Overlapping routines - priority?

I am new to Smart Things. . .but the instructions are not that clear.

How do Routines overlap.

So I have a routine that says good morning and it actives at XYZ AM time. I also have a routine that says “I’m back” and I created a routine that says vacation.

So the best way to illustrate is vacation. on Vacation I want the sensors on. . but i have good night (sensors on) and good morning (sensors off). So would sensors automatically turn off ?

I can’t help but notice right now it seems to be set “away” Arm (away) even though I’m still home.


You need to create a new vacation mode, and set scheduled routines not to execute when that mode is set.

As for SHM being armed when it shouldn’t, it could be a variety of things, not the least of which are glitches in the SmartThings cloud.

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but other routines are scheduled to go off at times (such as the morning routine or the night routine). So wouldn’t that automatically drop out of vacation and into that routine?

Each routine is evaluated independently, there’s no priority between them. They just run as they get triggered to run. You also can’t be 100% sure of which individual device command to run first because of the way mesh operates. So it’s up to you as the individual customer to set up your rules so that the end result is what you want it to be.

there are some home automation systems which do impose priorities and even prevent overlapping rules, but it’s pretty consistent with the general smart things philosophy that they let you do pretty much whatever you want to do and leave it up to you to deal with the results.

If you use a vacation mode then what you have to do typically is to have your other routines explicitly not run in vacation mode.

So in your example you would set up your “good morning” routine to not run in vacation mode.

And you would probably also create a separate routine to cover those same hours of the day when vacation mode is active.

okay I found in automatic settings “dont do this mode if in one of these modes” so that helps. Though of course vacation isn’t listed :frowning:

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thanks, I figured it out

Modes and Routines are different. . got it!

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Exactly! :sunglasses:


  1. a good morning routine does the following at 7:00 a.m. every day except not in vacation mode

a) disarm the security system
b) turn off the porch light
c) turn on the news
d) turn on the coffee maker
e) unlock the pet door
f) turn on the water heater for the shower
g) change the mode to “Home”

  1. a vacation morning routine does the following at 7:00 a.m. only in vacation mode

a) turn off the porch light
b) turn on the news (to make it seem like someone is home)

There’s no priority involved here. Instead, routine one will run unless the mode is vacation. Routine two will only run if the mode is vacation. So they are mutually exclusive because of the use of mode as a conditional.

This FAQ shows you how to add a new mode. ( as with many features, SmartThings is very powerful, but not necessarily very intuitive.)