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post #1 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Occupancy sensors

What’s the best way to implement occupancy sensors for automated residential lighting ex Crestron ? Bathrooms ? Hallways ? Suggestions ... ?
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 06:23 AM
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I don't know about Crestron, but if you use Lutron for your lighting control their sensors work just fine.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 07:50 AM
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The "best" way is to implement a real security system that has occupancy sensors (and more). Recommendation is ELK M1 Gold.
Then, the security system is bi-directionally integrated with the control system. Certainly my reco is Allonis myServer.
Then, the lighting system (Lutron, ZWave, Zigbee, UPB, X10 and more) is controlled by the control system.

This is then a very secure, reliable, extensible, feature rich, and medium cost solution to MANY problems and needs.

The most important feature of an occupancy sensor is for security. That is why one ties that to a real security system that has the logic and methods and certification to call a monitoring security company in case of violation.

The lighting system is for illumination. On / Off / Dim and sometimes what color. That's pretty much it. Many technical communication implementations and protocols.

The control system "glues" it all together and contains the rules. ie: if the security system is not armed, and someone walks by the occupancy sensor and it is nighttime, then turn on the bathroom light by sending the Lutron RadioRa a message to turn on that dimmer to 60%.

Or

The security system IS armed and it is night and now this is seen as a violation...Turn on ALL the lights, and wake up the occupants while the security system is telling the monitoring service. Different experiences based on diff scenarios. managed by the control system.

Last edited by smoothtlk; 12-03-2019 at 08:02 AM.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 08:14 AM
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We will have both in our new construction.

Meaning, there will be hardwired occupancy sensors connected to ElkM1G panel and primarily used for home intrusion detection.

We will also have a lutron RadioRa2 system with many additional occupancy sensors in closets, bathrooms, halls etc whose primary purpose is lighting control. These are wireless and can thus be easily placed and moved on ceiling to get the best combination of sensitivity and specificity for detecting what you want and not what you don't. These communicate directly to the Lutron controller, and thus greatly simplify creation of rules to govern lighting as it stays primarily in the one ecosystem.

That being said, we will also have an automation controller to bridge the two systems and can use that to pass information and commands as needed. For example, wired occupancy sensors are being placed at points of entry, common living areas to best suit their purpose. I'm not planning on installing additional RR2 sensors in those areas, but if I think a security occupancy sensor might be useful as a trigger to a lighting scene I'll pass that info back to Lutron. Likewise, I don't expect an intruder to cut a hole into our roof and sneak through the attic and gain entry via my daughter's bedroom closet, but I suppose when security is armed in away mode any RR2 sensor detections could theoretically be passed back to the ElkM1G to trip the alarm.

So my suggestion is decide what universe you want to live in for lighting... Lutron, Insteon, UPB etc. That will go a long way toward clarifying what the best direction for lighting automation is. My advice: if you want an exceptional lighting automation, invest in a system designed to do that exceptionally well, like Lutron. Let it do what it is intended to do, then supplement and fill out around the edges with an automation controller as needed. If you go with some less full featured lighting systems, your automation controller may well become the lighting controller, which can work, just takes determination.

The other route is a unified typically dealer installed solution like control4 or crestron where the lighting controller is the automation controller as well as security system, AV hub, etc.

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post #5 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post
We will have both in our new construction.

Meaning, there will be hardwired occupancy sensors connected to ElkM1G panel and primarily used for home intrusion detection.

We will also have a lutron RadioRa2 system with many additional occupancy sensors in closets, bathrooms, halls etc whose primary purpose is lighting control. These are wireless and can thus be easily placed and moved on ceiling to get the best combination of sensitivity and specificity for detecting what you want and not what you don't. These communicate directly to the Lutron controller, and thus greatly simplify creation of rules to govern lighting as it stays primarily in the one ecosystem.

