Newb question on smartlighting and presence

Hello all,

New to ST and the forum. I bought the new version 3 I believe ST hub last week. I have 4 Hue lights in my house, a nest door bell, and a ST water leak sensor, and a Google Home Hub, and POE cameras inside and out, So my smart home is not very big right now, lol.
On to my first question. I played around with the new ST app and seems like a lot of people use the classic app for more in depth choices of things and if you want to use webcore. So I uninstalled new app and installed classic app. I figured out pretty simple a smart lighting scene for my porch light, dusk to dawn. Hooray for me, lol. Works out great. What I am trying to do now is my living room lamps (2), I would like to have them come on say 8.30 at night until say 2 in the morning then shut off. I tried to build a smart app with it using my phone as a presence sensor or lack of since my phone would not be at home, and if it saw my phone not home at 8.30pm then turn living room lights on, and leave them on til 2am. But I’m not doing something right, because I have video cam’s in house that I checked from work and the lights don’t come on when I’m gone. Is there something else I’m missing? An away mode I have to trigger or setup or ???
I’m trying to start out real simple here, so forgive me, I’m not dumb but between reading here and some webcore posts, and video’s, I"m a bit overwhelmed. I am excited at possibilities of simplifying some home processes but have a ton to learn before it makes sense.
Thank you for input.

Welcome! :sunglasses: Can you post a screenshot of the rule that you set up?

I suspect the issue is just a little confusion over how geopresence works.

It allows events to be triggered when your phone crosses the boundary, either coming into your home or leaving it. It’s not an ongoing “knows that I am not home.”

For that, you would use something called “location.mode”

But first let’s see how you have set up the rule in case it’s something else.

Thank you for your reply JD. So far this is what I had created.


So I normally head out to work at 6pm, and wanted the living room lights to come on at say 8.30pm and then go out at 2.30 am.

You could certainly do that, but not with the rule you have set up.

That one works the way I explained initially: when it gets a “russ just left“ event, then it will check to see if the time is between 8:30 pm and 2:30 am And if it is, then it will turn on the lights.

Since you are leaving at 6:00 pm, the event occurs outside your time window, so the lights don’t come on.

Instead, create an automation to set the location.mode to “away” when you leave.

Then use the light on rule that you have, but remove the presence test, and instead test for mode equals away.

You’ll need another automation for when you come home to change the mode to something else, typically “home“ but that’s up to you.

Thanks for the reply back. We’ll see made a couple small changes like you said, so I’ll try it when I head back in tonight.

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Just remember that in smartthings, “presence” detection is really “arrival/leaving event“ detection. It’s not whether you are home now. It’s the ability to trigger things to happen based on the moment that you arrive or leave. That is when you cross the geozone threshold in either direction.

But you can use a Geozone threshold event to change the mode, which is what most people do, so that gives the system the ongoing awareness of whether you are home or not based on what the mode is. :sunglasses:

Didn’t work unfortunately. I sit here at work and see lights didn’t come on. I also notice the app mode says home, guess I thought if my phone was away from my gps setting as home, it would switch to away.

If you are already away at work, then there is no “leaving” event to trigger the lights coming on. It’s physically crossing the boundary that creates the leaving event, and only in the moment of that crossing.

“When everyone leaves” Is only evaluated at the moment that the last person actually crosses that boundary.

Can you post a screen capture of the new rule that didn’t work?

Smartthings does not automatically change the mode from home to away unless you have a rule set up to specifically change the mode.

Can do…

Same problem as before.

If you are leaving the house at 6:30 PM, then that is when you would expect the mode to change from home to away, assuming that you have set up a rule to do that.

But you have also said that the lights should only come on between 8:30 PM and 2 AM.

So your trigger event, which is the mode change, is happening before your time restriction window. So the lights don’t come on.

I’m not able to use the app at this time, so someone else is going to have to help you by giving you an example of what would work.

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You need to flip your thinking. Something has to make the automation run. There has to be an event happening that can be latched onto.

You want the lights to come on at a certain time, e.g. 8:30pm, so your trigger is ‘At a specified time’ ( or similar wording). You can also specify the off time when doing that.

You also need a qualifying condition to say only to do this if your mode is ‘away’.

So you had it the opposite say around, you were requesting the lights be turned on if you left the house at a certain time.

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Thanks for replies guys. So I got to playing with Webcore, and created this. I setup Away Work as a daily routine, if my phone was away from home and to run automatically.
Think it will work?

As others have said, you should be using the time as the trigger to run the automation (look at the Timer code block if you want to use WebCore). So once your time-based trigger fires, you can use an if statement (or a restriction) to check if the locationMode is “away” and then perform the desired action.


Thanks for reply, and sorry to aggrivate you guys. It’s pretty obvious you are all saying the same thing but, dang this is hard to wrap my head around.

Do you mean something more like this then?


Please don’t apologize, we were all beginners once. We learn by doing and asking!

Now that you’re using webCoRE, be sure to check out their forum. Great place to find example pistons and ask for assistance. The folks enjoy helping with building pistons :slight_smile:

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Thank you, with that said, I want it to shut off at 2am, recommendations on doing that?