How I accidentally made half my house blink

Yesterday evening I installed a new z-wave switch (Fibaro FGS223) together with a motion detector (Aeotec Multisensory 6) in my laundry room to automate the lights. Apart from some fiddling to get the wires connected the right way (two switches in a multi way configuration) everything went smooth.

Then comes the motion sensor. I got it included in the network, tweaked the configuration parameters and set connected it to the switch via association groups. Then I tested it by entering the room. Instead of just turning on the light, it started blinking. On - off - on - off… Went back to my computer and removed the association, but the blinking continued. After a minute or so the blinking spread to all my other Fibaro switches, in the kitchen, the living room and the outdoor light.

I got a bit of a panic an ran around the house, pressing all switches, Wich turned off the blinking, but the neighbours must think I’m crazy by now.

Turns out the motion sensor use the alarm command class to indicate motion, and Fibaro switches, by default, react to all alarms by blinking for 10 minutes. Now I have set them all to ignore all alarms.

Lesson learned:
Don’t make installations like these when it’s dark outside, mistakes might visible by the whole neighbourhood.


I know that scenario and can add my own pieces to the story here.
When my whole house started blinking (and rollershutters started moving, too), I was as amazed and at panic as you.
It wasn’t caused by a (misconfigured) motion alarm but by the default tamper alarm that is included with my Fibaro multisensors. That one by default only triggers on earthquakes or when the sensor is heavily shaken but this time it accidentially went off when there were garden works going on that made earth vibrate.

However, when I had found and fixed that and after thinking more about it, I did NOT disable reaction to alarms on my actuators because there in fact ARE situations where you want alarms to go off such as in case of fire (e.g. when it’s a smoke detection sensor to trigger these).

The real problem was that I had the tamper alarm enabled where it shouldn’t have been - there’s no earthquakes around and the default setting is meant to protect against theft/manipulation.
But that does not make sense for any inside mounted device like mine was.

My lesson learnt:
Understand your devices. Always check and properly configure ALL parameters of ALL your sensors and actuators. Make up your mind even on corner cases.

1 Like