Newbie question with lights

Hello All,

I am a newbie at this home automation stuff and looking into a ST setup. I just want to clarify something. If you have a light plugged into an proper kind of outlet/plug, and you have it set to turn on when the door opens, how do you then turn it off? By using the app?

What I am trying to do. Monitor the kids coming home late. our drop cam does not always pick it up because it is just outside of the night vision range and no option to put it closer. I thought if i had a light turn on when the door opened anytime after 10 pm then drop cam would see it because it does a good job in a light room capturing everything.

Another question i have is, what if you have a light set up by a plug and someone turns the light off by the switch on the lamp. I am assuming you have no control over it until the switch on the lamp is turned back on, is that correct?

Thanks for your time

That’s one way. You could also have it turn off after X minutes.

If you’re talking about a smart bulb, turning the switch off effectively kills it for the system, and you may have problems with it rejoining the network when the switch is turned back on. So you need to figure out how you really want to control things. If you’re using a smart bulb, the best plan is to put a cover on the switch so no one messes with it. Otherwise, if you really want to sometimes use the switch, then don’t use a smart bulb – use a smart switch instead.

This is the best way to go IMHO. SmartThings controls the switch, or a human does, but in either case it always works with the system, and the system always knows its state. You do need to know your way around basic wiring but it’s not much more complex that a normal switch.

Thank you bravenel. I think the bulb might work for the front door location and just set it to go off after 30 secs or so.

Thanks schettj for expanding on that. I live in an apartment so have to see if I can get in any trouble if I switch that out for a ST switch. Not like I would tell them. LOL.

What about using a Plug in dimmer switch, and a lamp plugged in to it. If you turn the switch off on that lamp, will you no longer have control over it until you turn the lamp back on? Hope that makes sense.


You could certainly use a smart outlet, with the lamp plugged into it. With a dumb bulb, you could turn it on and off with the lamp switch, no problem, and the outlet remains on the network. Obviously, the outlet couldn’t turn on the lamp if you’ve turned it’s switch off, so there is some potential for confusion. And, you wouldn’t want the smart outlet on a switched outlet that might be turned off.

The simplest approach is to pick one option, and only use that option – no confusion. I use Aeon Minimote 4 button remotes to turn lights off when I’m in bed – it sits on the bedside table. Very convenient. I have a mix of smart bulbs in lamps, and wired smart dimmers. I can turn things on/off with the smart dimmers, or I can use the Minimote. I never touch the switches on the lamps that have the smart bulbs.

Thanks bravenel. That all makes sense and I like your setup. Just finding out about ST so I now need to look at all the products that interact with it. :slight_smile: