Night lights all round (automating light brightness changes to avoid waking the whole house up)

Hi All, just wanted to share something Hue I’m doing which I really love. Perhaps it’s simple, and obvious, but it’s worked unexpectedly well enough to share.

I have my home lights automated with PIRs dotted around the place and use these with a single light sensor to determine if the ambient light level requires lights on, or not, after a PIR trigger. I also include a “don’t turn the lights off for the next hour” over-ride variable in the logic so I can stop the lights turning off easily via an Android home screen widget.

I always set my Hue lights have the “POWER ON BEHAVIOUR” setting for each light set to “Power loss recovery” as I don’t want all the lights coming back on if there’s a power cut. I am guessing most people use this setting anyhow.

So what I’ve found useful to implement is an additional Apilio routine that runs after normal bed time to turn all the lights’ brightness down to 1% intensity. Then, if someone is wandering around the house at night the lights will go on but at a very low intensity so as not to wake anyone else. The time I chose is after the household has mostly gone to bed.

Then, using the Apilio sunrise timer I have another routine which turns all the lights’ brightnesses up to 60%. This means when a movement triggers the PIR, if the light level is low enough for lights to be required then anytime after sunrise the lights will switch on at 60% intensity.

I have also started using the zones available in the Hue app, mainly upstairs and downstairs zones to make switching entire floors of lights easier, as these zones can be controlled directly from Apilio.

My only issue remaining is, rather unfortunately, the newer Sonoff SNZB-03 ZigBee Motion Sensor PIRs don’t seem to work well with my Smart Life Zigbee gateways. Don’t know why as they are added to the gateway without problem but from there on the communication becomes incredibly sporadic and unreliable. So I’m on the lookout for a good, reliable, small, rechargeable-CR232-battery-powered alternative. People have suggested some alternatives elsewhere (like Perenio PIR sensors which apparently work flawlessly) but I really don’t want any more hw-specific hubs! Oh and I did try really hard to use the native functionality in the Hue app, in conjunction with Hue PIR sensors, but just found it too annoying to setup additional routines on a per room and per light setting basis.

Perenio PIR sensors do not need a hw specific hub… I am using it with standard Tuya Zigbee hubs.

They are not so small though… but at least they don’t produce false positives as my SNZB-03 sensors (on the left) and they don’t light up when motion is detected (I like motion sensors to be “invisible”, not to light up everytime someone passes)


Ah OK so let’s try some and see. Thanks for commenting and sorry if you already mentioned that elsewhere!