Lights Automation


I ve just bought the Samsung Smart Things Starter Kit and I’m having issues getting this to do what I want, I would like to have lights turn on in the house when i arrive but not if other members of the house are in, they currently carry a sensor on there keys.

Also would like all lights to go off when i leave in the morning even when family members are still in, Can this be done and if so how, Ive looked online but cant figure it out.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated

Thank You


Welcome to the ST Community! Yes, everything you mentioned can be accomplished very simply. There are many ways to accomplish though, but I would recommend you start with using functionality that SmartThings provides “out of the box” to keep things simple.

One concept you need to master is that of “Modes” of your house. By default, I believe you will have three Modes predefined called Home, Away, and Night. You can use “Routines” to change the “Mode” based on events like “Presence Sensors arriving or leaving.”

So, when all presence sensors leave, have a Routine change the house mode to “Away”.
If any presence sensor arrives, have a Routine change the house mode to “Home”.

Your next piece of this puzzle is to use the buil-in “Smart Lighting” SmartApp from SmartThings. You can configure the SmartLighting app to use various triggers (like your presence sensor arriving or leaving) and then take an action (like turning on or off a light) ONLY IF the house Mode is currently set to “Away” or “Home”.

Is this starting to make sense? I know it seems a little awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize that the platform is very flexible.

Hope this helps. If not, @JDRoberts should be along shortly to help point you to some beginner documentation which probably will explain things much better than my feeble attempt.

Have fun! And know that the ST Community is happy to help.



What Dan said. Modes are a very powerful way to control what happens when. I would add one additional piece of information. You can create additional modes as you desire to fit various scenarios.


Hi, thanks for your help, I have uploaded the following screenshots from my phone. They are the screen shots of an alert I configured in the Samsung app. Not sure if the settings are correct? I was trying to create an alert to inform my wife when I leave or Arrive to my house. I have added her phone number into the rule / routine and also added a push notification. If you could take a quick look over it I would appreciate an experienced hand look into it and maybe correct me if I have gone wrong.

I created this via anti automation - smart apps - add a smart app - presence and modes - carpool notifier from SmartThings

Thank you again

Ok Paul, what I see here is that there should be a push notification when your phone arrives or departs assuming the house is in either “home” or “away” mode. I have not used this particular app myself, but I do have a general piece of advice regarding push notifications.

Push notifications will go to everyone that has the app installed on their phone. At times this may be just what you want but in my household it was irritating to some. They just didn’t want all those notifications. So I choose instead to use the SMS option instead. That way you can target just the phone you want to get the notification.

If only for troubleshooting, my first suggestion would be that you make this two separate smart apps, one to notify when you leave and one to notify when you arrive. You should be able to just install the smart app twice.

Also, you have the smart app set up to check two different things: the mode that your system is in and the specific person leaving and arriving.

What are you using to set the mode? It doesn’t happen automatically, you have to have some rule set up to change it. So just because of a presence sensor is noted as crossing the geo-fence so that the sensor is marked as away, it doesn’t mean that your Mode will have changed.

See what mode your house is currently in:

  1. Open the SmartThings mobile app

Two) click on the settings icon (horizontal lines in the lower right) this will open the settings page.

Three) the mode will be displayed at the top left of this screen.

Also, I just wanted to mention that the mode is not the same as the smart home monitor armed status. So it has to be set separately from the SHM setting, even though both may be called “away.”

A quick question before I delve back into this. How do I reinstate the default routines as I seemed to have deleted them

I only have the nighttime icon

Thank you

i reset the system, i will get them back that way, also is the a correct way and an incorrect way to configure notifications when i leave the house, as i have used the above method but yet i noticed there is other options in the same menu to do this?


I don’t know of any way to just get them back without setting up a whole new account, but you can add ones with the same names if you want. Support can tell you what the initial settings are.

As far as a correct way and an incorrect way, SmartThings is very flexible and there are many ways to do just about everything. Different ones will work best for different people. So it’s just a matter of setting up one that works well for you. :sunglasses:


ok how do I now have all the lights turn of when my wife is still home, I work late nights (am) and my wife works in the day, I would like to leave in the nigh and lights go off. I also would like the lights to go on when I get home but not if my wife is home can this be automated?

thanks again

As JD said Paul, there is always more than one way to accomplish anything in this environment. I this case I’m once again going to suggest modes are the way to go. If everyone is gone the house is in “away” mode. If either of you is home the house is in “home” mode. With these two modes you can keep the lights from coming on if you wife is home. Just set up your light routine only to run with the house is in “away” mode.

That’s a bit over simplified but hopefully helps you see how you can use modes to make things happen or keep them from happening.

Hi Phil I’ve got the lights on a timer come on at … go off at and I’ve programmed the sensor with too time slots one to turn Hallway on and after a period of time off and one to turn house lights on in verious rooms then go of at a defined time etc they all work. I’ve programmed front door sensor to notify my self and wife that also works I’ve just got to test my arrival and depart notifications, it seems very flexible system and yes multiple ways of doing things a bit like windows :wink: anyway all is good at this point although I do have one question will the system auto change modes or has this to be manually done, for example if I leave will the house change to away armed and on my return will it auto change to Home if it’s an automatic process without interaction will it still change when family members are still in the house or only change when everyone has left

You can trigger mode changes by manually running a routine for example. A routine named “Away Mode” with no presence sensor input or time of day settings can be used to make the mode change to “Away”. But, since in has no presence or time information in it, it will never run unless you choose to run it manually from the “Automation” screen in your app.

I use family members phones to trigger mode changes. When everyone leaves the house is in “Away” mode. When any person comes home, the house changes to “Home” mode.


But will the system auto change to away when I leave or both me and my wife leave and will it auto change back to home when we return

If you set up routines to tell it to do so. In the absence of instructions from you it won’t do anything. If you set up appropriate mode changing routines on the “Automations” screen in the app it will change the mode automatically when you come and go.

I know this may sound like I’m stupid but could you give me the settings on what I need to do to accomplish this, screen shots if possible if it’s not to much trouble, this will help me amensley

Can’t do screen shots right now but I’ll do my best to describe creating a routine to change the house to “Away” as an example.

Open the App and choose Automation at the bottom of the screen, routines at the top of the automation screen and then scroll down that page to “add a routine” at the bottom of the page. Give the routine a name on the next page “Away Mode” for example and click next in the upper right. Under additional settings on the next screen choose "Automatically perform “Away Mode”. Choose “Everyone leaves” on the next screen. On the next screen select “Which” choose the presence sensors for all the family members involved and touch “Done” on the top right of the screen. If you wish you can set this for only certain days of the week on this screen or change the delay time for the action on the screen you are on now. When you are happy with these fields tap “Done” at the top of the screen. Tap Done one more time and you will be taken back to the "Routines screen and you should see your new routine listed there.

You can make a routine to automatically trigger “Home” mode using the same steps to create a new routine.