My front porch has pendant lights suspended by chains and is controlled by a standard light switch. I automated the porch lights with Insteon home automation controls. I explained the Insteon ToggleLinc light switch installation in this article. The related ISY-99i home automation controller is discussed here.

The Insteon Motion Sensor is a Insteon Wireless Motion Sensor. The 9 volt battery and mounting stand are included.

Insteon Wireless Motion Sensor 2420M

Insteon Wireless Motion Sensor 2420M

Removing the battery cover reveals five jumper pins and Set button. Installation and operation are simple, the Quick Start Guide is available here with the details.

Insteon 2420M Motion Sensor - Rear View

Insteon 2420M Motion Sensor – Rear View

The motion sensor LED is quite bright and flashes when in “Link” mode after pressing the Set button. It also flashes when motion is detected. The LED brightness is configurable on a 0 to 100 scale through the ISY-99i Administrative Console, with 0 (zero) turning off the LED.

Motion Sensor LED

Motion Sensor LED

Automate Exterior Lights with an Insteon Wireless Motion Sensor

The 2420M Wireless Sensor is an RF only Insteon device and requires a Smarthome 2443 Access Point RF receiver/phase coupler to communicate with the Insteon power line network. It’s simple to “link” the motion sensor by pressing the Set buttons on both devices per the product instructions.

Customize the Insteon Motion Sensor Settings

The motion sensor Timeout, LED Brightness and Darkness Sensitivity can be customized via the ISY-99i Administrative Console. I left the timeout at the default of 1 minute, set the LED brightness down to 10 because the default value 75 is too bright at night, and left the Darkness Sensitivity at the default of 35.

Linking the Insteon Motion Sensor

The motion sensor is linked only to the Access Point wireless receiver. I did not link the motion sensor to the ToggleLinc light switch because I will have an ISY-99i program decided what to do with the motion sensor events.

Insteon Network Overview

Now that I’ve installed the 2466SW ToggleLinc switch, wireless motion sensor, 2443 Access Point wireless coupler, PowerLinc power line modem and ISY-99i Home Automation Controller – I’m ready to begin programming the ISY-99i.

This is my Insteon network so far (click on the image for larger view):

Insteon Network Overview - Porch Lights Automation

Insteon Network Overview – Porch Lights Automation

Motion Sensor Programming

My requirements for the porch light program are:

  1. The porch lights will turn on for 10 minutes when motion is sensed from 30 minutes before sunset to 15 minutes after sunrise.
  2. The motion sensor can be overridden by “double clicking” OFF, i.e. pressing the ToggleLinc switch OFF quickly two times, to keep the porch lights off indefinitely. This is useful when I want to look at the stars or for Halloween when the scene should be kept dark to view the decorations.
  3. Manually turning the ToggleLinc switch ON will turn on the lights indefinitely and re-enable the motion sensor program. When the switch is manually turned OFF, the motion sensor program takes over again by default.

In practice, the common scenarios are:

  • Lights are controlled by the motion sensor by default.
  • If I turn the switch ON, the lights stay ON until I turn them OFF.
  • If I want to keep the porch lights off for a time, I double click OFF the light switch.
  • When I come back inside, I flip the light switch ON/OFF once to re-enable the motion sensor.

An program upgrade would be to include a reset program to run, say, at 30 minutes past sunrise everyday to turn OFF the lights and re-enable the motion sensor in case I manually overrode the lights and forgot to turn them off. Hmm, I think I’ll add this feature – see the update later in this article.

The motion sensor program flow chart is:

Porch Light Program Flow Chart

Porch Light Program Flow Chart

The ISY-99i program code is kept in a Folder named ‘Front Porch Light’.

Folder Conditions for 'Front Porch Light'
    Add conditions to limit when programs in this folder are allowed to run.

If
   - No Conditions - (To add one, press 'Schedule' or 'Condition')
Then
   Allow the programs in this folder to run.

The programs in this folder are: 1) 'Porch Motion Sensed' 2) 'Porch Light On 10 Minutes'
3) 'Porch Light Switched On' 4) 'Porch Light Switched Fast Off'

===============

Program Content for 'Porch Motion Sensed'
If
   From  Sunset - 30 minutes To Sunrise + 15 minutes (next day)
   And Control 'Porch Motion Sensor' is switched On
   And
      (
        Status  'Front Porch Light Switch' is not On
        And Program 'Porch Light On 10 Minutes' is False
      )
 Then
    Run Program 'Porch Light On 10 Minutes' (Then Path)
 Else
    - No Actions - (To add one, press 'Action')

===============

Program Content for 'Porch Light On 10 Minutes'

If
   - No Conditions - (To add one, press 'Schedule' or 'Condition')
Then
   Set 'Front Porch Light Switch' On
   Wait  10 minutes
   Set 'Front Porch Light Switch' Off
   Run Program 'Porch Light On 10 Minutes' (Else Path)
Else
   - No Actions - (To add one, press 'Action')

Turns the porch light on for 10 minutes. A program is used such that the
'Wait' isn't reinitialized by new events triggering If conditions.

================

Program Content for 'Porch Light Switched On'

If
   Control 'Front Porch Light Switch' is switched On
Then
   Stop program 'Porch Motion Sensed'
   Enable Program 'Porch Motion Sensed'
   Run Program 'Porch Light On 10 Minutes' (Else Path)
Else
   - No Actions - (To add one, press 'Action')

This program returns control to the motion sensor and reinitializes the conditional logic
flags. Run Program (Else Path) to reset the motion on/off flag.

===============

Program Content for 'Porch Light Switched Fast Off'

If
   Control 'Front Porch Light Switch' is switched Fast Off
Then
   Stop program 'Porch Motion Sensed'
   Disable Program 'Porch Motion Sensed'
   Run Program 'Porch Light On 10 Minutes' (Else Path)
Else
   - No Actions - (To add one, press 'Action')

Double tap (Fast Off) disables the motion sensor such that the
porch light stays off until the switch is manually turned on again.
The purpose of the 'Run Program ... (Else Path)' is to reset the
motion on/off flag.

Bonus Program

I added this new program to turn off porch lights at dawn and reset the motion sensor control in case I manually overrode the motion sensor and forgot to turn OFF the lights. This ensures the motion sensor code is is ready for the next night.

Program Content for 'Porch Light Daily Reset'

If
   Time is Sunrise + 30 minutes
Then
   Set 'Front Porch Light Switch' Off
   Run Program 'Porch Light On 10 Minutes' (Else Path)
   Enable Program 'Porch Motion Sensed'
Else
   - No Actions - (To add one, press 'Action')

Turns off the porch lights 30 minutes after dawn and resets the program flags in case
the lights were manually overridden and left on all night.

This is how the programs are organized in the ISY-99i Admin Console (click for a full size image):

Porch Light Programs in the ISY-99i Admin Console

Porch Light Programs in the ISY-99i Admin Console

For more information on the ISY-99i, the Universal Devices Wiki page is an excellent resource.

Project Update:

I completely rewrote the Porch Light Automation software and added new features in this update.

Hope this helps,

Bob Jackson

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