How to get my hall lights to turn on for 5 min when I arrive

How can I get my hall lights to turn on for 5 min when I arrive and then shut off ?

Well I wonder if it changes with the new phone app.

In the original app you would create a shortcut in “lights and switches”, and add the action “Turn on when people arrive”. I have not updated but I suspect you have a new setup.

The new “Smart Ligths” app allows you to turn on the lights when motion is detected and turn them off X minutes after the motion stops.

I found that, but not a way to combine that with presence detection. Did I miss it?

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No, doesn’t seem to work the same way with presence. :frowning:
I wish that every rule had a standard option to turn the lights off X minutes after turning them on.


This is a big one for me. I really hope they add the option to presence.

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I’m thinking there must be away with a “man in the middle” approach.


You have your presence arrival turn on a virtual switch.

You have that virtual switch as the master to another switch that turns on for five minutes.

But I haven’t figured out the exact steps to set that up without custom code.

Maybe @slagle knows?


You could obviously do this with modes but I hate to use mode just for that. Basically your arrival changes the mode to “light comes on” mode and then the light turns on for five minutes only runs in light comes on mode. But I’m just feeling there are too many vulnerabilities in that where things could end up running at the wrong time or not running.


I think, but haven’t tested to be sure, but you could add a contact or motion sensor and have it turn off the light after five minutes but I haven’t tested to see if you can really use smart lights to trigger based on the combination of arrival and a sensor. Which is why am keeping this under theoretical.


But all three of those approaches seem like too much work for the really simple use case of “detect arrival, turn on the light, and turn off after five minutes.” I wonder if the third-party rules engines built by @obycode and @joec can already do this?

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Yup, that would be no problem for SmartRules. Trigger the rule with the presence sensor and turn on the light, turn off the light with a 5 minute delay.


My tablet app updated this morning (I wasn’t paying attention and allowed it - nutz), and I’m really missing my old Things page. Things was more like a dashboard than this misnamed whitespaced desert.

But my presence “sensors” can still be used to turn on switches and lights, then turn off 1-5 minutes later. No SmartRules necessary. Is that not true for somebody setting up a light from scratch in the new app?

That appears to be true: at least in the new smart lighting wizard. You can have the lights turn on when someone arrives, or you can have the lights turn off after a contact sensor or motion sensor reports, but you can’t have the lights turn off after a specified time interval unless there’s also a motion/contact sensor involved.

Did you get any further with this. I’ve just noticed the same problem. I have a WeMo build on my porch which turns on when we arrive, then stays on :frowning: I set a turn off option late at night in case I miss it but it can be on for hours if I just leave it

I was thinking about using your idea #3 using the motion sensor to turn lights on and off in closet, just seems really inefficient and cumbersome just to get a light to turn on and off. Does anyone know of a bulb with motion sensor built in?

Sometimes for simple things like a closet light (or a powder room light) it ends up being best to go with a less smart solution, and just get one of these occupancy/motion switches - It won’t talk to SmartThings, but if all you want to do is turn the light on with motion and off after the motion stops, its a nice easy, cheap solution.

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I have 2 of the exact same ones, one in the bath and one in a stairwell into the basement. They work flawlessly. I’d never change them for a battery powered Zwave device and add the complication. Highly recommend them.

I added closet lighting last year to 3 closets , older eyes just don’t see as well. Went with the keep it simple - pull string switches. Depending on the door type I’d use switches. Mine were not conductive to motion and not worth the effort. Sliding doors and probably could not got a good read for both doors.