Override automated schedule? (UK)


UK user here looking to sort an issue I am sure thousands have sorted before, but ive searched all over and am still confused.

Im looking to automate the lights in my hall and stairs over three floors so when the kids hit the switch, they light up, but automatically go off after 2 or 3 minutes because of course the kids always leave them on. It would be ideal if that only worked at night, so in the day a press of the switches does nothing.

But I want to be able to long press to turn on and off overriding the timer/daylight controls if I need to leave them on, for cleaning for instance.

Ease of install and budget is the priority. I’m thinking hue remote dimmers which sit over existing switches coupled with compatible bulbs? And then hopefully I can programme that functionality into the switch via hue bridge or ST hub.

Happy to consider other options/functionality and I’m reasonably competent with wiring. Sockets likely have no neutral but I haven’t checked.


  1. it’s definitely possible on the smartthings platform, this is a very common use case, and there are a number of different ways to do it. I’m going to leave that discussion to other people for now.

  2. The hue remote dimmers are not going to work for this purpose because they don’t integrate well with smartthings. In order to have this kind of complexity in your rules management, you do need devices which have strong integration.

  3. regarding budget, for most implementations smart switches with dumb bulbs will be less expensive than smart switches with smart bulbs. And you are going to need smart switches to be able to do the override function.

At this point there are typically two reasons why someone might want smart bulbs:

A) They want some of the special effects features that the smart bulbs can do, like changing colours or changing colour temperatures.

B) they have multiple bulbs are controlled by one switch that they want to divide into zones without having to do any rewiring. This is most common in a large room which has now been set up as a home theater, or in the kitchen where you may want different kinds of lighting in different work areas.

But if these are just regular ceiling fittings and you want to control when they turn on and off rather than the features of the bulb itself, a smart switch with dumb bulbs is normally less expensive.

  1. although it will add something to costs, I would recommend a motion sensor rather than just a timer for turning lights off again. Otherwise it’s almost inevitable that the lights will turn off when someone is still standing in the area.

It’s true that your long press idea would work for preplanned activities, but sometimes things just happen. Someone walking out of a room drops a tray full of dishes or a box of small objects and starts cleaning them up. It’s unlikely they’ll remember to run over to the switch and long press it first. So just another option to consider. This can be combined with the long press as an override, that’s not an issue. But I think if you rely only on the long press you’re going to find family satisfaction with the automations goes down.


That’s really helpful, thanks. I’m OK with dumb bulbs. I don’t want colours or even dimming in these areas. And I’m happy enough with the groupings on the switches. There is one spot at the end of the hall that is quite dark that I wanted to drop a light fitting in from the circuit in the loft above without having to put in a switch to control it, but I guess I could run a smart bulb in just that and group it in to the other lights on that floor controlled by the switch/sensor.

In terms of sensors, I’ve been put off by the way they look, except for the fibaro eye one, so that might be an option, probably one for each floor.

Thanks for the steer and I look forward to suggestions for switches and sensor set ups…

1 Like