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🔌General Home Automation => Automating Your House => Topic started by: bkenobi on December 17, 2015, 10:32:44 AM

Title: Motion sensor switch
Post by: bkenobi on December 17, 2015, 10:32:44 AM
Everyone has seen the integrated motion sensor switches that are in public/restaurant bathrooms that turn on when someone enters.  These seem like a really slick option for those scenarios.  I was wondering if anyone has seen one that does something a little different?  I was envisioning one that turned on to a dimmed state when motion was detected but had a manual override to turn on/off.  My thought was that I if such a switch existed, it would make for a nice bathroom switch.  It could turn on at a low level for 2am visits or be manually switched all the way on when the visitor was awake.  I can't even think of a set of search terms that would help with this, so I figured this forum might be a good source of help.
Title: Re: Motion sensor switch
Post by: bkenobi on December 17, 2015, 05:46:07 PM
Just a little more...

I know I could do this same thing by using a motion sensor (MS16A for example) and some kind of dimming switch but I thought it might be nice to keep this self contained and not use the HA system.  I found a couple Lutron modules that might do something interesting (they claim dimming, motion sensing of various intensities, light level sensing, etc.), but I don't know if they would do what I want and they look to be $150+ (ouch!).

If I can't find a simple single gang module, I'll probably just keep what I have (dimming rotary switch) or replace it with a toggle style dimmer switch.  I didn't think this type of thing would be difficult to find, but it is starting to look like it doesn't exist.
Title: Re: Motion sensor switch
Post by: HA Dave on December 18, 2015, 11:14:56 AM
Don't forget that a "dimmed" light doesn't use significant less electricity than non-dimmed. And the motion sensor itself uses some power. With that in mind I use a small 4 watt flicker light (looks like a candle) in one bathroom. In another bath we use a (bit brighter) plug-in LED motion sensor night-light.

I have some dusk-dawn macros (AHP) that that control some lights. So some (low wattage) lights come on at dusk but then turn off (long) after normal bedtime. Then are back on just before waking/dusk hours. Other lights run dusk to dawn. And finally some lights come on with motion, but only between dusk/dawn.

Then in my garage and laundry room I have replaced the switch at the entry with the (now common) motion sensor switches. Then I have additional switched task lightings. 
Title: Re: Motion sensor switch
Post by: dhouston on December 18, 2015, 08:16:30 PM
50 years ago, my neurosurgeon told me 'we see in the dark with our feet'. And, my spinal cord issues (in layman's terms, my neckbone is no longer connected to my shoulder bone) have left me with reduced sensation in my feet. I use...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GYF8XY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage  (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GYF8XY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage)
in each room. They provide me just enough light to navigate by (while using almost zero electricity) and I can always find a lightswitch when I need more light.

Unfortunately, they appear to have been discontinued. Leviton now offers an LED light with built-in light sensor (in versions to replace wall outlets, switches or just the night light) so they turn on when it's dark and off when it's light.
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/SectionDisplay.jsp?section=42299 (http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/SectionDisplay.jsp?section=42299)
I suspect the LED version uses more than the 3/100W of my lights but they are still less than 1W and are not on 24/7.
Title: Re: Motion sensor switch
Post by: Noam on December 22, 2015, 12:56:45 PM
While not exactly what you're looking for, you probably could replace the single switch with a double one - and have the second switch control a new fixture with a *very* dim bulb in it.
Alternatively, just get a plug-in LED night-light (as dhouston suggested), and leave it plugged in all the time. They make some with photocells, so it will be off if there is enough light in the room already. The cost of leaving an LED night-light on all the time is probably less than a fancier motion-sensing dimmer solution.
Title: Re: Motion sensor switch
Post by: bkenobi on December 22, 2015, 03:15:19 PM
Probably true.  I swapped the switch for a different toggle style and I'll look to see if I can find a plug in nigt light that I like.