That being said, we will also have an automation controller to bridge the two systems and can use that to pass information and commands as needed. For example, wired occupancy sensors are being placed at points of entry, common living areas to best suit their purpose. I'm not planning on installing additional RR2 sensors in those areas, but if I think a security occupancy sensor might be useful as a trigger to a lighting scene I'll pass that info back to Lutron. Likewise, I don't expect an intruder to cut a hole into our roof and sneak through the attic and gain entry via my daughter's bedroom closet, but I suppose when security is armed in away mode any RR2 sensor detections could theoretically be passed back to the ElkM1G to trip the alarm.

So my suggestion is decide what universe you want to live in for lighting... Lutron, Insteon, UPB etc. That will go a long way toward clarifying what the best direction for lighting automation is. My advice: if you want an exceptional lighting automation, invest in a system designed to do that exceptionally well, like Lutron. Let it do what it is intended to do, then supplement and fill out around the edges with an automation controller as needed. If you go with some less full featured lighting systems, your automation controller may well become the lighting controller, which can work, just takes determination.

The other route is a unified typically dealer installed solution like control4 or crestron where the lighting controller is the automation controller as well as security system, AV hub, etc.
You would have the Lutron sensor send to the automation controller which would be sent and trigger an ELK virtual device that is configured within the ELK to be a monitored device. then the ELK calls out to the monitoring company.

In C4 / crestron...the lighting controller is not typically the automation controller. Separate boxes provided by the same company. And they are never the security panel (that I have seen). They are typically architected just like my prior post suggests. Security box and devices, automation box, lighting box and devices.

My suggestion is to choose the automation controller first....then the devices to be integrated. It's a WHOLE lot easier and less expensive that way. To choose the lighting controller first...then you are either picking something popular (Lutron being the most) or are just lucky that it all works together.

Last edited by smoothtlk; 12-03-2019 at 08:40 AM.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
In C4 / crestron...the lighting controller is not typically the automation controller. Separate boxes provided by the same company. And they are never the security panel (that I have seen). They are typically architected just like my prior post suggests. Security box and devices, automation box, lighting box and devices.
Interesting, didn't know that. I've never taken a close look at crestron or control4 as I simply wasn't interested in going that direction. I had always assumed one programming environment and one box. I guess it makes sense though, audio matrixes are separate boxes etc.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
In C4 / crestron...the lighting controller is not typically the automation controller. Separate boxes provided by the same company.
Not true for C4. It's all one box.
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 02:32 PM
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 02:36 PM
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The panels are the dimmers. The controller is the controller. That's the same as any panelized lighting control system.
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 02:45 PM
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flyingdiver - yes, agreed.
I think you and I are just using different terms "controller" vs. "Panel".
I think that Bigus might be thinking "boxes".

Our product myServer is a controller. And it talks to devices directly, and software directly, and cloud, and "panels" and other controllers.
And sometimes the terms makes it confusing

Some lighting systems (Vantage Infusion, Radio Ra Master and many more) support some limited automation logic within. So that's where the term "controller" gets gray. Some security systems support automation logic - like ELK and the ole HAI. They are more than security "panels" but less than a full automation controller.
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
flyingdiver - yes, agreed.
I think you and I are just using different terms "controller" vs. "Panel".
I think that Bigus might be thinking "boxes".

Our product myServer is a controller. And it talks to devices directly, and software directly, and cloud, and "panels" and other controllers.
And sometimes the terms makes it confusing

Some lighting systems (Vantage Infusion, Radio Ra Master and many more) support some limited automation logic within. So that's where the term "controller" gets gray.
You can talk to those panels directly without going through the EA-X controller? That's surprising, but I don't know how open the Zigbee protocol that C4 uses is. I don't have much experience with C4. I know you can't do that with Lutron without going through their controller. RRa2 automation logic is almost non-existent. HomeWorks has a lot more. Caseta even less. But their interface to real HA controllers works really well, and it's almost the same across all the lines. My Lutron driver works with all of them.
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
You can talk to those panels directly without going through the EA-X controller? That's surprising, but I don't know how open the Zigbee protocol that C4 uses is. I don't have much experience with C4. I know you can't do that with Lutron without going through their controller. RRa2 automation logic is almost non-existent. HomeWorks has a lot more. Caseta even less. But their interface to real HA controllers works really well, and it's almost the same across all the lines. My Lutron driver works with all of them.
Now I am starting to get confused

