I’ve been reasonably happy using the Day/Night plugin to determine when to turn on certain lights and also whether other lights should be “allowed” to turn on or not (I have high-wattage halogens outside that can be accidentally turned on during the day - I don’t want this).
When weather conditions deteriorate, and the sky gets very dark, these base rules should at least be allowed to be overridden. So, I’d like to add a light sensor to the mix so that I can use it to override the Day/Night plugin to either turn on certain lights or to allow the external lighting that would normally be blocked during the day.
Can someone recommend a decent light sensor to use? I don’t want or need the extra things that come in the multi-sensor products (temperature, humidity, motion, etc.) - only the light sensitivity piece.
If it matters, I’m using a Vera Light w/ UI7 (current firmware).
I use the Weatherunderground plug-in, that gives me condition. Using PLEG (which is easier for me than LUA), you can turn on the lights when it is raining, and turn them off when it is overcast or clear. Not as accurate as a light meter, but good enough without a new device.
If you want a device the EZMulipli is a plug in motion sensor and it has a light sensor. It is nice because you can change the light to different colors to indicate things. I use it to note if the alarm is armed. Or if it is too hot or cold in the room.
Note that PLEG does not properly see the value of the light sensor (if you try to say brighter than or darker than)if you use PLEG (light is measured as a percentage instead of LUX on this device), so I just watch the variable that had the percentage in it in PLEG to drive my automation. Works gear I. Just had to figure out what I liked percentage wise for example lower than 65% turn on the light.
You also can’t keep the night light on the device on all the time as it throws of the light sensor. So I only turn on the night light when motion is detected.
I don’t use PLEG, and have no need for a motion sensor. So, those things wouldn’t be an issue for me. Thanks for the suggestion - I’ll take a look.
Are there any light sensors that are meant to stick on the inside of a window or something to measure -outside- light levels specifically? What about cobbling something together with a more generic device connected to a light sensor the way some people use actual motion sensors off of flood lights and connect them to Z-Wave devices to create the integration with a controller?
I have Aeotec ZW074 4-in-1 installed outdoors, attached to my wall in a sheltered location. Works great. Motion sensor works OK outdoors for me, even though others on the forums reported a lot of false positives. I set the sensitivity to the minimum and have almost no false positives.
Vera Plus UI7 shows light sensor levels in lux, in 0-1,000 range. First set of batteries lasted about 9 months for me. It showed zero battery in Vera Plus UI7 after maybe two or three months, but continued working until about 9 months when batteries really died and the sensor said cannot detect device and stopped working, so the battery indicator is not reliable.
I hadn’t been interested in the Aeotek Gen6 multi-sensor because it’s way more product than I need. Looking at your use of the previous gen device (no longer available) made me take a much closer look at what the Gen6 device is and can do. Turns out that it’s different than I originally had thought and would be well-suited to what I want to do with it. So, I bought four of them. lol
I’ll end up using them in a couple of different locations outside the house to detect light levels and possibly motion (to turn on exterior lights) as well as one or two inside for different things. They operate on battery or mains power (USB cable), come with adhesive tape and a mounting bracket (that can be swiveled), and will give up to two years of battery life on CR123 photo batteries (lithium, also included).
I have an Everspring ST815 light sensor. It works well with my VeraPlus. It reports lumens in the 0-3000 range, which is a problem since I need to detect direct sunlight, and even indirect sunlight will max it out at 3000. I got a piece of window tint film at an auto parts store, and put that over the light sensor, and that has solved the problem – only direct sunlight now maxes it out.
It is for indoor or outdoor use, and comes with a wall mount adhesive strip, as well as a stand for sitting on a shelf.
Interesting about the window tint, and I’ll keep that sort of thing in mind for when my sensors arrive. Although, I’m hoping that I won’t have a similar problem since my need is to detect when the light levels drop off to below certain levels in terms of ambient light. I will be mindful, however, to not aim the sensors so that direct sunlight could cause a falsely high reading.