Using motion detectors to turn off alarm at night

I have some “alarm” automations that are enabled at night. However is someone upstairs wakes up and comes downstairs I would like to disable these alarms automations until they go back to bed.
I have a motion detector at the top of the stairs, so I can use that to detect someone going downstairs to disable alarms.
However I only want that to happen if there is no other motion downstairs of course!
And then I would like to re-enable the alarms when the person goes back upstairs - there is a motion detector at the bottom of the stairs as well so I might be able to detect person going upstairs?
Any bright ideas on the best way to do this?
(Don’t want any buttons or panels because a sleepy person will forget!!)

I have a sensor upstairs and down the stairs. So

  • Downstairs:
    Motion sensor downstairs is triggered and the one upstairs is on or changed less than 20s ago
  • Upstairs
    Motion sensor upstairs is triggered and the one downstairs is on or changed less than 20s ago

I use template conditions to check the time between the two sensors. In addition:

  • the ‘nighttime helper’ must be on (so the whole thing only applies after going to bed)
    This is my preferred solution, since it’s responsive to the actual bedtime and not some arbitrary time.
    In case you want, you can use the alarm trigger to also set this helper.
  • the toilet light must be off, just in case someone else is still downstairs while another goes upstairs.

Next, you have to figure out:

  • at what time you don’t want to have the alarm turned on again. Say if you go upstairs after 06:30 (or whatever suits you), don’t turn on the alarm. I use the same nighttime helper and just have it turned off at a certain time.
  • how to manage the scenario where two people went downstairs and only one goes back up. Maybe add:
    1. some delay so another motion sensor can trigger while someone is downstairs;
    2. a condition like, while the TV or radio is on, don’t toggle the alarm.

You could of course also add a counter that counts the times up-to-downstairs is triggered and the other way around, but that’s not really reliable and only works if you do not move together.

Anyway, the main thing is your in home behavior, your patterns. If you all always put a (bed)light on when going out of bed, that’s likely a useful condition. Maybe the easiest way is to just add a button at the top of the stairs that you can (in addition) use to toggle the alarm with some bulb/light feedback as confirmation of the action. You don’t want to mess with falls alarms :wink:

Is this of any help?

Yes that is a very helpful in my planning.
‘nighttime’ helper would be a good addition, how are you doing that?
Just on time?
I also like the idea of a toggle for the alarm with a simple button and feedback to show its set - I did say in the original question that I didn’t want a button but if there was a red feedback light somehow then that could work. Any ideas for a simple light feedback device? Is there an illuminated button?

My ‘nighttime’-helper is set at the actual moment the last one goes to bed. In my case going to bed the only time one has to manually interact (click a button or do so in the GUI). The reason it’s not time triggered is because you never know exactly when the last person goes to bed and I wasn’t able to figure out reliable conditions to automate it. I try to automate as much as possible, but reliability is key. Did you found a reliable condition to automate your initial alarm on moment?
If so, that could be the same trigger to set the ‘nighttime’-helper.

The ‘nighttime’-helper is turned off at a fixed time. FTR, I use it for different reasons than an alarm, so a mistake will not trigger an alarm that wakes up the whole house :wink:

The manual toggle for the alarm would be my back-up solution. In other words, if one walks downstairs, the alarm is always disarmed and vice versa when walking upstairs. Especially the downstairs action should be the master since you don’t want to trigger an alarm when you accidentally enable it while you think it’s disabled.

The feedback depends on your preference. In my case I could perfectly live with flashing a light downstairs (i.e. 1 flash is disarmed, 3 flashes is armed) as long as it’s visible from upstairs. It would also be a nice feature when you leave the house and toggle the alarm. I can imagine the actual arming is done when all doors are closed. So the flash is a confirmation of it actually being armed. That way you don’t have to rush to close the door before the timer ends (in case that’s your m.o.). It will just arm once the doors are all closed :slight_smile: And if it doesn’t flash, not everything is secured.

Anyway, there are a ton of scenarios and solutions. You have to pick your favorite(s)/the one(s) that suits your use case.