Lighting control with motion sensors


New Member
I've installed a number of Insteon controls in my home and am pleased with their performance. What I'd now like to do is install a control system that allows me to schedule lighting scenes based on the time of day, mode (occupied or unoccupied), and also if a room has recently had motion. I'd like to install wireless motion detectors, as it would be difficult to pull wires. I'd like a controller (either hardware-based, or software) that make it easy to run commands like:

- If the house is not occupied, run the following lighting schedule.

- If the house is occupied and a room has not had motion in 15 minute, dim the lights.

- If the house is occupied and it is between sunset and sunrise and motion is detected in a room, turn the lights on.

The key is to integrated motion sensing into the scheduling of lighting events.

I've searched a good deal, and have not been able to find a solution that appears to do all this (support Insteon and also support some sort of wireless motion detection hardware).

Could anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks!
The Elk panels could do this entirely within their hardware rules engine- use wireless motion sensors, plus use an Insteon controller.
Thanks - I think that is a possibility.

A question: Has anyone attempted to interface the CADDX wireless controller directly to a PC? Is the CADDX device just an RS-485 peripheral? If it is, it probably speaks a simple protocol, and I can capture the wireless sensor events directly on my PC. I've looked around on the web and cannot find any low level documentation for the CADDX. Has anyone ever attempted this?
HomeSeer and the DooMotion plugin do this very well. DooMotion is a plugin originally based on the X10 wireless motion sensors but has been adapted over the years to use all sorts of devices like DS10A's (wireless security door and window sensors), RFID, wired motion sensors, etc. It will automatically calculate occupancy based on the sensors you choose in setup and even has it's own scripting engine that can do some complex motion scenes. One of the best WAF scenarios is the fact that my bathroom light comes on at 5% dim automatically at night for those late night bathroom trips and this is a real winner with the Wife. All closets and pantries have automatic lighting based on DooMotion and each have their own calculated off events.
The Caddx wireless receiver protocol is a complex protocol in which you have to recreate the Caddx Controls data bus to talk with it. Believe me, not a simple task. The protocol is not public.
Also, the CADDX wireless motion detectors will not constantly detect motion like a hardwired sensor. I believe I read they will send a signal every 3 minutes to conserve battery life. So they are not very well suited to lighting control. You may not get an acceptable response time out of them.
Check with the folks at Dakota Alert (, they are just adding motion detection with an insteon interface, product is brand new but should be shipping soon. Should be a very flexible system.
I've been trying to get my Insteon and Elk to play well together for months. I've probably spent about 80 hours on it and am about to call it quits.

The Elk M1 does a good job of turning on/off and dimming lights in rules, but it has a hard time determining the current state of any given light, even with polling turned on.

Recently I have tried to add some rules to turn on lights that are not already on when motion is detected, and then turn them off after a certain period, but have had a lot of problems with that as well. I have tried a variety of different rules but no matter which way I do it there is always something that doesn't work correctly.

For instance I found the following thread, but when I add those rules the light never turns off:

I also tried only turning the lights on only when they were already off, but since the Elk isn't very good at keeping track at least in my environment it was a bit fluky.

edit: Some of my problems could be from the motion sensor, when I get a chance I'll try to debug some of the rules.
I know it's a little early in the game, but I wish the Elk supported Leviton's 2 way Z-Wave communication protocol and I'd drop insteon in a heartbeat. The way things are going with Insteon, it's likely that I'll end up dropping Insteon anyways and control lighting through a pc interface of some kind (though I'd rather not).