New App: Vacation Light Director

Hi Eric,

I just installed your VLD and I’m a little confused by it. It seems to function more like a fixed timer than a random home lighting simulator. I have 10 lights setup in my home with light cycle set to 55 minutes. I ran the VLD in a test mode where it was on during the day and the cycle was set to 5 minutes. I set it for 3 active lights and then I monitored the app to see what it would do. It turned various lights on and off every 5 minutes. Some it left on for 3 cycles in a row and once I saw it had just 2 on instead of 3. I thought that was cool since it created a different look.

I imagined that if I were to watch the house from the outside, I would see lights suddenly go off and on at the same exact time. I would think there could be a more human approach to this by turning off a light a minute before or after the new lights have been turned on. I doubt you can do seconds so a minute should be good enough.

Another concern is with the end time of the program. I have it set to a fixed time but feel that it would be better to have a sloppy time, such as Time +/- 15 minutes. That way one night it will finish at 11:15, another night maybe 11:28 and another night maybe 11:01.

I added some other routines to assist it since I will be away from my home for a few months. Hopefully the internet won’t fail me but I’m pretty confident that your code will help quite a bit while I’m away.

Thank you much!

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Hi. I don’t see Vacation Lighting Director in the Lights & Switches subsection following the exact path you listed. I am using an Android (Galaxy Note8). Can you tell me if you had to install something to get it to show up here?

You are starting to scare me about this. I use this APP A LOT. I use it when the wife and I are out and even when we are home in the basement where the kids USED to live. I am going to have to check out the latest to see if it messed up my routines.

I can’t see this on the marketplace or on Github. Am I missing something?

Here is the version I posted a while back


This worked for me last week busy suddenly stopped. Is it working for you guys ?

been working for me. May want to go into vld and hit save…sounds like a platform issue.

Its funny how things work for some people but not others. :thinking:
This has never worked well for me. Always been hit and miss so I have stopped using it.

I used to use this but I found that the lights in my house aren’t really random. I used a WebCore script while I was on vacation recently and it worked well. Basically at X+random(30) turn on a set of light, at Y+random(30) turn on/off certain lights and at Z+random(30) turn off everything. Only do while Away mode.

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mind sharing your webcore piston?


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There is an update to vld that randomizes runtime further. Check latest


Here is a very simple one for you.

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what if i have 2-3 groups of lights i want to randomly turn on and off?


I only have 2 lights that I do this for. The others (lounge, Kitchen, Dining Room etc.) turn on with Lux levels and turn off at random times to simulate us being at home and going to bed at different times on different days.
The lights I use this piston for are my downstairs (the one above) and upstairs hall lights.
I also have pistons that turn on my downstairs loo light if downstairs hall turns on (when we are away only) and is timed so it turns off before the hall light. This makes it look like I have gone to the downstairs loo by first turning on Hall light then loo light. Loo light turns off and then the hall light does.
I do the same for the upstairs light and the en suite light. This one goes through the night unlike the downstairs one.
Works great for me.

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I’ve enter this multiple times and tried many variations, but never shows up in IDE as the correct repository.

Owner: imnotbob
Name: vacation-lighting-director
Branch: master

I’m having trouble running VLD. I have installed the app and set it up. The app turns on lights randomly as programmed, but when VLD turns off a light it immediately turns the light back on.

Any idea why that might happen?

IDE logs can help.

Possible guess: If you have a small number of lights in random pool (or large % of random pool to be turned on), it is possible during the change the random generator picks the same light.

IDE logs would help to understand what is happening.

Thanks for the quick response.

You just explained it. The randomness depended on the number of devices in the device list and the number of devices that are to be on at the same time. My device list was one and my devices on was one. I mistakenly thought there was a random Off period between on times. Now that I know how the app works I can make it work for my lighting application.

Do you know of an app that will randomly turn on and off a single device? I have a waterfall on a fountain I want to turn on for a few minutes each hour.

Thanks again.

You could do that with webCore. There are a number of pistons discussed in the webCore forum that do just that, typically for lighting, in the webCore forum. This link is a search of the forum for “random”: