Newbie Trying to make it all work

Good evening everyone.

I am recent migrator from Wink to ST. Wink got me into the automation Market ST is going to make it work for me I hope.

I have got a lot up and running but have one thing that is really nothing me how to set up. So here it goes.

I want to be able to set a routine that turns on lights, when anyone of my family members arrive home between sunset and sunrise. This was a very easy set up in Wink but I can not get it to do it in ST. I can set it up for when someone arrives home but I can only seem to get it at sunset or sunrise. How do I accomplish this please.

I am also really trying to figure out smart apps and git hub and working with apps people developed but that is leading to an exercise in frustration. I see all these cool smart apps like the d-link connection master but can’t get it to work and migrate from github to ST etc. Its all new and really having trouble understanding it all. The on thing about Wink it is intuitive and easy to use and set robots, ST is more robust but you need to understand it a bit more to get things accomplished.

any help on either topic would be great. thanks in advance



SmartThings is very powerful, but not very intuitive. Quite often there is a way to do what you want, or even 3 or 4 different ways, it just isn’t obvious.

This might help😎

1 Like


thanks for your response. I will read all the articles in the link. I have a lot of that installed and functioning pretty good but its a simple rule for wanting lights to come on when its dark as we arrive home for security reasons but no need to have lights come on during the day then have to turn them all back off again. Seems to be a simple thing but I can not figure it out.

Thanks again

As for your specific question, the trick to this is not to use a “routine” but rather to use the “smart lighting” feature.

You have to do a one time install of smart lighting from the marketplace, and after that you can set up as many “automations” as you want. Each automation is basically a rule.

In this case, you want to set up the automation so that it is based on presence, but then you want to limit it to a specific time using “more options” in the automation. Which can indeed be from sunset to sunrise.

And no, there’s no way you could’ve known that ( that you should you smart lights instead of a routine, and that you should start with presence and then limit the time period using “more options”) without poking around and looking at every individual feature. Or, of course, asking in the forums. :sunglasses:


Oh, and you could also do it with a routine if you used Mode, but that’s a whole different method. :wink:

A smart lighting automation is more straightforward, you just have to know that that feature exists.

AWESOME thats its, I had that smart app installed but did not think to use it compared to the routine.

Thank you so much.


Another quick question what are some examples of routines that you should or could use besides the three that are installed.


Probably the best thing about smartthings is its versatility. Different households will have different needs. And some of those needs will be met by routines, some by smart lighting automations, some by smartapps.

At this point, the most important distinction to know about routines is that they can be set up as widgets on phone or a smart watch. That’s useful for a lot of people. But other than that, it’s just going to depend on your own needs.

IOS widgets:

Android widgets:

The following topic is a recent discussion on people’s top 10 favorite things to do with SmartThings. It should give you a lot of ideas. :sunglasses:

thank you for all your help

Holy cow I’m glad i popped in here! Thanks @JDRoberts I’ve been using routines wrong the whole time for this!

1 Like

If what you have is working for you, that’s not wrong. :sunglasses:

There are many different ways to solve the same problem in SmartThings, so any way that works is good.

1 Like