Ok, well maybe “Smart Switch” is a bit of an exaggeration. However, the idea behind this plugin is to allow you to more easily (and intelligently) control your switches (lights and dimmers) using your security sensors (i.e. motion activation).
The problem with “normal” motion activated lights is that it’s troublesome to override the automatic settings. For example, you may have a scene that turns on your family room lights when you walk in the room, and turns then off when you leave. However, what if you’re sitting down to watch a movie in the family room and want the lights to stay off during the movie? You could turn off the lights at the switch, but as soon as you move an inch, they’ll turn back on. If you thought about it ahead of time, you could manually disable the scene / motion sensor that controls them, and then turn off the lights, but then you’d have to remember to re-enable the scene again when you’re done. (Plus, you’d need some sort of remote control) Also, what if you don’t want the lights to turn on during the day? Or maybe, late at night, you only want lights to turn on to a very low dim level if you enter an area? (i.e. There’s nothing worse than getting blasted with bright flood lights when you walk down stairs for that midnight snack
Obviously, you could muck with the motion sensor timeouts, write Lua code to do this and/or create numerous triggers and other scenes, but that’s a lot of work and hard to get right.
So, that’s where this plugin comes in. This plugin provides a one stop, integrated solution that implements (slightly) more intelligent motion controlled lights.
It behaves as follows:
[ul][li]Lights will be turned on when motion is detected, and turned back off when no motion has been detected for the specified “automatic timeout” period (i.e. normal “basic” motion controlled activation)[/li]
[li]The on and off levels can be specified - lights don’t necessarily have to turn all the way on or off, or even turn on at all[/li]
[li]When the user manually overrides the light either using the switch itself, or some other interface, Vera stops trying to control the light automatically. However, when no motion has been detected for the “manual timeout” period, automatic operation will resume.[/li][/ul]
And that’s it. Lights operate automatically until you don’t want them to, and then resume automatic operation on their own.
The plugin is easily installed from the MiOS apps portal:
[ol][li]Click on the “Apps” tab in UI5[/li]
[li]Click on the “Install Apps” sub-tab[/li]
[li]Search for the “Smart Switch” plugin, and click the “Install” button to install it.[/li][/ol]
If the plugin installs correctly, Vera will create a “Smart Switch” device in the “no room” location.
To control a switch / light using “Smart Switch” plugin, you must first add the switch to the plugin.
To add the switch to the Smart Switch plugin:
[ol][li]Click on the wrench icon for the Smart Switch plugin. (By default, this is located in “no room” as an “Other” device type)[/li]
[li]On the Settings tab, select the switch you could like to control with the smart switch plugin, and click the “Add” button[/li][/ol]
Vera will now create a Smart Switch device to control your switch. The name of the device will be "SS: ", and will be created in “no room” by default.
To control the switch using motion sensors, you must add your motion sensors to the newly created Smart Switch. Adding a motion sensor to a smart switch is very similar to the procedure you used to add the switch to the plug-in.
To add a sensor to a smart switch:
[ol][li]Click on the wrench icon for the newly created Smart Switch device (not the smart switch plugin). (By default, this is located in “no room” as an “Other” device type)[/li]
[li]On the Settings tab, select the motion sensor you would like to use to control the switch, and click the “Add” button[/li][/ol]
Vera will not turn on and off the light as it senses motion from the motion sensor. If you manually change the light level, Vera will stop controlling the light using the motion sensor, and will instead wait for the “Manual Timeout” to expire before attempting to control the light again.
The timeouts and on/off levels can be controlled using the smart switch device.
Suggestions / Tips
- You can control the light levels using scenes. This can be used, for example, to have the lights automatically turn on to a lower level at night time, or not turn on at all during the day.
- If MCV fixes their “Slider” implementation, I will be able to replace the ridiculous number of buttons on the Smart Switch with a handful of sliders. (Currently, there can be only one slider per device, and the max / min limits for the slider are broken)