FAQ: How to Add a New Location Mode, or Manually Change from One Location Mode to Another (Classic App)

There are multiple ways but this is the most comprehensive. If you are not familiar with it make sure to read the release notes at the top of the thread.

Well I’ll be darned. I use Rule machine extensively. Actually the reason I wanted to set the mode to “dark” is so I can use that mode in rule machine to automate my lights when it is dark. I never thought to look at Rule machine to set the mode.

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That is somewhat amusing :smile:

Where do you find the Alexa app mentioned that allows the virtual switches to be created?

If for whatever reason, you don’t want to use Alexa helper, there is a very simple smartapp in the “marketplace” section of the official mobile app which only does one thing: assign a mode to a switch.

To find that one open the mobile app, select the marketplace section (use the*icon at the bottom of the screen), choose “smart apps”, choose “lights and switches” and you will find it. :sunglasses:

Click on it and complete the set up wizard. You can do one switch changing to one mode.

Now you have a switch that will activate that mode.

You will have to repeat this installation for each virtual switch that you have.

( One of the big advantages of Alexa helper is that it will let you do multiple switches in one set up wizard. But this way should still work. )

Is there any update on this?

I am a newbie, and it seems there have been changes in regards to how modes work…
I was able to add a new mode online, it showed up shortly on my phone (Android) and now it does not.
When the smartapp was supposed to trigger a mode change I got a text that said "Tried to change to undefined mode ‘null’ "

I just tried adding a new mode and adding an automation that used it and it worked fine for me, so I’m not sure what’s going on. But I use an iPhone, I don’t know if there’s a different issue with android. I’d suggest getting in touch with support, maybe they can see something from their side.


Thank you…
I set it from my Ipad and it worked.There is definitely some issue on the Android side…

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I’m 6 month user; trying to add modes & smarter automation.
I’ve done user IDE and successfully added a new mode “Motion Monitor Outside”. This also shows up now under the ios app as one add’l mode (below the standard Away, Home, Night.)
In my (new) automation routine “Watching Outside” I see I can indeed select the mode “Outside Motion Monitor”. Great. but…
I cannot find HOW to edit or create what the new mode entails/enables. Can’t find it. Its not under SHM Security nor under Custom. I’ve read about 58 threads; I’m really trying to use the community. And so much of the info is >1yr old; not so much new makes me anxious.
My intent was to use Motion Monitor (mode) to enable the Arlo’s and trigger the Aeon audible beeps.
When I successfully create a new MODE, where can I edit or configure this new mode?

See if this helps explain how you can use modes. I’m sorry it’s so complicated, it just is. But once you get used to it, it’s not so bad.

I finally got it. Under the SHM as Custom monitor, very bottom, More Options to select when(event) to trigger the customer mode.
I can’t believe how many posts I read ~ and thanks to everyone to adds any details and esp the expert’s patience. Lots to learn.

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@JDRoberts. I have a mode question. Say I want a motion detector to work at two times. I want it to work when we are all Away, and I also want it to work at Night, if we are Away or not. I have the option of setting the detector’s modes, but if I check both Away and Night, will that mean it will only come on at night when we are away? Or it will work in either of those modes? Thanks.

It depends on exactly which automation you are using, as different ones handle modes somewhat differently.

If you are using the official smartlighting feature, then the automation will work in any of the modes that you check on the more options list:

It is actually for my Arlo cameras, and they are configured in Smart Home Monitor.

So are you talking about SHM armed state for away? Or are you talking just about mode? These are two different things. The thread we’re in right now is just about mode, not smart home monitor armed states.

If you’re confused about the difference between these two, see the following FAQ:

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No, I don’t use SHM at all, but that is where ST lets me configure it. I can also configure the Arlo cams by going to Things.

So I want for them to come on when the mode is either Away or Night or both. But I don’t know if I check both boxes will then mean they will only come on when Away and at nighttime.

I made a new mode I named Alert, but then I manually change it by going through routines. I am hoping for a more automated way.

