Motion sensor in ceiling

A couple of months ago I have moved into my new home. In the stairway and in the hallway on the first floor they installed motion sensors to turn on and off the lights with movement. While these are handy it starts to annoy me I cannot do anything with it, for example dimming it in the nights. All lights are 100% brightness, always. So if any of my childeren go to the toilet, especially in the early mornings others wake up because the bright light.

There are no wall outlets, the motion sensor (built into the ceiling) have a close-circuit with the lights.

Now I usually use hue motion sensors together with dimmer2 or shelly devices to control the lights. I’m wondering if I there is another option for this. I obviously could replace the sensor by a dimmer2 and place a hue motion sensor somewhere, but that would leave a nasty hole in the ceiling, which can be covered up by something else, but still, would be cool if I just could use the existing location for the motion sensor as well.

Any thoughts?

How big is the hole? If no bigger than 50mm then you can get a recess for Mount for Fibaro or Neocoolcam sensors.

There is also one for Aeotec multisensors.

1 Like

That sounds like an option! I still would need a dimmer2, I hoped there would be a device which combines both… but doesn’t seem like it.

I’ll see if this is available in NL as well, maybe i’ll give it a try.

I had a similar situation, where I had two (Philips) “dumb” outside lights with motion sensor (so the motion sensors were switching the lights directly). I made them smart by cutting the switching wire between the sensor and the light, and inserting a Shelly 1 in between. Right now I’m switching the original lights with the Shelly (so the motion sensor is connected to SW, the lights connected through I/O), but that’s not strictly necessary.

So in your case, perhaps this is possible:

  • keep the existing motion sensors, but cut the switching wire and use it to switch a Shelly instead (I assume that you have enough room above the ceiling for a Shelly)
  • replace your lights with smart bulbs (Hue, IKEA, whatever) and have them permanently powered (it should be possible to feed them permanently by connecting live with the switching wire that you cut in the previous step). You can possibly switch the lights through Shelly, but only if Shelly has an “always on” mode (I think it has, or at least something similar). That way, you can always remove power from the lights if necessary.

So you’ll be using the Shelly to handle the sensor output, and Homey to control the lights.

EDIT: basically like this:
(but like I said, you don’t actually need the light bulb to be switched by the Shelly, I/O can be left “floating”)

That’s a cool option!

If I understand correctly:

  1. Motion detection detects motion.
  2. Shelly thinks the light get’s turned on, while in fact it is a motion event
  3. Homey interpreters the turned on lights and can use this event in a flow
  4. Flow get’s triggered and turns on the smart leds, either at 10% or 100%

In this case I would only have to buy 2 Shelly 1’s (not even the PM, because it would make no sense since the light bulbs aren’t connected to it) and 5 smart leds from IKEA (3 in the hallway and 2 in the stairway).


Yes, that’s right.

Shelly’s have a very useful “detached” mode, where the switch input and the output are treated separately from each other. In my case, I don’t need the lights to go on when it’s bright enough outside, so even though the motion sensor sends a “turn on” signal to Shelly, my home automation first checks if it’s actually dark before sending a “turn the lights on” signal to Shelly.

Combined with a default power on mode of “on”, you can still use the 1PM if you want to measure power usage. So the lights are connected through I/O, you configure the “detached” mode so you can read the switch changes but don’t actually switch the relay, and the power mode is set to “on” as default.

Could that mean I could replace the Shelly 1 by a Shelly dimmer, do you know if they support detached mode too? That obviously would have my preference. I don’t really have good experience with grouped smart leds :wink:

Looks like they do, it’s mentioned here:

1 Like

Right, tnx! I’m going to order de dimmer2 of Shelly :wink:

They have arrived… going to install, wish me luck

Works. It’s a event on ‘switch 1 changed’. There is a event ‘off’ too, which makes sense. I now have created the flows and i’m really happy with it. Now let’s see if the kids even notice it.

They now have even a function for it.

I use this and have homey change the dim level.

1 Like

Oh, nice to know! Right now I’m using the built-in “off” timer of the PIR sensor, which is too long for my taste (2 minutes or so). It looks like I can override that with a Shelly timer now :+1:t2:

Yes, you most definitely can. I don use it though. I’m letting homey turn it off . This way I can play with the timers. Shorter at nights …

Ah too bad, turns out I want both “activation” and “detached” :woozy_face:Right now, the bulbs are being switched by Shelly independently of the PIR sensor (which is connected to the switch input of the Shelly), for which I need the detached mode.

Perhaps I’ll replace the bulbs for smart ones, and use the Shelly only for the input and not the output.

mmm… I don’t think I get what you mean. Detaching the bulbs from the shelly and having to buy smart lights, means the intelligence of the lights is transferred to HA (which i believe you use) or homey, which adds a delay.

Detached mode does pretty much the same thing. When I used this setting I experienced delays sometimes. So I hear the PIR switching and it takes a 1 / 2 sec for the light to turn on. Sometimes this is pretty annoying, especially if you are in a hurry.

With the other setting; activation switch; part of the intelligence is put into the shelly itself. It always turns on the light immediately. I don’t have set an auto off timer, that part is done by homey.

Still, even with this setting you can turn on the light independently of the PIR. So for example if I would have want to turn on the light if I come home, it still turns on.

Can you explain the use case why you would like to combine the two?

Yes, the intelligence is moved to HA. The reason is that the PIR’s don’t have a daylight sensor, so also trigger when it’s light outside and it’s pointless to turn on the bulbs. By running in detached mode, the motion event is sent to HA, and HA decides if it’s dark enough to turn the lights on. There’s no noticeable delay with HA.

I didn’t think it through :wink: The detached mode is what I want: HA handles the timer for the bulbs, the only downside of my setup is that the PIR’s have a rather large blind time of 1 or 2 minutes that can’t be changed, so when the lights are turned on I leave them on a bit longer than that.

1 Like

Right! Makes sense. Our hallway is pretty dark due to the lack of windows… so even with daytime it makes sense to turn on the lights. The blindtime can be adjusted with my PIR’s, there is a small screw which can be turned to shorten / extend the blindtime.