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Automating Occupancy Sensor(s)


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One of the two main reasons I'm excited about home automation is energy savings.  I can turn my lights off (and thermostats up/down) based on whether or not I (or any other family member) is present.


Over the past year or two I've installed a dozen or more Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensor switches at the light switches my wife/kids leave on most often.  Their cost is great (<$20) and they are very effective.  In essence, they do two things:

- If the light is off, and they detect motion, they turn the light on (or, optionally, you can set them to turn on manually)

- If the light is on, they wait for a specified time period (30s to 30m) after they last detected motion, and then turn the light off.


These work great in smaller rooms in my house, where the switch has a direct line of site to everywhere I expect an occupant to be.  However, I have one room where the switch is hidden by furniture so I can't use the Lutron option. I'm looking to accomplish the same thing with home automation.  After all, I have motion sensors and timers and light switch controls.  It can't be that hard, can it?


I have a Z-wave switch on that light, and both a motion sensor and a camera with motion sensing capability that I can use to turn the light on (which I do rather effectively) but I'm struggling with ways to turn the light off when the room is vacant.


- My automation system can sense the "no motion" signal from either of the sensors, but I don't want to turn them off unless it detects no motion (on both sensors) for some period of time

- I can put in a delay after the "no motion" signal is received before it turns the light off, but if there is any motion detected on either sensor, I want to "cancel" that delay.  This doesn't appear to be an option.

- I can put in a delay after the "motion" turns the light on, to turn it off again (which works fine) but then I would not want to take that action if there is still motion sensed at the time period indicated.

- I've managed a very kludgy workaround using "modes" to represent "motion detected" wherein I toggle the mode based on whether motion is being detected and then use the automations with delays which turn the switch on/off on delays restricted to only act in certain modes (lights out 5 minutes after "no motion" signal but only if in "vacant" mode).   This works for the one single room I care about, but it's not scalable to other rooms (with 8 total modes I could use them all to represent the motion/non-motion states of 3 rooms (and lose all other zone capability.)  I can use that same motion/no-motion sensing globally across the whole house for anything I plan to control (lights, thermostats, etc.) all based on "whole house occupancy" and will probably do that if I can't figure anything else out.


In a totally separate application but with similar limitations, I have a door that the kids tend to leave open.  I would like a text alert if the door remains open for longer than some time period I set.  But short of using the modes to represent the "door open" and "door closed" states, and triggers based on those (text 5 minutes after "door open" alert but only if still in "door is open" mode) I can't figure out how to go about that.


Does anyone else have any ideas on how to work around this limitation?  Are there any devices out there for any automation system which will allow this system to work?



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