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Occupancy Detection


matapan

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I'm looking for a reliable and inexpensive way to determine occupancy in rooms. I tried this years ago using Insteon motion sensors and it didn't work well, probably because I didn't really understand motion sensors and their limitations.

In preparing to try this again, I did a little research online and found sensors specifically designed to detect occupancy. They look like the size of smoke detectors and probably require AC power to run continuously. I'm presuming that this is the generally accepted way to detect occupany for automation purposes. 

Is there a way this can be done with battery operated motion sensors that works pretty well?

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I use about 10 Insteon MSes and it works quite well for me. I assign room constants in ISY so that other software knows what room the motion is taking place at the time.

I also assign a value to a programmable countdown timer that indicates when the house is empty. Each room assigns a different value to the countdown timer. Eg: in my gathering room, where we watch TV and do not move much, I assign 120 minutes to the timer. However in my laundry room, I assign only 20 minutes to the timer as that is the last room that will see motion if we leave the house.

The programmable countdown timer only counts down every minute during waking hours so that it doesn't consider $occupied =  $cFalse while we sleep, without motion.

I have had the timer time out a few times while motionless, watching TV for more than 120 minutes. Now I have instituted a verbal warning on my Alexa speakers at the 2 minutes, and 1 minute left, time. It warns the listener that the home will be considered empty and to move around some.

If my security system is switched on then the timer is set to 1 minute. The $occupied variable is also set "init to" the same value, so that after a power failure, the house knows if we are home, and doesn't shut off lighting that comes on after a power blink.

Note: I disable the Off commands from all Insteon MSes. I have an ISY / polisy that can control the timings differently for lighting and occupancy detection. Allowing MSes to send Off signals would make multiple uses of the same MS difficult.

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8 hours ago, matapan said:

I'm looking for a reliable and inexpensive way to determine occupancy in rooms. I tried this years ago using Insteon motion sensors and it didn't work well, probably because I didn't really understand motion sensors and their limitations.

In preparing to try this again, I did a little research online and found sensors specifically designed to detect occupancy. They look like the size of smoke detectors and probably require AC power to run continuously. I'm presuming that this is the generally accepted way to detect occupany for automation purposes. 

Is there a way this can be done with battery operated motion sensors that works pretty well?

It's simple. You're looking at the opposite of turning stuff on. 

If motion is switched off and motion is not switched on 

Wait x minutes 

Turn lights off 

The wait gives people a chance to move which will reset the program

 

 

 

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