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Smart floodlight cam hack (newbie looking advice)


New Member

I have a problem with a smart security cam floodlight (eufy E221) that I think I should be able to fix with my limited electronic skills if I could be pointed in the right direction by you smart folk.

Basically the light is situated near our boiler flue and the IR sensor is constantly triggered by the steam coming from the vent. There is nowhere I can move the light/camera to that it won't be triggered by this and still illuminate/ capture footage of the whole yard.

Unfortunately while the camera is 'smart' annoyingly the firmware doesn't allow it to be triggered by other IoT smart devices, like a standalone motion detector for example (this would have been a very easy fix).

My idea (and it's a rough idea), is to use some sort of IoT smart relay, like a Shelly 1mini, wired into the floodlight (replacing the built in IR sensor) which I would trigger from a standalone IoT motion sensor through Home Automation/an Alexa Routine. The standalone sensor would be placed out of the line of sight of the boiler. flue.

That's as far as I've got, I don't know if that approach could work, or how I would go about wiring in the relay to replace the built in IR sensor. The device itself needs constant power to remain connected and on standby and it's only when motion is detected that the camera starts recording and the lights go on.

Any advice, or if you could point me in the direction of similar projects, or resources I could look at that would help me, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Is it possible to block part of the detector viewing angle yet still provide adequate coverage but miss the steam? and/or divert the flue ?
Some motion sensors came with a sticker you could put on the lens to exclude an area.
Thank you for the replies and suggestions. I have tried covering parts of the sensor to no avail. The problem is that no matter how much of the sensor I cover, a light breeze is often all it takes to blow boiler steam right in front of the entire field of view of the PIR (the camera and pir are installed about 2foot to the left of the flue, there is nowhere else to install the camera and still capture the entire yard). I asked the gas/boiler engineer about diverting the flue, but unfortunately due to regs (in the UK), it has to be exactly as it is. For these reasons, I'm looking for a technological solution to the problem. I've since been looking into ESP8266, and I'm wondering if that might be worth exploring for this?
PIR's detect moving heat source (i.e. a human body), so there's not really any way of avoiding detecting steam wafting across the sensor.

One possibility would be to do what the more expensive burglar alarm sensors do, and that's have both PIR and microwave radar sensors, and only trigger when both sensors are activated.

I've no idea how an ESP8266 would help?.

As for the siting of the vent, it seems highly unlikely that the vent has to be exactly where it is, it would certainly be unusual - normally there are many possible options, this one is probably the easiest and cheapest for him?. UK regulations simply tell you where it can go, and where it can't go, there are usually plenty of options.
RF using VHF or UHF make excellent motion sensors from the reflected signal which I have test beyond 20 wavelengths almost 50 yrs ago just using a combiner/splitter aka directional coupler, with a diode rectified reflected signal and amplified derivative.

A short vertical wire is all that is needed for an antenna tuned to f.

There must be many RF motion sensors that are low cost today. These also do not have the long latency from integration in PIR sensors.
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Thanks Nigel Goodwin. I understand that there is no way of avoiding detection due to the steam wafting in front of the sensor; this is the crux of my problem.

Due to the particular placement of our boiler and the fact we're in a terrace property, the flue can only exit in that particular place (the other wall would be exiting straight into our neighbour's yard). So the location of the flue can't be changed; what about the angle it exits? Well there are regulations about the angle of flue vents; again we're restricted to a horizontally fitted flue in our case, and according to regs (which I've checked with more than one source),
The only potential fix would be a 90-degree bend on the flue vent as soon as it exited so that the steam would go directly up, but I'm pretty certain this wouldn't be regulation due to the above point

As for more advanced systems that use PIR and Microwave, or RF as Tony Stewart suggested. Unfortunately, I already have the rather expensive PIR-triggered 'smart' camera mentioned in my original post, so I'm looking to try and modify it so that instead of being triggered by the built-in PIR, it is triggered by an off-board pir that I can place anywhere in the yard. There is no off-the-shelf way to do this with this particular camera/light. So I'm curious whether a DIY solution might be possible using something like a WIFI-controlled microcontroller or smart relay like ESP8266, wired into the camera/light (in place of the existing built-in PIR). Then using a 3rd party smart WIFI PIR device (I already have one of these) placed away from the vent, I could trigger the device wired into the camera/light to activate using home automation/an alexa routine.

That's my idea anyway, I would just love to know is something like that doable? I appreciate the more practical/straightforward suggestions to use a different system or move the flue, these would definitely be far easier and if I could do them I would have already, but i'm looking to learn something about electronics and I thought this might be a good problem to try crack!

As the PIR is built into the camera/light, I would love to know more about how these types of systems are wired and how they operate. As I mentioned in the original post the camera has constant power and is connected through wifi at all times; it is only when the PIR is triggered does the light come on the camera start recording (if set up in record mode).

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