Lights coming on at sunset when not home

Hi all. I’ve been reading about this for several weeks now and I cannot find a definitive answer for my situation.

I have two Philips Hue bulbs and the Hue bridge. They are linked to Smartthings as I want to be more granular with configuration than the Philips Hue app.

I have configured Smartapps and Smart lighting within Smartthings. Whilst my arriving and leaving config works fine, my ‘Turn on at sunset ONLY when I’m home’, doesn’t. The lights come on whether I’m home or not. Below is a screenshot of my config.

Please let me know if you have any ideas as to how to fix this annoying issue.


What automation are you using to change the mode to home? And are you sure it is set up to change location.mode and not security.mode? (Both have a “home“ setting, but they are two different variables.)

If you could post a screenshot of the automation that you used to change the mode, that would be helpful.

There isn’t anything in the default settings that will change the mode for you, you have to create an automation to do that.


Hey. I don’t have anything setup in automation. Sounds like I should have! What should I setup?

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I’m tired right now and I don’t use the app much anyway because it’s not fully voice navigable, so I’m going to turn this over to other people. They’ll be able to show you how to set the modes.

If you’d like some examples of how other people use them, see the following. Ignore the details of set up, those are from the old app, but the use cases are still applicable:

FAQ Routine, routines: How do you use them? (SmartThings Classic)

Thanks for your input anyway. OK, I’ll await any other guidance and have a read through the link you have shared. Thanks again.

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Set this up earlier? Any use?

‘Only when mode is Home’ refers to the ‘location mode’. By default your SmartThings location has three modes, ‘Home’, ‘Away’ and ‘Night’. These aren’t really named with shift workers in mind. So ‘Home’ typically means it is daytime and people are up and about in the house and any security system is disarmed. ‘Night’ might mean you have all gone to bed and you have a partially armed security system that detects intrusions but allows typical night time activity without setting off the alarm. ‘Away’ would mean the house is empty and any security is fully armed. It is up to you to set these modes, typically using Automations. They can also be set manually, and you can add and delete and rename them, though bizarrely they are hidden in ‘Manage Location’ which is off the three dot menu on the mobile app dashboard.

If you want to use them, which is entirely your choice, you might perhaps set the location mode to ‘Home’ at a fixed time in the morning, or perhaps when you detect motion in certain rooms during a particular time period. You might also set it in an arrival automation. You might set ‘Night’ at a fixed time in the evening, or perhaps when you don’t detect any motion in certain rooms for a while. You might set ‘Away’ in a departure automation.

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You should be able to add a “that“ action to change the location.mode to “home“ if that’s what you want. :sunglasses:

you need to create automation to change your mode. you can check what mode you are in from the home screen, three dots in upper right, manage location.

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Seems like there are bits and pieces coming out in this thread.

As @JDRoberts said, the Mode you’re testing is Location Mode. You can see the current location mode by tapping the three dots in the upper right of the app and selecting Manage Location.

You can set the Location Mode in an automation in various ways. I set it via a Scene.

How you trigger the scene is up to you. Typical way is based on the location of your phone.

Details of “Hal is away” look like this

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Apologies for the delay, had my head in other things. I appreciate your replies. I have disbaled my SmartLighting rules and created some automations and scenes as above at certain times. Fingers crossed this will solve it! Thanks again :slight_smile:

Hey all. OK, so this is now working - the lights come on when I return home after sunset and come on at sunset if I’m home too. However, they still come on when I’m away from home! Any ideas how to stop this? This is my config

This is one of the instances where it isn’t obvious what the Automation means. Not to me anyway.

If you add a third condition the Sunset will be displayed on its own with the other two conditions presented as an all/any group. You see that structure with time ranges and location preconditions. Those preconditions have to be true for the Automation to run but their becoming true doesn’t actually cause things to happen (or never used to).

Yet surely you’d expect this Automation to run at Sunset and no other time? So why is it presented the same as something that does pretty much the opposite?

I’d expect this Automation to either run at Sunset provided the location is Home, or at a push at Sunset OR if the location changes to Home. However I wouldn’t expect it to limit itself to after Sunset.

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It does run at sunset, but runs when I’m not home, which I don’t want it to. I only want it to run when I’m home.

How you change the away to home?.
Manual, presence?

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I don’t. I presume the ‘Location Mode - Home’ would cover this? If I’m home, the lights come on, if I’m not, they don’t. However, this doesn’t appear to work.

Oh, right. The Location Mode is something you have to set yourself, either manually or using an automation of some sort. The default values happen to be Home, Away and Night but you can add, delete and edit them and they mean whatever you want them to mean.

There’s no default that will switch the location.mode from home to away. Or the security.mode (those are two different things in smartthings)

It starts out in “home” and stays that way forever unless you create an automation that tells it when to switch to “away.“

You can create an automation that will switch based on your phone leaving home, but you could also create one based on other conditions if you want it, it’s up to you. But it won’t switch at all unless there is an automation to do so.

It sounds like maybe you thought it automatically switched itself whenever your phone left your house, but it doesn’t. You have to have an automation to make it switch mode. And you have to have an automation to make it switch back as well.

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OK, thanks. It obviously knows my location as it turns the lights on when I return home after sunset. Where do I set an automation to change location?

By default the location is home. To change it:

Try it