New to SmartThings -- question about Scenes


I have a new Z-wave smart lock and I’m thinking of connecting it to SmartThings. Since I’ve never used this before, I have a few questions about how smart the system can really be. For example, would I be able to set rules for the following things to happen:

  1. When my phone’s location enters the vicinity of my home, unlock the door automatically. (only do this if I have been out of the area and then enter the area, to prevent it unlocking while I’m at home).

  2. Send me an alarm notification if the door is opened but the lock was still locked (i.e. wasn’t unlocked).

Just wondering how customisable the system in. By the way, I’m in the UK but I’m guessing the system works in the same way.

I have a Yale connected smart lock, which is certified for SmartThings.

Thanks for any help!

Yes you can do this but this particular logic would need to be written in a SmartApp that fires a Routine—that changes your mode.

Not sure how the door would be opened without being unlocked (kicked in?) But yes this would also be possible via SmartApps (code).

As you can see the benefit of SmartThings is how customizable it is—if you are developer. If not, there are rules engine SmartApps and services out there. Here are a few:


Looks good thanks, I see what you mean.

I want to ask more about how SmartThings deals with location. I see one of those rule builders can work via “Presence = home/away”. How is this setup? Can I set a radius from my home?

Basically I want the front door to unlock when I arrive within 10 m of home, but then once I’m home for it not to keep locking and unlocking constantly.


you can do that with built in routines. Use your phone as a presences sensor or buy a presence sensor. Smartthings setups up a geo circle for your house. When I approach my house, it opens my garage door, unlocks my doors, and disarms my security. It works really well with my iPhone 5S.

That sounds exactly what I want! So you say it works really well? Your garage door opens every time you arrive? And it never opens when you’re home and your phone goes to sleep and wakes?

Two people live in my home – does the “presence = home/away” condition count for anyone with a smartphone or presence sensor? Basically my smart lock automatically re-locks after a couple of minutes.

So I want the lock to unlock when either person returns home, even if the other person is already home. It would be like your garage door opening automatically for someone else, even if you are already home.

I can’t answer for Glenn, but a bit of Community Forum research will reveal that “presence” is still a particularly risky / inconsistent feature of SmartThings.

Personally, I would plan on using a manual option to start (a keyfob, a lock that has a PIN pad, etc.).

However, you can set up some rules based on presence that do some simple safe operation (like turn on a dedicated lamp that simulates your garage door) and track it over 2 or 3 weeks to see if it works sufficiently reliable for your comfort level. You can also learn to use Rule Machine or other custom SmartApps to add some redundant safety features and see if that improves reliability, if necessary.

In other words: Far too many folks here get really freaked out that their garage doors, locks, and SHM are unreliable and it turns out it is 80% due to reliance on the presence feature (phone and/or tag). There’s no way to tell until you test and refine it in your own home using a device that isn’t going to risk your security, first.

I see, thanks for the info. Great idea with the lamp as a simulation for the lock.

Do you (or anyone) have any comment on how presence works for multiple occupants? Can you set arrival of either occupant to count as an arrival, even if the other person is already home?

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Yes. Check out routines using “everybody leaves” and “someone arrives” settings. Really easy.

ST is really powerful, but try to use it simply at first and grow with it. This community can open your eyes way too quickly and you can become addicted like some of us… :wink:

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Like others have said, there are reports about presence being spotty but it hasn’t been an issue for me yet. The presence sensors you buy are zigbee and if you have a good mesh zigbee network (more device), the better your presence works. I use it to open my garage door but not close it yet. Not sure if my iPhone 5S just has good GPS or not but it works everytime, only a few times i’ve pulled in and it was just a few seconds behind. I do NOT have any phantom openings/closing that some others have reported as well. My garage door and locks report correctly and do not false fire.

I use life360, a virtual switch “presence”, and IFTTT to do presence sensing in smartthings and it is VERY reliable, have only had 1 incident ever, the house took 20min to recognize we (my wife and I) had just come home. Rule manager can do a lot with a presence switch.