Agonizing over away rules for my house.. looking for advice


(Ryan Soares) #1

Hello, I’ve been having issues with how to properly set my home away when either I leave or my wife and i both leave.

Currently we have two presence sensors… one attached to my car keys and one in the glove box of her car. Her car is the main family car (SUV), mine is a winter beater i only use for work.

The reason hers isn’t attached to her car keys is because she doesn’t bring her keys if we ever go out together. If i were to leave the house alone and take our main vehicle the house goes into away mode, arming all sensors, turning my nest away etc. i’ve been trying to remember to take her keys when going out alone with her car but that doesn’t work all the time.

Is there a way to have the goodbye routine trigger only after we both leave the house either correctly or incorrectly (me taking her car but using my keys) AND things started quieting down? (no motion inside home for x amount of mins)

I have the nest setup as a presence sensor as well but turned off the auto away function and use a smartapp to turn my nest away/home based on SHM status. The reason i did this is because dropcam alerts only work when nest is set to away… not auto away.

I thought of having my wife’s iphone setup as another sensor (wife#2) as god knows that phone doesn’t leave her side but i was hoping for other options as the presence ensor for the iphone kills the battery quick.

Sorry for the long post, thanks for any advice provided


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #2

Hey there. It sends of that the presence sensor on the iPhone kills the battery. I have the 5c (I think).

Either way, I use life360 and it’s been very accurate. It integrates really with ST.

I have it on my Android and I have the ST presence on my iphone. When the ST is working, it actually is faster than life360… When it’s working…


(Someday my dog will be automated) #3

I have somewhat of a similar issue. What I ended up doing is to use the Life360 integration for my wife’s phone, because she always has that, and never carries keys. I have a presence sensor in my keys, and those are the two devices I use to trigger Home and Away.


(Paul) #4

iOS does a pretty good job of managing location services so it doesn’t crush your battery. I believe they mostly use nearby WiFi SSIDs unless you are specifically using an app that needs the GPS.

There are tradeoffs to using mobile phones as presence sensors vs. zigbee presence sensors… but for me, the zigbee presence sensors are just too fragile, too unreliable, and too difficult to change the battery (without destroying the battery holder) to use. Plus, no one ever forgets their phones :wink:


(Ryan Soares) #5

Thanks for the replies!, i’ll try life 360 and the iphone sensor and see which is better.