Hehe @JDRoberts. Let me try and give it a whirl.

CD, I think you might be getting slightly confused between the Status and the Modes.

The 3 Statuses (Not Modes) are as follows:

Armed (Away)
Armed (Home)

  • The words Away and Home above have nothing to do with Mode values.

So the default Modes you have available to you are:


If you are basing a routine off of just a Mode, you will NEVER be in both Modes at the same time. Your mode is set to one value only so you will never be in Away Mode and Night Mode at the same tome. If you want a routine to fire when your Mode is set to either Away or Night you would select both Modes so that it fires when the Mode is set to either of those values.

The Status and the Mode work in conjunction (compliment) with one another for varying types of automation to occur based on different values. Here’s an example:

My ST is set to Armed (Home) and the Mode is set to Home (2 different settings - Alarm Status and Mode). I can add a routine that does something specific when the Status and Mode are set to these values.

Then let’s say I have a Routine that fires at 9pm and sets the Mode to Night. Now my SmartThings Status is Armed (Home) and the Mode is now Night so now I can have a different Routine created that does something differently than during the Home Mode, maybe including turning lights on because it’s dark.

The Modes is completely customizable and you can have as many as you want and fire routines based on those Mode Values being set, plus you have the ability to also exclude a Routine from running if your Smart Home is Status is any of the specific 3 values Armed (Away) / Armed (Home) / Disarmed.

The Typical person (not everyone) would have their system setup to perform the following. When a person leaves their home, they have a routine that sets ST to Armed (Away) and then also set the Mode to Away. Now based on these values, you have routines that fire based on both of these values. Now when that person returns home they have a routine that sets ST to Disarmed and the Mode to Home. Then when that person goes to sleep at nighttime, they set ST to Armed (Home) and the Mode to Night. This gives you the potential to set up a lot of different routines based on the differences of the Status and Mode in combination or exclude one from running versus another.

FYI - You created a new Mode called Alert. So my question is, when do you want your system to set the Mode to Alert? By creating a Routine to fire off a specific condition in your environment to set the system to this Mode, you wouldn’t have to go in and run the Routine manually which from what you wrote above is what I think you were saying that you are doing. Setup a routine that sets the Mode to Alert when a specific condition within your ST happens. Now that the Mode is in Alert. You can create other routines that only fire when in this Mode. You will need other Routines such as when you leave or come home that sets the Status and the new Mode correctly to something else.

Hopefully this helps you move forward a little easier. :slight_smile:


Here’s a specific example routine for you to create.

Create a New Routine and call it Auto - Alert Mode.

  1. Select change the mode to “Alert”
  2. Goto Additional Settings / Automatically Perform
  3. Select At Sunrise/Sunset
  4. Select Sunset and any additional timing values after or before Sunset and days of week.

This will automatically run the Routine at Sunset for whatever days you specify and set the Mode to Alert.

Now you need to create another Routine for what happens when your cameras detect motion. Set this routine to turn on lights etc. Then perform this when things start happening “motion on your cameras”. Turn on push notification and/or send yourself a text message. Additionally set this routine to not fire when the mode is: select all Modes except the "Alert"Mode.

Now that you have this completely automated, you will want another Routine to automatically run at let’s say Sunrise that changes your Mode to something else other than Alert so that the routine for detecting motion on the cameras no longer does anything.

Now, I’m going to leave it to your imagination to figure out the rest. There’s endless possibilities for you :slight_smile:

Thank you all for the input. I am not new to ST, and don’t use SHM because it won’t work for my household. My question was related to the screenshot below:

I wanted to know if my Arlo cameras would record if I only wanted them to come on while in Night mode or Away mode. Or since I checked both, would it only record while it was nighttime in Away mode (not what I was aiming for). So I finally had the time to experiment this morning, and while my hub was in Night mode, and both boxes were checked, yes the camera did record. That means I can set them up without the Alert mode.

Thanks again for the help!