benefit it probably would still be good for a pantry (as someone said above) or other applications because the first thing you typically do when you walk into a room is pass in front of the light switch. I have several applications in my house where this would be nice (walk-in closet is another).

Here is an interesting read on the difference between occupancy and motion sensors.

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Thx. But you have to be careful, because when you buy something online, they can call it whatever they want. In fact there’s a home automation page that I troll, and some one asked yesteday (with pics) the difference between a Lutron Motion sensor and Occupancy sensor. The answer was same part # just older packaging

Thanks!


No photo description available.

We have a motion sensor in the bathroom as my 4yo couldn’t reach the switch. Damn thing only senses horizontally so it still misses him! Problem is my wife and I love it, and hilarity ensues when it goes dark whilst kids are in the bath…

I would like to set illumination levels based on time of day in conjunction with the sensor, but this is way down my list of priorities…

How about a 2 part ‘bathroom controller’ that combines your standard dimmer switch alongside a fan switch that has occupancy and humidity sensing. That way everything can be fully automated but still have manual override when required. Keeping the two parts seperate seems to be a better solution given a double box and cover is only a couple of bucks more than a deep single box.

+1 to this!

I use the GE zwave plus motion switches in a few places in my house. I love them. They aren’t really eye sores either. I use them in all my bathrooms. And a few hallways.

I’ve been in the smart home world for several years now and work in IT as a data scientist. My entire home is automated/smart and I run a lot of custom commands from a personal server. Every year it seems like I’m replacing everything with the latest and greatest but I’ve recently decided to hold out a bit longer until a company meets all my needs and I don’t have to source from so many brands. Inovelli is getting close. This would just about seal the deal for me if y’all can get it right (I have no doubt yall would).

The GE ones are pretty cool because I can have ST hub change the switch to be in different modes throughout the day. Ex: I may want them to be Vacancy mode during the day such that it doesn’t need to turn on all the time with motion but if it is turned on manually it will still shut off after x amount of time of no motion detected. Then at night it switches to occupancy mode and turns on/off automatically with motion.

Note: one thing I have not replaced yet are my solo motion sensors. I have yet to find a motion sensor that out performs the Iris ones that Lowe’s put out before shutting down their program. I currently have 5 different motion sensor brands and iris is by far the fastest response time and most accurate. My GE motion switches take a close second because having hard wired motion sensors is a life changer. Buying energizer lithium batteries all the time is literally an budget item lol (by the way I highly recommend only energizer lithium in ALL smart products that require batteries, your life will change for the better).

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The GE motion switches look great, but I’d much prefer to have an Inovelli one! As for look and feel, possibly a similar format to the fan switch with separate paddles for fan and light, but replacing one of the paddles switches with the motion/occupancy sensors

I have to second this request…I keep holding out doing anything in my bathrooms because I want more control than just a sensor. A combination motion/occupancy sensor with dimmer having connectivity would be a no brainer for me. Kids are always leaving bathroom lights on and it drives me bonkers. In such a small space, it would be a great thing to have the light automatically go off with no motion. I personally (corner case) have a couple “powder rooms” where you wouldn’t be able to hide from the sensor so false shutoffs would be rare (unless you sit on the throne and don’t move in which case - other problems???)

Having a dimmer would be key as well since in my master bath, I have a “water closet” with its own switch that is just the toilet. Would be amazing to have that thing turn on at 5% brightness at night.

All of this would be perfect with the added benefit of seeing if a kid left the light on for a manual on function (if I didn’t have it to auto off). So many possibilities but this has literally been on my list for ages, just haven’t found the right device for it.

Sign me up if you need guinea pigs :wink:

Call this one…project stinky! LOL

Please do make this. I am big fan of this kind of switch. I use https://www.amazon.com/GE-Occupancy-Required-SmartThings-26933/dp/B071Y38FX5/ for this, or non z-wave https://www.amazon.com/Lutron-Maestro-Required-Single-Pole-MS-OPS2-WH/dp/B005WM3ALC/

I personally think the GE switches look fine and the sensor is there, but yes, it doesn’t look like a normal light switch.

Also out of the dumb occupancy/ vacancy switches, I have liked the luton for cosmetics and function.

Both function great. I use them in walk in closets, and half baths, or toilet room. When you walk in, the light turns on. After a minute, the light turns off. The small spaces it works great cause it doesn’t shut off when you are in the room. I don’t use them in Full baths, I think if someone is showering and, or bathing, it may not be able to detect motion and like you mentioned waving arms around is kind of silly.
I also have them for my stair wells. I feel like my hands are always full going down to the basement, but upstair stairs, I added light/outlet receptacles instead.

I like the z-wave part so that after 8 PM if I walk into the toilet room in the master bath, the light comes, on, but only to 5-10% and during the day it turns on to 100%

New home I am moving into, I will be putting in 7ish of these switches of a virally of flavors TBD.
I also use z-wave motion sensors to activate regular z-wave switches. This works great 98% of the time. I do this when the switch location doesn’t fit the area I am checking for motion, or if I need to have more than one sensor for a single switch.

I had this same thing and spent forever to make it so when I walk to use bathroom at night it only goes on to lower percentage. Different hubs and platforms for automation have made this difficult, but currently it is working and I love it.

I have had good luck with https://www.amazon.com/Z-wave-Detector-install-Immunity-PIRZWAVE2-5-ECO/dp/B01MQXXG0I/
But the other 4 I have tried were garbage, inconsistent or super slow. I’m scared to buy more. I only have two of those, but they are fast. I have one just inside my garage, the light to the garage is on before I have the door all the way open on my way out.

Like the idea.

Could use a few occupancy sensors.

I’m on board too! Not sure I need some in my current house but planning to move in 2 - 3 years… I’m moving all those babys with me for sure so I certainly will need few of those.

@Eric_Inovelli - I understand your concern for the look and feel of it, but I’m with most everyone else here in that I’d value the function over the aesthetics of it.

That said, isn’t the part you dislike just a plastic cover/lens?

Could you find a way to embed that directly in the rocker portion of the switch?

Basically make the entire rocker switch a Fresnel lens and put the PIR under it? It might not work or maybe it won’t be the best detection angle in the world, but it would probably work for most situations people want these for (small rooms where people walk in front of the switch anyway).

Here’s a flat version of a fresnel lens for PIR sensors. This one is in black, but I imagine you could make it in white.