Proximity Switch?

Anyone know of any examples on how to determine whether a cell phone is near to trigger lights on? I know of geo-fencing but not sure how to put together under SmartThings or even if possible.

I’m using the Classic app so if you’re using the newer Connect app, someone will have to add the steps, as they may be different.

In the Classic app, add your phone as a presence sensor. Add a thing, Manually, Sensors, Presence Sensors. You’ll set a radius around your location as a geo-fence.

Then create a Routine to "Turn on these lights . . " and “Automatically perform the Routine when Someone Arrives” (and select your phone presence sensor).

Thanks for that, I am using the latest app and haven’t been able to see those sensor settings.

What distance range are you looking for?

Geopresence usually includes GPS Information, and typically has a region size of at least 500 feet.

Some devices allow for a “near” range of about 50 feet.

And the term “proximity switch“ is normally used for triggers that are within about a meter of the device, so that they are substituting for a regular manual switch.

Any of these options are possible with smartthings, but require different devices and different automations to achieve.

So there’s a big difference between “the lights come on when I get home“ and “the table lamp comes on when I enter the living room.“

The FAQ might be of help:

FAQ: The Many Ways of Detecting Presence

Thank you for the link. I will take a look, but looking for the “Geopresence”.

1 Like

Instructions for the new app

1 Like

Note: if you do ever use the Classic SmartThings app, I’ve read that it’s a bad idea to enable presence in both of them

1 Like

Thank you all of the comments. I used the links and followed the instructions and will test in the new few days.

1 Like

I set this up using the above instructions and it works fine for when I’m arriving within the geofence that I setup but how do I not trigger it if I’m all ready within the fence? I have it only active between an hour after sunset and an hour prior to sunrise.

If you are already within the fence, you technically can’t be arriving, so it can’t trigger. That being said, sometimes location bounce makes false arrivals. You may need to expand the geo-fence area to prevent this.

You could also create a virtual switch to indicate that you are home. Turn it on when you arrive. Use geopresence to turn it off when you leave, setting a parameter of 10 minutes or so to activate. This will prevent the wandering geo-location false alerts, as the won’t show you as away as a result of those short “bounces”. Then predicate your active period based on the virtual switch.

The “presence sensor” options In smartthings, regardless of the actual device type, are all “boundary event“ notifications. That is, there is an event when you cross the boundary, either coming or going. But nothing going on once you are past that moment.

Most people use a presence sensor to change the location.mode on their account, typically from “away” to “home” or from “home” to “away”. This is different then the security. mode which is used for the security system status. Location.mode Is generally just used to indicate if anyone is home.

Then when you create your automations, you indicate what location.mode you want them to be run in.

The following FAQ will explain more about how people use mode. Although the title says it’s for the classic app, the location.modes work the same way in both apps and the examples are all still good.

FAQ: Armed/Disarmed states vs Away/Home modes confusion