Porch lights automation

This round I tackle porch lights automation.  The outside of the house is pretty well lit.  However, I would like to have the lights a little brighter as a person approaches front door.

Porch lights setup. This ceiling lamp is only turned on when there is motion in the porch.

The lights in the porch uses a different kind of bulb connector, therefor I couldn’t swap it with Philips Hue bulbs.  So the next best thing is to use a HomeKit switch.  What’s also needed was a motion sensor.  In this setup I use the Eve Motion Sensor, and I’ll give you a little feedback on this sensor versus using a Philip Motion Sensor.  You can read the different options available to turn lights on in my past article.

So, the setup was not as easy as I had to call an electrician to set up the Koogeek switch.  All because I could not figure out how to pull a Neutral wire into the switch.  In order to keep the switch powered up and connected to the home WiFi it’s connected to the Neutral line.   But after setting it up it was simple as it controls the porch lights, and awaiting for the motion sensor to activate it with motion detected.

Koogeek Light Switch

Setting up the motion sensor was as easy as finding an existing nail on the wall, or hammering one on it.  Then it’s about setting up the HomeKit automation steps.  In the Automation section of the Home app, I set up these Automation steps:  Motion Detected in Porch from 6:30PM to 8:00AM, Porch Ceiling Lights – Turn On, Turn Off after 3 minutes.  And that’s it.

What I learned by this set of automation is that I wished I can also control the light intensity option of the Elgato motion sensor that it would not only detect motion, but also come on when the light intensity in the porch is low.  This would take the need out to set a timing for the light to be activated with motion.

Another is the sensor itself.  Somehow I feel that now with around 25 accessories I think that it’s taking a toll on my WiFi router.  Sometimes there’s a slight lag in the time motion is detected to the activation of the porch lights automation.   My next thoughts are to upgrade the WiFi router to a AC5400.  Then again, it could be the sensor itself.  I did try using the Hue motion sensor as well, but in the end couldn’t keep it in the porch as I used it for the bathroom HomeKit automation.

Overall, it’s great to have the home automated.  It’s nice to have a little more lights in the porch when home late at night.