Automations executes randomly

It’s finally winter here in the Northwest and things are downright cold. I have a couple of automations that should be making my life easier, but it’s not.

Automation #1 (I’m Back!)

  • Turn on these lights or switches: Entryway, Kitchen
  • Set dimmers to this level: 100%
  • Open or close garage doors: Open garage door
  • Change the mode to: Home
  • Automatically perform “I’m Back!” when…: Someone Arrives
    – Someone Arrives: My phone and my wife’s
    – Don’t automatically do this if I am in one of these modes: Home, Night

Now, I have another automation (Goodbye!) that is the same as #1 except it requires that both people (or their phones) be gone from the house.

The problem: Randomly during the day this automation is executed. I’ll be sitting on the couch with the wife at 9pm watching TV and the lights will come on and the garage door will open. This morning at 6:06am, 6 degrees outside with my dogs resting warmly in the garage, the automation kits on again!

How can I ensure that this isn’t happening when it’s not programmed to? Is there a log that I can review as to why the automation was executed?

Can you check the events for the presence devices (Your’s & Your wife’s phone)? It might be an issue where they are showing up as gone randomly.

In looking at the phones it does show that I’m arriving/leaving at random times. I’m using the smartthings app on my iPhone. Can the app show the date along with time in the ‘Recently’ area?

If this is the root cause for my random activities, what could I do as a fix?

Unfortunately, YMMV when using presence devices. I know that my Internet will sometime reboot and when it comes back, ST thinks that sensors have “arrived”. I no longer automate critical things such as the garage door opening or closing based on sensor presence. Just do a search on presence sensors and you can see a lot of discussion on the topics. Some people have really good experience, others not so much. Once, my garage door decided to come down just when I was backing out of the garage door and hit the roof of my car. After that, no more garage door automation although I can still control it manually via smart phone in case I need to open or close it remotely.

That would be the answer I’m looking for. While I would love technology to be 100%, I know that our internet is spotty. That would explain why thing happen randomly. Thanks for the suggestion.

This is one of the unfortunate side effects of cloud-based SmartThings. It does offer certain advantages with cloud to cloud integration and flexibility but being dependent on your Internet connection causes problems if you can’t turn on your lights. That’s why I’m leaning farther away from using smart bulbs (unless you have to) and going more with switches and dumb bulbs. The switches will still work with or without Internet and you don’t have to worry about keeping the switch in the “ON” position to keep power to smart bulbs. One nice thing about v2 hub was more local control but so far, that implementation has a lot of limitations because it only works with stock DTH and Smartlighting app.

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I use 2 SmartThings presence sensors on the garage door; one on the car keys the other in the car. Gave up on mobile presence since its very unreliable in my area… gps will keep on jumping around. I also use CoRE to keep a timing delay on the automation (so for example if both sensors leave and come back in less than 3 mins, don’t open door).