External Light Control - Smart App Please

(John Griffiths) #1

I want to control my outside light via geofence and motions sensor and not have it come on between dawn and dusk

For some reason this appears to be very difficult to do with te current suite of tools

Have had 10 + emails with support. I am reasonbly tech savvy, but it should not be this difficult. Be great if some one could write an app to do this basic very common function

I am waiting energy right now. Unless I check, my outside lights can be on do over an hour

Thanks in advance John G

(John Rucker) #2

John, I would like to do this same thing. I want my outside lights to turn on when I get close to my house and for some reason I cant find a setting for this. The best I can do is get them to turn on when I’m home inside my house but that is too late for the outside lights. I thought there was a place to increase your Geo fence radius but I can’t find it on my iPhone.

(Anthony) #3

The only way to do what you’re looking to do is with hello home if I’m reading this correctly. I currently use this feature when I enter the geofense. When I get close to home I have my NEST drop to 74, the Schlage locks open on the front/garage doors and my lights turn on. I even have the Christmas Tree turn on lol. I don’t have it set up for the outside lights because I get home at different times of the days depending on my work schedule so I just set up a specific time for the outside lights to go on and off.

@JohnR you can open the geofence. From the Dashboard you’ll see 3 lines at the top left, tap that. You’ll see a gear icon, tap that. You’ll see the circle where the geofence is, tap on that then make the circle as big or small as you’d like.

If I missed something let me know.

(Ray) #4

I do the same as Antony. Just create a mode. And control whatever you want with it via geofence. I use both my phone and a presence sensor in my car and so far so good.

((Possibly not the Matt you're looking for)) #5

@Griffiths415 - My apologies if I’m telling you things you already know, but you don’t need to run “Hello, Home” to make this work. You need (1) to configure the switch that controls your outside light, and (2) a working geo-fence detector.

For (1), when you select the settings gear on the “Thing” that controls that light, and choose the SmartApps tile, it walks you through the Thing setup. The fourth menu is “Customize and control the [Thing that is your outside light]”. Near the bottom of that menu is an option saying “Turn on when people arrive”. When you select that option, you can configure it to turn off a few minutes later, and only to turn on between certain hours, or in certain modes.

If you want your presence to trigger more events than just turn on a single light, you’re probably better off having the presence detector trigger a Mode change, and then have the mode change trigger all the different events you want (e.g., change the thermostat, unlock a door, start music).

For (2), I’ve read that people using their mobiles for geo-fence detection have struggled. I have a SmartThings Presence Detector on my keychain and I’ve found I still need to set the geo-fence to be very large (in the manner that @antman2 describes above).

(John Rucker) #6

@antman2 Thanks for taking the time to show me where that was!! I knew I had seen it in the past.

(Anthony) #7

@JohnR anytime bud this stuff can get confusing you don’t stay on top of it. I’m constantly forgetting things and finding new things.


It’s fairly easy once you have a NIGHT mode which is automatically activated from Sunset to Sunrise:

(Dave N) #9

Just as a side note (I already do what is described here) I had issues with geofencing my phone in the early days so I always had a presence fob. Decided to give it a go again as my key chain has more fobs than keys these days :frowning: I have been using my Android for 2-3 weeks now and it has been flawless so I removed the fob and pulled the battery. Don’t know if the ST code addressed some issues over the year but it is much better now.

(Ray) #10

The android phone works only 80% of the time for me but it is more reliable than better. As for my wife… 50% of the time. According to my wife any less than that and ST will be out the door or no more “smart” gadget for me.


For what it’s worth, here is what we do. We have a combination of GE Link ZigBee smart bulbs on certain outside fixtures, plus a GE Z-Wave switch for others. All bulbs are LED, about 9.5 watts. The SmartThings app turns them on at sunset and off at sunrise. With the new LED bulbs, it’s really not that much energy, and it provides great security by having the lights on, home or not.