If myServer had a driver for C4 (we have been asked for this quite a few times):

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> EA-X controller <> C4 lighting panel <> Zigbee RF or home run wired lighting devices

Others:

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> RadioRa 2 master controller <> Clear Channel RF <> RadioRa switches

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> Lutron Homeworks controller <> Homeworks lighting devices (wired or wireless)

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> Vantage Infusion controller <> Vantage lighting panel (wired or wireless)

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> USB <> UPB controller <> Powerline <> UPB lighting device

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet or serial <> ELK controller <> Security devices

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> myZWave controller <> ZWave RF <> ZWave devices

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> DirecTV receiver

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> myServer Pandora software <> Sound card > amplifier > wires > speakers

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> myServer Pandora software <> ethernet <> DLNA player (Kodi, Volumino etc) > amp > wires > speakers

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> Russound streamer > amplifier (or audio matrix) > wires > speakers

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> Global Cache iTach > IR emitter > IR device

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> Homeseer Automation controller <> all that HS does

Examples.

Last edited by smoothtlk; 12-03-2019 at 03:19 PM.
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
Now I am starting to get confused

If myServer had a driver for C4 (we have been asked for this quite a few times):

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> EA-X controller <> C4 lighting panel

Others:

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> RadioRa 2 master controller <> Clear Channel RF <> RadioRa switches

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> Lutron Homeworks controller <> Homeworks lighting devices (wired or wireless)

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> Vantage Infusion controller <> Vantage lighting panel (wired or wireless)

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> USB <> UPB controller <> Powerline <> UPB lighting device

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet or serial <> ELK controller <> Security devices

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> myZWave controller <> ZWave RF <> ZWave devices

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> DirecTV receiver

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> myServer Pandora software <> Sound card > amplifier > wires > speakers

myServer web page (one user interface example) <> myServer controller <> ethernet <> Russound streamer > amplifier (or audio matrix) > wires > speakers

Examples.
If you're going to show Clear Channel RF for RRa2, you should also show the Zigbee link for C4.
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingDiver View Post
If you're going to show Clear Channel RF for RRa2, you should also show the Zigbee link for C4.
Sure, but they also do home run wired (non wireless).
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by smoothtlk View Post
Sure, but they also do home run wired (non wireless).
Ah. I didn't realize their multi-dimmer units (like https://www.control4.com/docs/produc...heet-rev-b.pdf) use ethernet. Looks like a really good place to use a VLAN.
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-03-2019, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Any practical tips on using an occupancy sensor for lighting automation ? Like en-suite bathroom to turn lights on when it’s dark out and you enter the bathroom ... stairwell movement when it’s dark out to light a bath to other bedrooms etc


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post #17 of 17 Old 12-04-2019, 06:48 AM
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Hi Blake,
You also should layer in something we call "house modes" ie: Day / Night / Vacation etc.
The occupancy sensor role will change dependent on the current mode.

Day: turn on lights in some dim rooms, off in the old room, move audio to a new zone on detection of motion in that zone, turn on timed fan in bathrooms (reset timer with additional motion), etc

Night: If an armed zone, trigger security. Put focus on camera in that zone (public rooms), trigger all lights if security violated, security system sends alert message. If not armed zone, turn on lights dim in new room, off in old rooms (no motion in X minutes)

Vacation: Assumption is system is armed unless guests are present. Send notification to owner if any violations if not planned.

Most people don't use motion for other than security and lights on. Because it's difficult to manage occupancy without motion detected modes. Too many false positives. But the above are actions you can test and modify the timeouts.
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