Smart light switch and motion sensor


I want to build a smart lightning system at home, but without installing any bulbs. I just want a smart switch to switch on/off lights, and a smart motion sensor that can talk to this smart switch to switch on/off the lights as well

To do it i assume i will need:

  • smart switch
  • smart motion sensor
  • a hub that can manage the connectivity between the items

I have a particle photon, and i have seen home assistant works there using MQTT, so, the question now is… has anybody built that system?

I have seen fibaro, but it looks very expensive, and sonoff, but im a bit concerned about the privacy… Which brands and model work well with this and can you recommend?


Do you already have a working Home Assistant installation?

There are all sorts of choices for the sensors and switches. Try to choose items that do not rely on a cloud (external internet) connection, as they will be slower and you’ll be at the mercy of third-party services.

Sonoff, Shelly and similar switches can be used (or flashed to use) in local mode, so all communications are within your house: no privacy issues then.

Nope, i have nothing at the moment apart from the particle photon.

I am not even sure if home assistant is the best solution for this or if it is better to buy a whole kit that includes a bridge


Will the bridge that you buy depend completely on the internet or the whims of a company that decides to shut down their service and completely brick the bridge you paid them for? You won’t have that issue with a HA based system.

Will you ever want to do anything else with your home automation besides controlling your light switches? I bet you will. HA can do way more than most any commercial bridge.

Do you really want to lock yourself in to a single manufacturers product or a specific protocol? You won’t have those limitations using HA.

Just do yourself a favor an buy a $35 Pi (Pi4 or at least a Pi3b+) and run HA on there to play with it.

Unless you are completely tech illiterate then you can probably do at least light switches and a few automations to control them.

OTOH, it does take at least a bit of research and some minimal computer skills to run HA. And more than that if you really want to use HA fully. But that can be learned over time.

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Making it work would not be a problem, im more concerned about performance. What i mean is that if i buy a kit, i assume it will interact better, have less latency etc… than if i build the bridge system by myself, isnt it?

In any case, if i decide to go with HA, which brands and models would you recommend for the switch and sensor? Again, i assume there will be some products that will not work well together and some of them will have less latency than others

Thanks :slight_smile:

Absolutely not, no. An HA system with local-network devices can work “instantly”, as in you won’t perceive a delay between pressing a switch and the device working.

I’ve not tried any off-the-shelf motion sensors: I’m sure others can chip in here. For the switches, look at Shelly 1 or 2.5 units.

thanks. Will have a look. Shelly2.5 was on my radar

For motion sensors i have seen great reviews of the phillips one but its a bit pricey. I have also considered fibaro

Zwave, zigbee, anything esp8266 based that can be flashed or has an API that HA can talk to locally (Shelly, Sonoff, etc.) or any number of other platforms. Look at the list of supported platforms on the “integration” pages of the main HA website.

are zigbee and zwave compatible between them or do i need to go to a zwave or zigbee pure ecosystem?

Also, related to shelly, i have seen shelly 2.5 is more focused on blinder rollers etc… for a light switch, would it be enough with shelly 1 only?


You can use pure z wave, pure signed or any mix in between.

If you do end up with both you will need a controller compatible with each. They aren’t the same protocol so you need two controllers. But if you buy a HUSBZB-1 it comes with both controllers in one USB stick.

Shelly 1 is sufficient for a single light switch. I have several running lights right now.