Looking for software-controlled outdoor recessed lighting

Looking to build a home automation project tying outdoor recessed lighting (e.g. pot lights) to a set of outdoor motion detectors, and I’m considering using HomeAssistant on the software side of things. I’m not too worried about the software, since one the pieces are in place, I have more than enough development experience to connect the bits, even if I have to do it with custom code.

But I have less experience with the hardware side, and i’m hoping not to bite off more than I can chew. I haven’t been able to find much in the way of smart outdoor recessed lighting fixtures or smart outdoor recessed lighting bulbs that I can control remotely. I have seen smart indoor versions of each, and smart outdoor lighting solutions that aren’t recessed, but the combination is proving troublesome.

I see signs that there might be smart inline relays that I could put right beside a traditional outdoor recessed lighting fixture, but every time I look up things like z-wave relays, I end up finding something that looks like a light switch and can communicate with z-wave products – an input device. What I want isn’t the input device, I want something that turns on or off power to a fixture.

And finally, if all else fails, I can go back to my original plan where I run wires from each fixture back to a central spot, put a software-controlled relay there, hooked up to a Pi or a Nuc. That seems pretty fool-proof, and I can definitely find a relay like that, but that seems like it’s running a lot of extra wires if I can just find smart relays or smart fixtures.


  1. Are there good smart bulbs or smart fixtures for outdoor recessed lighting that I’ve missed?
  2. Is there something I can pair with a traditional bulb and fixture to allow me to turn off and off the fixture (or even dim it) remotely?
  3. Any other ideas I’m not considering?

For a more detailed writeup on the project:


  • Geoffrey

I would run them to a interior switch box (maybe in garage) and stick a smart switch in. That way you can always manually turn them on and off. Using an automation in home assistant, when the motion detector trips, turn on the light.

How do you control the lights now?

Easiest to me seems to be to replaced the existing switch with a smart one and link the switch and motion sensor in home assistant.

To me this is the real power of home assistant, the ability to connect two unrelated devices for automation.

It’s not a terrible plan, but my goal is to turn them off front-to-back or back-to-front or middle-out depending on the motion, which … would mean installing N smart switches, one for each light. That starts to sound a little ridiculous – even wiring them all to a set of N relays (or M relays with N poles, anyway) feels a little painful, but still better than a set of smart switches.

@silvrr The lights aren’t there yet – they will be going in with a reno. And a single smart switch won’t give me the control options I’m looking for, see the response I just posted for @jtilles.