Smart Home

Amazon Alexa Philips Hue Motion Sensor Routine Trigger Problem Fixed

Motion Sensor not playing nice with your Alexa routine? Learn about the fix here with a simple parameter. UPDATE (03/13/22): It seems Amazon has fixed …

By: Kevin Castle

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amazon alexa zigbee motion sensor trigger routine problem fixed

Motion Sensor not playing nice with your Alexa routine? Learn about the fix here with a simple parameter.

UPDATE (03/13/22): It seems Amazon has fixed the “If no motion detected” problem and works as expected!

When it comes to smart homes, I have specific brands that I use a lot. I try not to mix a bunch of brands together as it can cause inconsistent results later on, plus you will have tons of apps, even if you use Alexa as your central command hub.

I am obsessed with home automation and love to tinker with new products and routine ideas. One of my favorite automation at the moment is a motion sensor trigger that turns on the kitchen lights from a specific time range. For instance, from 7:30 pm to 10 pm, if the kitchen motion sensor detects movement, it will trigger the tp-link Kassa light switch and power it on. Within this same routine, I add a “wait” command of 5 minutes, which after Alexa will power off the kitchen lights.

I did this routine using Alexa and the products for the automation were the TP-Link Kassa smart light switch and the Wyze v2 motion sensor. All seemed to work great, however, there was a few seconds delay when the motion sensor detected movement and when the command was sent to the switch to power on. By that time, I could make it clear across the kitchen before the light even came on. This is due to the non-ZigBee motion sensor, going through Alexa, then to the cloud, then back to trigger the routine. It takes time for these things to happen, the time I am not willing to wait for.

So, I went with, in my opinion, the best motion sensor on the market, the Philips Hue Motion Sensor. Although I already have a hue hub, I wanted to connect this sensor directly to my Alexa device to test out its Zigbee capabilities. Once connected to Alexa, I created the same routine as above. Utilizing this Zigbee connection, once the motion sensor detects motion, the routine is triggered instantly, turning the kitchen lights on in less than a second. This was perfect for me, instant communication with instant action.

After testing this, however, I found a problem. Even though the routine works, turning on the kitchen light when motion was detected, I noticed sometimes the lights would power off, way before the 5 minute wait time that was added in the routine. I couldn’t figure out what the issue was. I connected the motion to another Alexa 4th gen with the same results. I even connected the sensor to the Philips hue hub to see if it would correct the issue, but it did not.

After more trial and error and more research, I realized that the Philips Hue motion sensor has a 15 second cool down. What this means is, once the routine is triggered, the lights turn on. However, after 15 seconds, the motion sensor is trying to trigger the same routine, which is causing the issue with the Kassa Light switch, resulting in a premature power down.

How did I fix this? Well, there is another option in the scheduling portion of your Alexa routine called suppression. What I did here was set a time suppression of 5 minutes, the same as the wait command. This will prevent the routine from running again for 5 minutes. Once the lights turn off, the routine can be triggered again. After extensive testing of this added parameter, the motion sensor routine has been working flawlessly each and every time.

alexa motion sensor routine suppress parameter

This will most likely work with any motion sensor and light switch and bulbs if you are having the issue of the device powering off before your wait time was hit. Your results may vary, but I am pretty confident this will work for many of you out there.

Be sure to check out our 10 best Amazon Alexa smart home automations that use the motion sensor listed here.

Also, if you want to read the difference between Philips Hue vs Wifi Smart bulbs, check out our article here.