HomeKit Motion Sensor and Arrives Home Automations Not Working

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by Benjer, Mar 5, 2018.

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  1. Benjer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Utah
    #1
    I have an Ecobee3 thermostat with one sensor in the downstairs living room (plus the sensor in the actual thermostat, which is upstairs). I've started using HomeKit, and I'm having trouble using automations triggered by the motion sensor as well as when I (with my phone) arrive home. (I tested these to turn on a "We're at Home" scene). Other automations (specifically timed automations) work as expected, so I don't think it's an issue with the iPad Air 2 (iOS 11.2.6) we use as the Home Hub.

    The automation I have set up is when occupancy of any kind is detected in the Ecobee3 sensors between 1pm and 5pm, to switch to the "We're at Home" scene. The Home app on my phone indicates that occupancy is detected in the sensors during that time range, but does not switch to the "We're at Home" scene. (There are no other automations set up besides timed ones.) I then tried to just use the single sensor downstairs as the trigger. The Home app reported it detected motion, but it did not trigger the automation.

    As a final test, I created an automation to turn the "We're at Home" scene on when I arrive home. Didn't work this afternoon.

    FWIW, the iPad is indeed always on (and charging) when we are not home and connected to our home wifi. Ecobee3 is wifi, so distance to iPad doesn't matter. Our ATV is 3rd generation, so that's not an option to test our automations with.
     
  2. Benjer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Utah
    #2
    Update: This morning, I set a "People Leave" automation, and sure enough, the temperature changed when I left the house. Still having trouble with the motion detection automations, though. I would think it could be something with how the Ecobee sensors work, but my phone shows that motion is detected on a sensor and the automation is not triggered. My only thought is perhaps using an iPad isn't as reliable as a Home Hub as an ATV 4/4K or HomePod?
     
  3. psionicsin macrumors 6502

    psionicsin

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Location:
    Metro-Detroit, MI
    #3
    Nope. I'm actually having issues with the Ecobee's sensors as well when using them as motion sensors through the Homekit app as well.

    It's like their trigger/response/deactivate timing isn't as fast as normal day to day use. Also, after a sensors turns lights off due to no motion detected...if you wa;; back into that same room the lights don't turn back on right away.

    I'm thinking about buying Philips motions sensors as I'm sure they have a quicker responses.
     
  4. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    #4
    Ecobee sensors are not really meant for good motion detection or even occupancy detection. I believe their sensors are extremely low powered which leads to huge lags back to the thermostat. This happens for both the temperature and motion detection. I tested this when I reset the sensors and warmed up the sensors. It took around 10 minutes to 20 minutes for the temperature to normalize. I tried out the Eve motion detector for my front porch but there is about a 5-10 second delay for it which is not useful for people coming to the front door. I’ll have to try the Philips motion detectors at some point. The Lutron non-smart motion detectors work in nearly 500 milliseconds.
     
  5. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5
    I use the Philips Hue motion sensors. One for downstairs hallway, one for the upstairs hallway and one in the pantry.

    In my experience they have been excellent. They detect motion as soon as we enter an area and the corresponding actions are activated instantly.

    They’re quite adjustable, for daylight sensitivity and motion detection sensitivity. So you can have them set for only just barely detecting motion at certain light levels, all the way up to seriously sensitive and would detect a fly farting.

    As an added bonus, they also have temperature (and lux of course) sensors built-in. Don’t think those can be utilised in activities yet, but handy for seeing what temperature rooms are at.
     
  6. x34 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #6

    but do they work without a hue bridge?
     
  7. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    Well I suppose they’ll need a hub of some variety, but as they’re zigbee compatible it needn’t necessarily be a Hue bridge.
     
  8. x34 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2014
    #8
    i thought maybe it would work with homekit aka apple's home app only too?
    buying hue motion plus hue bridge just for the motion sensor does not make any sense though... (except one has hue lights anyway)
     
  9. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    I think without a hub, the Elgato sensor is about the cheapest option. Others such as Fibaro end up costing as much as or more than the cost of a Philips Hub and sensor.

    For instance on Amazon UK just now I could buy a Hue Hub and a motion sensor for 10 bucks less than a Fibaro, and only 20 more than the Elgato. And doing it that way would give more flexibility for adding Hue or Zigbee devices in the future.
    I know what I’d rather do.
     

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8 March 5, 2018