Controlling outdoor lighting


I’m looking to home-automate my outdoor lighting to make it compatible with homey pro. The idea is to know when the outside light is switched on via a motion detector and then trigger scenarios.

What’s the best solution? A connected bulb? Module (fibaro type) at the switch?

Thanks for your help

I use Philips Hue and the Philips Hue Bridge. You have a lot of lights to choose from and you can move around the Philips Hue Bridge until all lights works.

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So the motion sensor is switching the 230 V of the lamps?

I use a Shelly 1 for something similar, where the PIR switching wire is connected to the Shelly’s switch input. In my case it was a bit more involved because I also wanted to decouple the lightbulb from the PIR so I could replace it with a (permanently powered) smart bulb. The wires at the bottom (red, blue, black) are connected to the PIR sensor:

Thank you for your answers.

Does the following case work?

A simple light connected to electricity.
A module (Fibaro or Shelly type) behind the switch that controls the light.
A motion detector (Homey pro compatible).

If the motion detector detects something, it sends the information to the Homey pro box. The box itself sends the information to the module to switch on the light in the luminaire.

Sure, that should work just fine.

On the French forum I’m told that it’s not great because the existing switch will interfere with operation if someone presses it.

What is your opinion?

Smart modules should always be powered, so if you also have a physical switch to turn off the light (and the PIR?) you should make it so that either the switch cannot be switched off, or that it is circumvented, or that it switches the module instead of the light/PIR.

For the light that I showed I just stuck a piece of tape on the switch so it cannot be switched anymore (I have promised my wife more than a year ago that I would replace the switch with a dummy plate :joy:)

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So it’s impossible to have both the home automation side and the functional physical switch?

It is possible but will lead to strange use cases as @robertklep indicated.
You can make the status of the physical switch known to Homey, and decide in your flow what to do. Look for example for Shelly devices what they can do for you. Some switches can even, optionally, switch locally, that is switching without a Homey flow involved, but still updating the status of the switch to Homey. Your lights are controlled by a motion sensor and a Shelly switch, so how would your use case look like?

No, but you need to redo your wiring. Instead of the switch switching power to the outdoor lighting fixture, it will serve as an input for the smart module.

In fact, I need a motion detector so that the lights come on automatically when someone approaches. Making it home automation allows you to create scenarios.

But I also need a switch when I want to go out onto my terrace, for example. I have to turn on my light!

Doesn’t a connected light bulb get round the problem?
Or maybe a motion detector + physical switch and I’ll give up the idea of making everything home automation.

Like this?

You can make flows in such a way, that normally the motion sensor switches the lamps. When the lamps are switched on by the physical switch (with smart module), they shall not be switched off by the motion sensor. In that case you have to remember to switch it of by the physical switch. So the switch overrules the motion sensor. You can also make this without home automation by making the right electrical connections.

I’m sorry, I don’t understand everything. Why would the physical switch turn off the motion detector?
Does the physical switch only turn the light on and off?

To much different solutions are now discussed together, which makes things too complex.
No, I did not say that the motion sensor is switched of, but that the lamps which are switched on in a flow by the motion sensor, can be switched off in a flow by some physical button.
As it is not clear to me what your current experience is and for better understanding, I suggest to start with test scenario using a simple wall outlet with a lamp and a motion sensor and start making flows to switch on and off the lamp.

Going back to your original question: what do you mean with scenario? Using a flow switching on and off the outside light or switching on and of the washing machine :wink: ?
Then you know what to make compatible with Homey, the motion sensor, the lamp or the physical switch.

I think I’m going to start testing a little at a time to get a better understanding. I’m receiving the Homey box this week.

By scenario I mean any action that automates simple tasks. For example, automatically switching on an outside light.
My initial question was what would be the simplest solution for automating a simple outdoor light while still being able to keep a physical switch (if that’s feasible).

But then, with connected light bulbs there’s the same problem with physical switches? Is it better to avoid using them?

I understand your question. The schema above you gave might be the solution.
Because what you , and I want, is to control the light with a physical button, but also by Homey.
With this schema I hope Homey knows the state of the switch (and so the lamp) is on or off and Homey knows the state of the button (pressed yes or know). The button is usually not a rocker switch, but a push button.
The manual says:
FIBARO Dimmer 2 can switch or dim connected light source either through radio waves or through the wall switch connected directly to it.
So that looks promising. gives an idea of the possibilities in Homey, the triggers, conditions and actions. Maybe I have to by one to see how it works.

As mentioned above, you can use a hard wired switch to toggle a zigbee/zwave relay that will send a signal to homey.
Either you use the same relay to power the lights or you have another one where fitted to toggle the lights.
But I went for the approach to hardwire the lights to always be on and used Ikea lights (cheaper than Philips hue) and used a ziebee button. That way, the lights could be 100% controlled via the Homey flows.
This enables “come home” feature, motion and door sensor to toggle the lights either individually or all in a group.