Go to sleep!

As anyone with small kids can relate, bed time has been a particular struggle in our house with the kids getting to sleep later and later. Their rooms are on the 2nd floor and often times we’d find lamps on (not visible from downstairs) and sleep time was pushing closer and closer to 11:00 PM. It was a source of struggle and frustration with strong-willed kids that would then be extra cranky each morning.

Enter SmartThings and some GE switches and lamp dimmers.

  • Each kid has a lamp in their room that is connected to a GE lamp dimmer module and the switches to their overhead lights have been replaced with GE z-wave switches.

  • With the Smart Lighting SmartApp we’ve created three automations: the first turns off the overhead light at 4 minutes after sunset; the second turns on the tabletop lamps at the same time; and the third turns off the hall light and their lamps at 9:00 PM.

The result: the kids now sleep every night at 9:00 on the dot. We had a babysitter last night and the kids assured her not to worry, the lights would go off when it was time to go to bed. As soon as the automation kicked in, all 3 kids said goodnight and went straight to sleep.

It’s a great use-case that’s worked really well for us, eliminated the nightly bed time battle, and has brought my wife around on the whole home automation experiment (expense) so I thought I’d share.

Best of luck!

UPDATE: Hey guys @ben here just updating title a little - this forum thread went out in the automated digest email sent to inactive users. Just a little reminder to be civil with our titles and discussion as some may take offense even with censored titles as the OP created.


So you think, buddy! Do you have couple of flashlights missing from your basement/garage? :wink: Kids these days can beat any system.


I do have a similar system. Also surprised how easy it was.
until I confiscated 2 tablets, 2 flashlights and pack of glowsticks in one week


“I’ll tell you two things I know about kids. One, they are the future and must be cherished. Two, they’re lying little bastards.” --Monroe, Grimm


As a father of 8 I can honestly say this, "kids are the Devil! "


I had a problem with my daughter wanting to get up at 4 am thinking it was morning. We solved that by getting a lamp timer and a princess night light. At 6:30 am, the princess night light would come on. If she woke up in the middle of the night and the night light wasn’t on, she knew it wasn’t time to get up.

It worked really well.


Home automation is a huge boon to parenting. I have a light set to flash in the living room at my younger daughter’s bedtime. It definitely helps, though more with me remembering that anything else. I also have the Hue light in her room turn pink, that helps as well. She’ll argue with me but not the light :smile: Both kids get the lights turned on in the morning on school days.

I two 15 y/o boys that are always in their rooms playing games. I ordered a couple of flashing disco bulbs and put them in lamps connected to a plug in switch. When I need them I tell Alexa to turn on the teenager alert.

They know if they don’t come running that their consoles go off next.


I’ve seen quite a few posts about using lighting automation to establish routines and kids just obliging. It’s amazing what creatures of habit they are, I’m starting to get the “NO!” Head shake when we ask if my daughter is ready for bed…


We discovered that it works well with (some) adults too :slight_smile: We’ve had a babysitter once and we told her not to worry about putting the kids to bed. Well, when we came home, the boys were already asleep. And the babysitter said, "the speaker told me to put them to bed, so I thought you’ll be running late. The boys were so good, as soon as - Alexa* - told them that - it’s time to go to bed - they asked me to tell - her - turn on goodnight mode and off we went upstairs as the lights turned off and doors locked. Was kind of freaky but the boys assured me that - it’s just normal - ".

*Alexa is the name of all talking speakers in our home, including the Sonos.


I have to say that’s pretty futuristic sounding and cool, I’m not quite ready for voice notifications yet, although that Samsung wedge speaker is pretty well priced. I can see from one end of my house to the other so as long as I’m not in my bedroom I know when the doors are open or I hear the door unlock when somebody else arrives. If I move to a two story I could see the use.

@bazfum, Please forgive an OT question from a noob, but how do you flash a light with ST?

@CAL7 I actually use IFTTT to trigger Hue’s built-in flashing function for that, it was originally on a WeMo before I got SmartThings and I just moved the rule over when I switched to connected bulbs.

My kids periodically forget to go to the bathroom. It amazes me that every time I pause a show they race each other to the bathroom. Pavlov’s effect works 100%.

Is it the same voice for Alexa TTS and Sonos TTS?

Voice control is my upcoming phase of HA this winter. They can say “no” to mom and dad, but I know they won’t way no to Alexa!


I wish this would work for me. I have a 3 year old (gulp) who needs the light ON to fall asleep and battles with us for sometimes up to 2 hours before he finally falls asleep for good. Every excuse in the book to he needs a band aid, has to pee, wants his back rubbed, etc, etc. The only way automation would work is saving my wife the trip of shutting off the light when he finally does go to sleep. HELP ME lol

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One word… Benadryl.

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Is there a kid that goes to sleep without a band aid? Make the kid go to the bathroom while they are watching cartoons and then apply the band-aid while you rub his back. That’s what you call “routine”.

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I so envy you guys for the cute little kids you all have! I would simply spoil them rotten if I had one… :slight_smile: And would so teach them the first thing to how to reboot the hub and all the crazy stuff first though!


It’s a survival skill. Little kids who stayed very close to their adults did a lot better throughout history then ones that didn’t. They’re wired to want to be near you. And to panic when they think they’re not.

You can fool this instinct once they’re about two. Make the screen saver on the baby monitor a video of you sleeping. Or just run it on a loop as a screen saver on a tablet. Kid looks over, sees you sleeping, feels safe, goes back to sleep.

Seriously, this’ll help until they’re about six. Just tones down the adrenaline. :sunglasses:

Once they’re older, everything gets more complicated again.

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I was in a boarding school since I was 4 yrs.old and well, everyday was about how to survive! Agreed! I would have done much better if I was with my parents.

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