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

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!

That list is the same as the smartlighting list – – it means “when in any of the checked modes.”

Again, as @WB70 mentioned, “night” on that list is the name of a mode. The system can only be in one Mode at a time. It doesn’t mean that the system will know that it’s night as in after sunset – – if you check that box, it’s just going to check to see if the mode value is currently “n i g h t.” So in this context, it is not possible for the system to be in “away” Mode and in “night” Mode at the same time. The system only tracks one mode value at a time.

It is possible for you to be in the “armed away” smart home monitor state and “night” Mode at the same time because smart home monitor armed state and mode are two different things. But the listing in your screenshot is just a list of mode names, and the system only allows for one mode value at a time.

A Mode gets changed whenever you have an automation set up to change it. If you want to, you could have a routine that changes the house to “night” mode at 10 in the morning every Thursday. SmartThings doesn’t care. Modes can be named whatever you want them to be named, and changed whenever you want them to change – – the name itself doesn’t have any special meaning to SmartThings.

In contrast, the smart home monitor armed states at the time of this writing are pre-defined and limited to disarm, armed stay, and armed away. And they do have special meaning as they control whether or not the scout monitoring service will be informed when something happens.

So, in your situation, you yourself might be away from the house after sunset, but as far as your SmartThings system goes, it is not possible to have the mode be both “away” and “night” at the same time. It has to be one or the other, because your system can only have one mode value at a time, and the names of the modes don’t have any special meaning as far as the system goes.

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Thinking all this should be added to FAQ somewhere JD.

In addition to JD’s comments about SHM and Scout, I wanted to add more thing about using the Smart Home Monitor (even though this thread was primarily for Mode)

By leveraging the Smart Home Monitor with Armed (Away) and Armed (Home), you have the ability to automatically monitor (without additional routines needed) specific devices. You can Configure which Open/Closed Sensors are monitored in either Status and you can configure all the cameras that you want to monitor motion on. You have the ability to then configure receiving push notifications, text notifications, sounding an alarm, or turning on lights and also capturing video from the cameras where motion was detected (I believe Arlo is 100% supported - I have Nest so can’t leverage this functionality). This to me gives you so much more added value configuring the Smart Home Monitor to perform these tasks using the Monitoring Status that your Hub is in versus doing it all manually based on a Mode and having to write Routines for all of this and on top of that making sure that you have Routines written that set your Modes appropriately because as JD stated, the Mode is just a value and isn’t automatically changed by the system because for example: it’s dark outside. You have to either write a routine that sets the SHM Status or your Mode to a specific value (whether automatic or a manual routine that fires when pressed), or for the SHM simply pressing one of the 3 Statuses to Arm or Disarm the system. If an intrusion is detected you have the ability from your mobile app to directly view the intrusion and dismiss or take action where appropriate. I understand that you are not new to ST, but if you are setting the Mode to Away (I’m assuming that means nobody is home), then I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to leverage the SHM to put the status of your ST Hub into Armed (Away). I know we all have different scenarios that work and don’t work for us, but I think one of the biggest pluses of ST is the ability to automatically monitor specific devices that capture these alerts based on the Hub Status, not the Mode. Just trying to share my opinion to maybe give a little different insight. Hope it helps.

JD, between the two of us, we now have a book :slight_smile:

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And a good book it is. You guys did some great explaining, and I appreciate your patience.

I do use routines to change the modes. At 10 pm, change mode to Night. At 7 am change mode to Home. When everybody leaves, change mode to Away. I think the key thing for me was mentioned by JD about the list: “When in ANY of the checked modes.”. That’s what I was unsure of. Now I know the cameras will work whether in Away or Night mode. They have routines to make them record motion when in Night or Away mode. I just wasn’t sure they would work if I had more than 1 box checked. As far as I know, that wasn’t mentioned by ST documentation.

And I will have to experiment some more with SHM…

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This has to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen, Why on earth would they make adding a mode so difficult???

As inconvenient as it is and not being able to add a mode from the Mobile app, it is a 1 minute process to logon to your IDE and add a new Mode that you want to use within ST.

Simply login to IDE, go-to Locations, select your location, and then where it shows Modes, press Create New and save it. Thats all there is to it.

Remember, modes are not be confused with the SHM Statuses (Armed Away/ Armed Home / Disarmed).

The Modes simply give you additional control of Automations so that you can run or perform different things based on a combination of the SHM State and the Mode.

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I think the reason is not to confused the average users by giving them easy access for creating mode. Most people get confused with routine, SHM. It’s not completely convenient but not difficult either so I see their point for doing this. I know it took me a while to learn about these stuffs. Possible I am one of those basic users.

It appears that the latest build of the app no longer lets you create or edit your modes. I can see them but I can no longer open them or add new ones.

Login to IDE, goto My Locations, click on your location, and then scroll down to Modes, press (create new) and save it. If you wish to edit a mode, click on the mode and click edit.