Large Geofence?

Does anyone know how to create a really large Geo fence? On the order of 50 miles or more in diameter? Use case is to automatically detect when I am on vacation. The IFTTT app doesn’t let you create such a large Geo fits. Stringify used to but they are the more. What other option is there?

An alternative is to create a new mode and call it Vacation. You could set your routines, automations and pistons to run/not run when in vacation mode. Then change to vacation mode when you go on vacation. :slight_smile:

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Yes that is an alternative that requires me to remember to do that manually every time! Looking for something that’s more automated. That is, I am looking for a way to automatically put smart things into vacation mode when I exit a large geo-fence surrounding my home.

What about adding a time constraint to presence? Something like if you are outside of your geofence for X number of hours, change to vacation mode?

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I don’t have enough holidays to have that problem :rofl:

Joke aside, you could chain the automations like Brad is saying. Normal geofence triggers an automation and an other automation triggers if you are “away” and “everything is quiet” for X hours. This is with the classic app

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Yeah, the problem is that i can’t figure out how I would distinguish between a late night out with the guys (at which point I’m coming home later), or vacation. I want to Trigger the vacation mode the first night, not only after a missed night at home.

Do you typically fly? Depending on exactly where you live, you could define the airport as a location and change mode when you arrive there.

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Using webCoRE’s location capabilities, I set (2) diameters. If my wife and I are inside the first circle, I’m ‘Home’ - not to be confused with ‘present’, which is another setting. If i we are between the first circle and the second circle, we’re ‘Away’ and if we’re outside the second circle, we’re on ‘Vacation’. As we travel further away from home and at each mode change, the heat and A/C setpoints are changed (lower for heat and higher for A/C). I further adjust the circle sizes depending on seasons.

This is further discussed on the webCoRE site:


Another way if you have an android phone is to use Tasker (paid app on google play) that can automate your phone to trigger routine upon your phone situation.

Although I didn’t try myself (cause I’m cheap), I saw a lot of people using it to do various actions based on phone events (wifi detection, geofence, etc).

I have made some changes to the four pistons shown in the link I provided. If you’re interested, I can provide the updated piston versions, along with the needed global variables and also the simulated switch names I used. If you’re good with just the information in the linked discussion to get you started, that’s fine too.

Good luck!

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that’d be much appreciated! In fact, I have wanted to adjust my thermostat setpoints like this for a while now, but didn’t know how to do it. I’m guessing Ecobee doesn’t expose in its public API the time it takes a system to heat up or cool down, so the boundaries will probably be trial and error, but it’s a good start.

Yes, it will definitely be trial and error. My (maybe all?) A/C takes a LOT longer to recover than my furnace does. It’s a WAG until you try it a few times.

Also, note that I’ve added the override switch, ‘Auto Mode Override’ to this overall task. It’s used mostly when I believe that the A/C unit won’t recover in time. The times and temperatures are based on driving times and my best guesses for recovery time. However, flying home from vacation doesn’t work as well. SmartThings/webCoRE won’t know I’m home until I’m at my home airport and can turn my phone back on - which is only 20 minutes away. This is nowhere near enough time to bring the house to it’s home setting temperature. So, before I leave my last airport, I turn on the Auto Mode Override Switch’ and manually turn the ‘Vacation Mode’ simulated switch off - making my location ‘home’. Turning on the ‘Auto Mode Override Switch’ first, prevents the ‘Location Mode Autocalc’ piston from automatically placing the system back in vacation mode due to my location.

Anyway, here are the @Global Variables used in these pistons. Note that some of them are auto calculated in the ‘T-Stat Seasonal Changeover’ piston:

And here are the names of the Simulated Switches:

  • Auto Mode Override
  • Away Mode
  • Vacation Mode
  • Cooling Season Flag

There are four pistons involved. There is header and note text in each of them that should help you decipher them.

If you need additional information or have questions, please let me know.


PS: I just realized that I’ve added another piston that uses SmartThings motion sensors as an extra layer of security to my externally monitored and separate FrontPoint Security System when we’re Away or on Vacation - notifying us if motion is detected. As the ‘Location Modes Actuator’ piston calculates Away and Vacation modes and changes the Heat and Cooling setpoints accordingly, it also resumes this piston so it can monitor the motion sensors and notify us as needed. When ‘Home’ mode is activated, this piston is paused so it is not running when not needed.

If you’re interested in seeing that one too, let me know.