Creating Intelligent Stairs Lighting

Hi Guys,

I’m not sure which category this goes in, apologies if this is the wrong one.

I’ve seen a sour in companies selling Intelligent Led Driver/Hubs for stairs recently, and wondering if it is possible to create this with HA.


It basically lights up each Led strip per step as you walk up. I was thinking it is possible by doing:

Two PIR sensors one at top and one at bottom.
Automate HA, trigger on motion to light each strip delayed one by one by half a second.

I’m not sure if this is possible, and what additional hardware would actually be needed. Input from you guys would be lovely.


You might be better off using a ‘break beam sensor’ rather than a PIR so it doesn’t activate if just walking past the top or bottom of the stairs (like the type used to set off a beeper when entering a shop doorway). Or if your stairs are carpeted a pressure sensing mat.

A bunch of LED strips, Darlington driver transistors and an ESP32 running ESPhome would make this pretty much autonomous - not even needing any Home Assistant automation. Though of course you could enable it via HA (if a smoke alarm is triggered at night for example).

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Interesting and I thought of doing something similar. Instead of steps, LEDs would be mounted under handrail and a section would light as you would walk down/up instead of just lighting up in a sequence after a trigger… probably it would require more than 2 PIR sensors (in my design).

I had an idea to do this using an ultrasonic sensor at the top of the stairs facing down them at the same angle as the stairs (so the signal is essentially parallel to the handrail) and use the distance reading to determine where on the staircase the person is and turn on the lights at the correct spot using an addressable LED strip. It shouldn’t be too hard… but I don’t have stairs so no use to me

:slight_smile: I like your idea. Measuring the distance is good way to solve the problem.

I would have to agree with @tom_l about a break sensor.
Currently I use a dual PIR sensor setup for a single stair case lighting system and the PIR sensor unless adjusted perfectly go off when someone passes.

I had though about doing this but the wiring would be a little more unsightly than in the video.
Addressable LED strips would be the way to go. The LED strips would either need to be calibrated at a lower power or have a cover to disperse the intensity. (walking up could be blinding at night depending on the angle or where the strips are placed.)

Regarding if this is possible to make. Looks very possible.

@sparkydave I like your ultrasonic sensor idea.

Did you make any progress? Have a look at:

Thanks for the link. I am currently looking for a solution, as I will start renovating my stairs soon.
I hope I will find a way to control it via mqtt and integrate it in my house management through hassio

I will opt for the ws2813b with serial wiring across the elements and hope to be able to ‘cut’ them into stairs digitally. If you have any tips then please let me know!

I ordered a few WS2812B to try using them with my old pi 3B & node red. I will keep you updated :slight_smile:

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Hi @vasseurf any news on this?

My LED stairs project works very well on the desk. I used ESP8266, PIRs and MQTT. For stairs better go with 12V LEDs (ws2811). I used that sketch: but changed LED lib to FastLED. Of course low level converter, capacitor and resistor are a must-have.
I will use that PIRs:


MQTT topics:

To do:

  • add more effects
  • add MQTT code for adjust LED effect