Motion alerts when home even when mode is set to away

Hello folks. Proper new to everything ST. I’ve read up a lot and search so much on here as I prefer learning this way. I’ve seen many post with this problem but I can’t find a solution.

So basically, ST knows I’m home and I’ve set up a notify me when, to push a notification to my phone when there is movement when I’m in away mode only. Problem is, I get these notifications when I’m home. Must point out, me and my wife share the account ( even though it’s me doing all the tinkering ) so there is 2 phones set up as presence sensors.
Thanks for your time.

Have you setup a routine or other automation to change the mode between home and away when your presence sensors arrive/leave?

Change it to notify you when there’s movement when it’s set to Armed(away) and not armed(home)
And as long as it auto changes to armed(away) when you leave you should be ok.

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I’m not sure if we’re all talking about the same thing.

The OP referred to “away mode,” @Steveuk23 is referring to smart home monitor armed status.

They’re not the same thing. And modes are somewhat less intuitive than SHM armed status.

This thread might help explain it:

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Ah yeah I assumed he was using the shm to create a custom rule.

“Notify me when” is another smartapp, I think it predates SHM. But you’re right that what the OP is looking to do can be accomplished in an SHM custom rule as well. ST often has multiple ways to achieve the same end result.

It would still make sense for this type of automation to be restricted by mode, rather than SHM armed status (even as an SHM custom rule).

Thanks folks. Like i said, very new to this.
I think i managed to fix it but going through the smart home monitor and disable sensors when home/armed, and have it enabled when armed/away. its all very confusing , even after spending so long reading the different “modes”

My problem happened when i when through the smart lighting app, went to motion sensors and had it notify me, i click on away mode but still got notifications even at home. I guess thats to do with “away” not technically meaning away under the smart home monitor

Sorry it’s early in the US and I haven’t finished my coffee yet :sleeping:, so I just took another look at the OP.

The following might work for you:

Setup smart home monitor security settings so that your motion sensor(s) of interest is monitored in armed away state. You can ignore the contact sensors, as well as the armed stay state, unless you want to set those up too.

In the notification section of SHM setup, set it to push a notification or an SMS, whatever you prefer. You’re done configuring SHM.

Now go to the routines screen, and configure “I’m back” and “goodbye” routines. Goodbye is set to arm SHM, I’m back is set to disarm SHM. Each routine must be set to trigger when your presence sensors leave or arrive, respectively.

In the future, you can make further changes to SHM so that other actions occur when the motion sensor goes off, e.g. lights, siren, etc.

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That way would still work but you would need to edit what ever it was you used to detect your motion and presence to notify you.
It would just need adding to it to also change the mode to away.
Like mentioned there’s a few ways of doing things

Lol straight onto the forum while your coffees still warm :slight_smile: I like your style
I’m ok it’s 1.30pm here and I’m at work (whilst on here lol)

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Yeah thats what i eventually figured out buddy, haha.
Im still confused on what modes are for then. I read info on them but im still struggling to understand them

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Just to give you a quick and dirty. There are two things that people will refer to when talking about SHM and Modes:

There are two things that come out of the box with SmartThings:

SHM (Smart Home Monitor) - These have 3 states or statuses period:

  • Disarmed
  • Armed (Home)
  • Armed (Away)

Then there are Modes - ST comes with 3 out of the box:

  • Home
  • Night
  • Away

You have the ability to add additional Modes in the system for additional functionality.

These two different things can work hand in hand. For example, if you are using your Mobile presence device to disarm your system (using webCoRE for this example):

You have rules setup to:

  1. when arriving home (gps is present):
  2. set SHM to Disarmed
  3. if the hours are between Sunrise to Sunset, set the Mode to Home
  4. if the hours are between Sunset and Sunrise, set the Mode to Night

So now that your system is Disarmed and the Mode is Night, you may have let’s say some Motion sensors that if the Mode is Night, then turn this Light on, whereas if your Mode is Home (knows it’s daytime), the Motion sensors don’t turn the light on.

The SHM is the state of your security and the Mode is another value stored in your ST that can be used by itself or in conjunction with an SHM state to trigger different events throughout ST. Just gives you more leverage having two sets of values to perform more advanced functions than just based in the 3 values of the SHM.

Hopefully in laymen’s terms that makes it a little easier to understand all the different verbiage you hear from everyone. Eventually you will be talking the same way :slight_smile:

FYI: if you goto the dashboard in your ST app and then click on the little hamburger (3 lines) in the upper hand left corner, you will see the Mode that your system is in.

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Im still confused lol. Which is strange because im generally good with this sort of thing/
I think i need to see one in action or a real scenario to understand it. I’ll get there. Ive only had ST for a day :slight_smile:

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FYI: if you goto the dashboard in your ST app and then click on the little hamburger (3 lines) in the upper hand left corner, you will see the Mode that your system is in.

The Mode is a totally separate value than the SHM statuses

If you go create a Routine it will give you a lot more familiarity with these things by seeing them. Do this.

Goto Automations/Routines and + Add Routine
Set Smart Home to (Armed Away)
Set Mode to Away
Save Routine

Now run it and it will Arm your SHM and change the Mode

Then create another Routine to Disarmed and Home

This is a good little test to familiarize yourself.

Thats exactly what ive done and set up this morning. That bit i understand :slight_smile:
It’s the part that says " change mode to, home or away, i dont see what different that actually makes if i already did the armed away, or armed home part?

Because you might then have something else set up that you only want too run when in home or away mode.
Something like turn on room lamp at sunset … But only on home mode


Ok so now that you understand that little bit. Here’s where Modes has the additional benefit for you.

Suppose your system is “Disarmed” and you want something to happen while you are at home but you only want it to happen during the day time versus night and only when SHM is Disarmed. By only being able to key off of Disarmed, you don’t have any additional flexibility.

So by the status of SHM and the use of Mode, you can do something like:

Creating a routine:
When SHM is Disarmed and Mode is Night then when Motion sensors go off, turn on lights.

So when your SHM is Disarmed and the Mode is Home (in my world that means daytime) the above routine to turn on lights won’t run, because you don’t need lights turning on during the daytime.

That’s just an example.

It gives you an added layer of flexibility to run different routines for the same SHM Status.

Trust me, you will have that light bulb moment and it will all click. We have all been there :slight_smile:


YES. That makes sense. Thanks. Your first example is very handy and one I’ll implement right now. Thanks buddy.

Ok, can I ask another question, sorry to be a pest.
So I tried to set up the good night routine.
have it run on every light in the house,
set smart home monitor to armed, home.
change mode to night

automatically perform when things start happening.
which? my motion sensor.
during 12am and 6am.

i then hit the routine, and all the nights came on right away ( im not near the sensor ). Im clearly doing something wrong but i was expecting to have it go into the night routine, and only switch on the lights between 12am and 6am as instructed?