Controlling lights question


I know there are smart apps to turn on lights because of different events. I want to turn on all lights when my wife comes home and it is dark. But —

Doesn’t need to be done if I am already home - I guess I could trigger off my presence.

What about turning the lights off? I know I could turn them off later if there is no motion but it seems complicated because of timing issues.

Can I have the motion checked a variety of times and later based on time?


I’m pretty sure the stock smart lights smart app is not that, um, smart. You could probably set different modes based on who is home but I suspect managing that gets complex fairly quickly.

I’m not sure exactly what you meant by “have the motion checked a variety of times and later based on time”. But, the stock app only seems to have an option to turn off based on some delay after motion stops.

It sounds like what you want is doable but it will require a smart app where you can code the conditions you want both for triggering and turning off.

Can you provide additional details of what you meant by the above statement? Motion triggered events are really not complicated. As for your presence issue, you can certainly use modes to address that. If you are home, put your house in “Home” mode and when your wife comes home nothing triggers. The modes are the most powerful ST tool.

I like the idea of automating but I don’t want to waste too much energy by leaving lights on when they are not needed. I don’t mind writing an App. I don’t know how to do it but I’m willing to learn.


Wife comes home if 1 hour before sunset then all lights on except if husband home
Lights in living room off after 30 minutes last motion in hallway motion sensor
Select lights off after 11pm
System armed if between 11pm and 5am.

Is that too much?

Thanks for you help

You just treat each of these as a separate case.

Wife comes home… She’s going to arrive home to one of two states, assuming that your arrival sets mode to Home, and it’s Away prior. So lights on upon her arrival, only during a certain time (hour before sunset until …) and only in a certain mode (Away). Smart Lights can do this.

Lights off after 30 minutes. If those lights were turned on by Smart Lights, then Smart Lights can turn them off after 30 minutes of no motion. Or you might need this little app to turn them off: Turn off after motion stops

Select lights of at 11p. Just use a Routine that runs at 11.

System armed if between 11pm and 5 am. Ditto.

One of the biggest advantages of HA is saving energy not wasting it. As for your use cases…here are some ideas:

You can accomplish this easily with routines and modes

This to me seems wasteful. I would buy another sensor for livingroom. But if you don’t want to go that route, then you can install @bravenel 's smart app “Tun off after some minutes”:

Easily accomplished using a routine. If you also don’t want your lights activated by motion (I have a cat so I don’t want my lights to come on every time the cat walks by) then use a “night” mode where you restrict the motion activated lights to come on.

Use the same routine/mode to activate your alarm for the “night” mode, and then at 5am put your home into a different mode that disables the alarm. Mine is called “Daytime”.