How to turn lights on and off while away

I have the Samsung smart things set to turn on and off using sunset to sunrise. What do I need to do to change this? I want the light on while away and to turn off when I arrive home.

Set your goodbye routine to turn on lights when you leave. Set your I’m back routine to turn off when you arrive.
How well it works will depend on what you have for presence sensors. How accurate your geotagging is.


Does the phone location need to be on all the time for goodbye and I’m back mode?

Yes to limit false triggers. It can work off networks only, but it is not even close to accurate. Using cell phones as presence sensors you need about a 9-10 minute delay to minimize the false triggers. You don’t want your house going into away mode because the wind blew the wrong direction and your phone lost signal for 10 seconds during the exact moment it was updating your location.

The best ( ??? most reliable ) way is to get " everybody" a $20 ST zigbee presence sensor to put on their keychain ( or keep in the glove box of the car if you park the car close enough to your hub ) They just ping by the hub every few seconds and once they are out of zigbee range the hub doesn’t get a reply , so it knows they left.

Unless you want to keep opening/closing the app, yes, you need to have location services turned on all the time on your phone for the SmartThings app. I recently (within the last two months) switched to using this too. I can’t say that I’ve seen too much of an extra battery hit either (I have an iphone 6s, for reference).

All that said, prior to using presence on my phone, I did some on/off with lights based on a door sensor. I still do, but now also have a garage door controller/sensor too to help out with things (on top of the presence from the phone).

One of the nice things about SmartThings is that you have all sorts of different ways you can do things, and you can choose what’s right for your situation/budget.

I tried turn on while away and off at return and did not work. I have the cell location set to on and smart things sees my home. Anything I’m missing to know I’m gone and how do you do it?

I use mobile presence on my android phone and it is hit or miss. Sometime my garage door is open for me when I pull in the driveway, others times it doesn’t sense that I’m home until 20 minutes after I arrive.
I use a ST presence sensor in the glove box of my wife’s car and that is much more reliable.

There is another thread about presence on phones. Depending on phone setting, the Smart Things app may not be sending location updates when the phone goes to sleep. Additionally your phone may stop running some background processes when it goes into low battery mode.

Some people like using Routines for this. I am a big fan of using SmartLights (Marketplace>SmartApp>SmartThings Recommends), because it adds some additional options like sunrise & sunset offsets.

Make sure of the following when setting up your Goodbye routine:
Under Additional Setting → Automatically perform Goodbye when…Everyone Leaves (select your Mobile Presence Sensor)

For I’m Back Routine:
Under Additional Setting → Automatically perform I’m Back when…Someone Arrives (select your Mobile Presence Sensor)

I did set it to when everyone leaves but nothing happened.

Does it work if you manually run the routine?

Manually under My Things yes.

Try running the Goodbye routine manually (Under Routines).