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Photocell with Insteon/ISY


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I have read several posts on this but am still confused.  I would like to have some "dusk to dawn" lights controlled by ISY via Insteon to come on during severe weather (premature darkness)  I have a multitude of spare devices but cannot figure out how to program and what to use.  I have an I/O, a motion and several other spares.  Can some one walk me thru the correct setting/parts/program?  Thanks all!

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The motion sensor provides a dawn/dusk node. Once you configure the sensor for the desired dusk level using the admin console (and putting it in set mode), the dusk node will switch on at dusk. This includes cases where a thunderhead blows through and its darker earlier than official dusk.  81 is what works for me. You'll need to adjust a few times to get what works for you.


Here is a program I have that used. It use one of three ways to turn it on, whichever happens first

  • Dusk sensor in a motion sensor
  • Light level from the climate module from a local airport weather station
  • Real sunset

One of those three will turn the outside lights on. I also have it set so I can "double tap" one of 2 switches in the house to turn them on manually if I want to.

Lights on Dusk

             From    Sunset  - 45 minutes                                                      // I don't want them coming on too soon 
             For      45 minutes 
       And (
                  'Yard / Premise Lights / Driveway Motion-Sensor-Dusk.D' is switched On       // Have the ms turn it on
               Or Module 'Climate' Light <= 9                                                  // go by a local weather station light level
       Or (
             Time is Sunset  +  4 minutes                                                      // use actual sunset
     Or 'Kitchen / Back Deck' is switched Fast On                                              // I manually use my back deck switch
     Or 'Living Room / Front Door - Lamps / Front Door.Porch' is switched Fast On              // I manuall use my front porch light switch
        Set 'Yard / Yard and Lamp Security / Yard Lights On' On
   - No Actions - (To add one, press 'Action')


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Thanks for the info.  I have set the motion sensor as you showed except set light sensitivity to 200.  programmed as follows:

If 8 hours before sunset and 30 minutes before sunset AND dusk dawn is  "on"

Then turn on family room lights

Else nothing

If I run the then the lights come on, but I cannot get the MS to trigger.  I tried to put it in a closed box, but does not respond.  I have the switches set to "night only"

Any ideas?



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2 hours ago, little66085 said:

That did it.  Thanks, Paul!!!!

BTW. for testing the MS Dark settings. You can tap the linking button 7 times in rapid succession and it will transmit the current state of Dark / Light after only about three seconds of sensing, avoiding the 3-5 minutes of sensing delay normally incurred.


With 12 MSes, I count the number of current Darks received. I use a maximum and minimum count causing saturation at about 10 units so it always self corrects the count. Different rooms report in, sooner and later, so I can get somewhat of an analogue value to the brightness out of that. Now I have added a few CAO tags to my system which give me Lux readings.

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I've read the documentation but it is not clear to me how to adjust the "darkness sensitivity" value.  Does lowering the number make the Dusk.Dawn turn On with lower light or more light?

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You can also use the Aeon Multi-Sensor 6, which transmits actual lux values.  I just use one in a fairly representative room in the house and poll the lux value every 15 minutes.  Lights will turn on if it gets dark, then burn back off if it brightens up again, ie, the passing thunderstorm.  I only use the Multi Sensor 6 with a power supply so it never goes to sleep.

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37 minutes ago, ElectricCPR said:

I'm sooo confused! Does the photocell component work when motion isn't sensed?
Please explain.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

Please specify which unit or who you respond to by quoting. There were several units raised in this thread.

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