Hardware 1 challenge, Rules next!

Working out what the best hardware is for the house in general (light bulbs, motion sensors, contact sensors etc) is one challenge, and it can be a challenge for UK users I have actually found the hardest part is putting the various rules in place.

Take for example putting the house into “Bedtime” routine if I lived alone just switch everything off, but when you have kids in the house watching TV in their room and with their lights on you then need to flesh out that mouse with a whole other set of subset rules. So it becomes something like "Activate Bedtime Routine at 11:30pm, unless there is movement in bedroom 1 and/or bedroom 2, and/or living room etc). Thus when Bedtime mode is activated everyone is just not plunged into darkness.

Then take for example presence, if I leave the house but others are still in certain actions shouldn’t occur (TV shouldn’t switch off) so you then need to build multiple rules for example “When X leaves and no motion for 10 minutes in living room turn off TV, unless X, X or X is present”

It seems to get some basic functionality its all in the rules and its the rules I seems to spend most of my time over, are others finding that or do you think I am thinking about it too much?

For the simple stuff like lights and doing something like “When bathroom door open turn on lights 40% between 7pm & 11pm and turn off after 15 minutes” is fine, or “When illuminance falls below xx between 7pm & 11pm and motion detected in living room turn on lights 40%” etc are fine but going beyond lights and it seems to get a whole lot more complex.

I think this just varies by household. Some people are comfortable setting up automations with many different conditionals. Others just naturally think in simpler terms and use voice control or motion sensors or other physical options to “fill in the blanks.” It’s not a matter of technical sophistication either way, it’s just how individuals prefer to use their home automation systems.

If you do like the idea of setting up multilevel automations, check out CORE.

It is a community-created rules engine, very sophisticated, which allows for multiple layered conditionals, private variables, stacked if’s, etc.

By allowing a single rule to have “or this…” “Or this…” “Or this and that…” Many people find they can have only one rule Per device and keep everything together.

Designing a rule can be complicated, but there are many community members that will help you if you get stuck.

It’s still in development, so there may be a few glitches, but the developer is very active in the forums and also takes new feature requests.

Apparently smart things hasn’t done anything similar officially because they don’t want something that looks so technical. But if you want powerful automations (which CORE calls “Pistons”), it’s definitely worth a look:

[OBSOLETE] [BETA MILESTONE 1] CoRE (Community's own Rules Engine)

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Thanks for that I will take a look at it. I have just downloaded SmartRules app as well so will have a look at both tonight.

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I like the smartrules app a lot, considered it well worth the money, and it has a great graphical interface. It’s just meant for the simpler kind of rules “if then while,” not conditionals stacked four deep. :sunglasses:

oh wow CORE is comprehensive! I think what I will do is put some basic rules in place and then see how those run, then flesh them out as we go and we get used to the automation. I think I am trying to start too complex to begin with and need to get the fundamentals in place and work from there.


@SamB if you want to manage presence but don’t want to give kids/wife access to the ST mobile app you could use the life360 app (assuming they have phones) to determine presence.
Also, as well as motion, maybe the power/energy output of their TVs, if you use smart plugs on them?

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The plug energy output is a good idea, I will keep that in mind.