Use zone activity for hourglass (zandloper) issue

Dear all, I am using Advanced flows to automate the lightning in the garden.

In short: When we are at home, the lights can switch on at a specified time, as well as switching off at a specified time. (Also when not being in the garden, we want to see the lights).

I added a flow which I am using to trigger presence in the garden, and I want to keep filling the hourglass (zandloper app) as long as we are there. My 2 sensors are resetting every 30 sec, and measuring every 40 seconds. I have set the hourglass app to 500 seconds. When this is empty, then the lights can go off.

For some reason it seems that it is not constantly measuring and/or resetting the hourglass app. It counts down, and the lights will go off. Not how I intend it to work.

Q1: Does the zone activity line only trigger once? Thus when detecting activity, it just goes to “yes” and as long as this “yes” does not change, it does not do anything? (as explained above, I need this hour glass to refill every time it detects activity
Q2: Zone inactivity does not seem to be usable, as for some reason it kept on failing, therefore I moved to a old school solution with the hourglass. Anyone had the same experience?
Q3: If Q1 is answered with a Yes, then I suppose I need to stop using zone activity and just put both sensors in parallel as the trigger for this rule, right?

To be complete, hereby the full flow.
You can see, that I am using a timeframe of 15 minutes to overrule the fixed time for the lights to go off.
When someone is detected, it fills the “tuinaanwezigheid” with a Yes, and with that disabling the fixed time the lights-off lines.

When this “tuinaanwezigheid” is a Yes, the hourglass lines coming in to place, and with basically resetting and continuously filling this hourglass, it should be OK. Which is now not the case.
When we are in the garden, it will extend the time nicely with 1 hourglass, and despite the fact we keep moving, it will just switch off the lights anyhow.


Wow what a complicated story and flows. I’ll try to make a start here :wink:

The trick is:
Start or replace (=restart) the timer when the zone gets inactive,
Stop the timer when the zone gets active

BTW it’s much easier with a presence / occupancy sensor, while you have to ‘activate’ an ordinairy motion sensor every x seconds by waving, jumping or throwing things at it:

  • Entering zone:
    Sensor sends a motion event / activates the zone
  • When there’s no motion anymore, but (a) person(s) sits / lies down in that zone (within reach of the sensor ofc):
    The motion event stays on / zone stays active
  • Leaving zone:
    Sensor releases the motion event / zone gets inactive


Q1: Yes, every trigger triggers once after a changed situation, not continuously. In that case it is a condition, like “AND zone X is active”
Q2: Works fine, but I prefer zone activity combined with a timer to prevent ‘lost in the dark’ situations.
Zone activity just reflects a sensor / the sensors in a zone.
When the (first) sensor triggers, the zone gets active. When the (last) sensor releases the motion, the zone gets inactive.
Q3: No, see my response to Q2. A sensor triggers once, but often stays “on” for x seconds. Yours release after 30 or 40 seconds. Many sensors have 60s by default, but there’s also sensors which can be set to 1s.


What I don’t get atm, why do you want to let the lights turn off when you walk out of the garden? Then you can’t see the lights when you’re not in the garden.

Thanks for your reply, this evening I did some tests, and I added the sensors separately and now it keeps on triggering the “zandloper” as it should. (This will be reset, and refilled every time it is triggered).

So you are right: Zone activity triggers only once, and then only after the change: for example from Active the change to inactive. Therefore the answer to Q3 was in my case, adding the sensors as triggers, and now it works :slight_smile:

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