On/off switch override

I have pretty much all the switches in my home on Z-wave, and a good portion on hard wired motion sensors (connected to the alarm system). Over the past 2 1/2 -3 months of the COVID lockdown, I’ve migrated all my PLEG routines to Reactor, which despite taking some time, trial and error, was much easier than I expected.

The one thing I still need to address is a way to override a motion sensor, and keep a light switch off, instead of it automatically turning on.

For instance, below is my typical setup for a switch with a motion sensor (this is actually a z-wave motion sensor switch, not alarm connected). How would I go about making it recognize that I’ve toggled the switch off, and I want it to stay off either until I toggle it on, or a certain period of time passes?

Thanks for any advice

Start by checking out video #006: Reactor: Tutorial and Cookbook Videos on YouTube

I’ve watched the video several times, but it applies more to manually turning the lights on vs auto. I’m not sure how I would adapt it to manually turning the lights off, before or after motion is sensed that would turn them on. What would need to be different to keep the light off, despite motion?

I’ll give you a hint about how I would approach it… the logic presented in the video implements a ReactorSensor that knows what mode it is in (man, auto, or blank, which is idle). There is enough functionality in Reactor for you to add to the logic that if the light is turned off while the system is in manual mode, that sets a new third mode “holdoff”. The last group, “Lights Off”, would need to become two groups, one to detect lights off in “auto” mode, and one to do detect lights off in “man” mode. In auto mode, it can just set the mode to blank. In man mode, it would instead set the mode to holdoff. Then just add a group to see if the mode holdoff has been sustained for whatever period of time you want, and set the mode to blank.

Take it one step at a time. Get it working as described in the video. Test it and make sure it all works. Then, rename the “Lights Off” group to “Lights Off Auto” and add a condition so that it can only trigger in “auto” mode. Test that. Then add a new group “Lights Off Man” with the same device test as “Lights Off Auto”, but can only trigger when mode is “man”. Make the activity for this group set the mode to “holdoff”. Confirm that manual turn off puts you in holdoff mode. Finally, add the group that checks to see if holdoff mode has been effective for 10, 20, 30 minutes, whatever you decide, and sets the mode back to blank.

Thanks Patrick. I did set it up this morning as you have it in the video, and as far as I can tell, it works, at least in auto mode. I’m having problems getting into manual mode, because the motion sensor is actually part of the switch, so if my hand reaches for the switch, it senses the motion, and goes into auto mode.

I see what you are saying in your response, but if I can’t get it into man mode first, then I’ll need to figure out another method to put it into that condition. I’m thinking a sustained condition of the light itself (greater than 2 seconds?). i’m not sure if there is a better way to tell if the button has been pressed, even if the light is on, perhaps?

Generally in these situations, if the motion sensor is in the “hot zone” of the switch (that is, you have to traverse the motion sensor’s trigger area to get to the switch at all), manual mode for “on” is not possible, at least not that way.

A possible solution may be to add an additional group and condition to check to see if the light is turned on twice within a short period of time, and in that case, set manual mode. This could be accomplished using the “repeat” options in the condition’s options. Then, as you walk up to the switch, it is turned on in auto mode. You turn it off manually, and then back on, meeting the repeat condition and setting the mode to manual.

Whatever approach you consider, the way the switch and sensor are installed in the home determines the type, and limitations, of the logic.

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