Change mode when it's raining?

Any ideas on how to change mode when it’s actually going to rain? I don’t want to use IFTTT because even though it’s weather app says it’s going to rain, it may not actually rain in my area. We had one day last month where weather underground showed we were in a storm on radar, but we actually had clear skies. I was thinking about setting up a micro weather station, but how can I get that data into smartThings?

Search Forum for Netatmo… :mag:

Now that’s just cruel right now. :grin:

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Run the cable and tines outside to a place where rainwater puddles quickly?

Water leak / flood sensor…

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I was looking at Netatmo, but I saw relative humidity not rain fall. I’m no meteorologist, so how would relative humidity tell me it’s raining. Sorry if this sounds like dumb question.

Get a rain sensor from one of the sprinkler company (TORO, Rainbird…), mount it to your gutter. Wire the two leads into one of the zwave windows sensor that has the input terminal (Schlage, Linear… etc…)

That should give you an indicator in ST.


Yup… Much better to detect water itself, though where you place the sensor leads is tricky… You would perhaps build a little cup with holes that drains quickly so it will be dry when rain is stopped.

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They have an accessory for rainfall for 79$. The joke is netamo is broken in ST.

There’s a new official SmartApp that just came out that changes mode based on a switch. You can create a virtual switch called “It’s raining” and have IFTTT turn it on when it’s raining. Turning off might be tricky, maybe you can turn it off at the end of the day with a Hello Home action when you don’t care about it being accurate because your mode has already changed to night or something else. That being said lookout for other modes overriding this rain mode.

Too bad you can’t create your own layers of modes, because life is always more than one thing…

Thanks for the idea. Unfortunately IFTTT doesn’t accurately reflect the weather in my area. I want the do stuff based on the weather around my house and many of the weather stations are for surrounding areas. The weather in my city is almost like it’s own micro climate. We’ve had tornado’s, rain, and even no rain when other surrounding cities have forecasted the opposite.

Virtual switches are also a sore spot for me. Recently I have been having huge problems with mode change not working correctly. I have a few virtual switches that won’t turn on or off from time to time, and I opened a support ticket. The response I received from support was a bit disheartening.

Since virtual switches are user created and aren’t officially supported by SmartThings, there’s not a whole lot we can do on our end.

Apparently the ability to use some feature in smartThings doesn’t mean they actually support it.

There is a better way. I would presume your scene triggers lights upon raining. I found a better way was to use the ‘Let there be light’ App with some minor tweaks and have it read the Lux coming off of the Smart Tile weather app.

In Florida it can look miserable for an hour before it downpours… when it looks miserable and dark outside it gets dark inside so I have certain lights come on. In the end it may only rain for 5 minutes, but when it gets light again the Lux rises and the lights go off.

The reason I would not use IFTT is because IFTT has no time restrictions. If it rains at 2am you may not want to trigger the scene (or wake everyone up). With ‘Let there be Light’ you can trigger the app to run during specified modes (ie. Home, Away).

Hope this helps.

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+1 on this idea. I just use Light Director attached to a LUX sensor. Cloud or rain comes over and the house just lights up inside quicker, cloud passes and lights stop coming on.

Why do you find this surprising? It makes perfect sense on an “open” platform.

Do you expect Google to provide support for every App you run on your phone? What about Apple not supporting a “jailbreak” phone?

If you need support, isolate the problem to sanctioned features, devices and SmartApps only.

I was going to reply, but I don’t feel like taking my post off topic. I’ve made it clear how unhappy I am with smartThings right now on other posts. I am currently in the process of uninstalling all of my apps because my hue bulbs are refusing to work. The purpose of this topic was to try and determine how hard it would be to trigger events from rain. Thanks for your help.


Relative humidity is the amount of moisture the air can hold at its current temperature.

Once the relative humidity gets to 100%, any additional moisture will then have to be released as either rain or dew. Or you could get fog.

Since colder air can hold less moisture than warmer air, it’s really common for rain to form high in the sky where the air is colder, and then fall down through the warmer air to the ground.

This is why relative humidity measured in your front yard might be 90% but it’s still raining. That’s because the rain formed higher up where the relative humidity was 100%

As far as making the mode change, do you want it to change when there’s detectable rain at your house? Or just a forecast of rain?

If it’s detectable rain, as others have said, any moisture detector can be the trigger–just understand that you’d get the same mode change for dew as well. So think carefully about how you want to use it.

You can either use a sensor that communicates directly with ST, one that has an open API, one that has an IFTTT channel, or one that can send text notifications which you could have sent to IFTTT.

As I think more about this, I think getting a personal weather station connected to smartThings may be the best solution. I may also benefit from knowing wind Speed and direction as well. My wife likes to put inflatables outside for the holidays and we get some pretty strong winds from time to time. Last year I tried to use IFTTT to turn off the inflatables if the wind was too strong. I found that the weather channel for IFTTT didn’t trigger accurately enough when our inflatable blew out of the ground.

Do you have any experience with connecting a weather station to smartThings? I know less about weather stations than I do about being a meteorologist.


I’ve started a linked topic for you under devices to discuss personal weather stations. :partly_sunny:️:zap:️:umbrella:️:snowflake:️

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So I am having problems figuring out how to setup what I want to do. What I want to do is change mode based on weather and time of day combo.

Here is how I am setup:
I have IFTTT monitor the weather. If the forecast shows rain, it turns on a virtual switch named “It’s Raining”.
When “It’s Raining” is turned on, it changes the mode to “It’s Raining” using the “Switch Changes mode” app.
If mode “It’s Raining” is active motion sensors in the house will turn on light when triggered.

The only problem with my setup is it changes how my night time configuration works if the mode changes in the middle of the night.

What I need is a way to tell the “Switch Changes Mode” app to only run when mode is set to “Day”.
I looked at Hello Home Phrase Director, but it runs off of presence and still has no way to say only run when mode isn’t “Night”

Any tips?

I also noticed the two apps I reference above don’t have a way to change what it is named. This prevents me from setting up multiple instances of the app.

Yea that’s my problem with modes too. They’re very one dimensional. You have some very specific needs which should be attainable with the platform but the control structure just isn’t there yet.

I’ve been able to do a lot of really complex stuff like what you’re talking about doing with this utility. Other than that you’d need to write your own SmartApp…

You can write your own app, but you don’t need to.

Instead of having the IFTTT-controlled switch directly change the mode, just toggle it.

Then set up a separate switch to follow that one only within the time parameters you want. And change the mode off of that second switch.

So IFTTT toggles the first switch, but the mode will only be changed if the second switch is also toggled, and that one can be restricted by ST parameters.