Returning home after sunset, would like SHM to trigger I'M BACK, then trigger EVENING when walk through door

Here’s what I’m looking to do …

When I come home between sunrise and sunset, run I’M BACK - turn off alarm, open garage door, unlock door between garage and house, change Thermostat setting to daytime levels, switch mode from AWAY TO HOME. Currently ST is doing this.

When I come home after sunset - run I’M BACK - turn off alarm, open garage door, unlock door between garage and house, change Thermostat to daytime settings, switch mode from AWAY to HOME, then when I open the door between the garage and house run EVENING - which switches mode from HOME to EVENING, turns on lights, sets Thermostat to evening levels.

I’ve been through everything I can thing of in the ST app … can’t figure out a way to make that happen. Any ideas??

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Are you open to using CoRE? If so I can help you set it up. :slight_smile:

I moved many of my Routines over to improve reliability and offer new options. It seemed intimidating, but made a lot of sense once I started using it.

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This is super easy if you use modes.

Just have your mode automatically change at sunrise and sunset ( using one routine for each) and then have two arrival routines, one runs during the day mode and one that runs in the evening.

Just don’t think of this as having SHM itself trigger everything. You’re going to have multiple events that run because of the same trigger. And those events will be different depending on which mode your house is in.

As noted, you could also do this with core. With core it would be more complicated, but probably fewer rules. If you just do it with modes, it will be simpler to set up, but you will need multiple routines to cover each variation.

Oh yes, that would be much easier.

Do Modes work well in Routines now? I was advised to remove all Mode changes from my Routines a few months ago. I’d be delighted to learn that had been fixed. :slight_smile:

Wow–who told you to do that? Changing modes in routines was like the very first thing SmartThings ever had.

@slagle is there a current recommendation not to do a mode change inside of a routine?

The official knowledgebase still says to change mode by using a routine.

Support did actually. I was having routines fail or only partially execute. The first thing they did is ask if they had Mode Changes in them, and when I said yes, they said it was a known problem and to remove them and see if that improved performance. I actually had to set up seperate routines with only mode changes in them, and those mostly worked. When I started with Core, I moved them over and they have worked 99.5% since.

I’m aware of a previous known problem where the Goodbye routine wasn’t doing mode changes, but that’s the only one I’d heard of.

Oh well. I’m happy with how its all working now. But its great to know that I should be able to use them in Routines now if I have something nice and simple to set up. Thanks for that!!


I’m using Modes as ST Support explains above.

When I’m AWAY - I don’t want the dogs triggering motion sensor based lights, and other things. But when I come home at night especially, I want the Kitchen cabinet lights to respond to that motion sensor and turn on.

The problem I’m stuck at is this -

I want AWAY mode active when I’m not home - that prevents motion sensing triggers and various routines to not fire.

When I come home, I want “I’m Back” to behave different based on the time of day …
Before noon I want my Morning settings when I walk through the door (thermo, lights, locks, turn on Hot Water heater)
Between noon and sunset I want the Afternoon settings when I walk through the door (thermo, no lights, locks, turn off Hot Water heater)
After sunset until Good Night I want the evening settings (thermo, lights, locks, garage door, turn on Hot Water heater).

Right now the only way to get that to happen is to come home, let SHM change mode from AWAY to HOME, then when I walk into the house open ST and hit the appropriate mode - Morning, Afternoon or Evening.

That’s not a major PITA, just counter intuitive to my already highly automated house … it should happen automatically.

I don’t think it’s SHM that changes the mode, is it? Don’t you have a routine or another smart app that does that change? And also changes the SHM alarm status?

Anyway, there’s lots of different ways to do it. But it’s going to require two different “I’m back” routines. You can’t have the same routine do two different things based on time of day. So you clone it and have the different routines run based on arrival during different modes.

You can have a single core piston do two different things, I think, you’d have to ask in the peer assistance Core thread.

But for the routines you would need one routine for I’m back daytime and one routine for I’m back nighttime. And one mode for away during the day and a different mode for away at night.

Then when the mode is away during the day and you get home, you run the routine for I’m back daytime.

If the mode is away during the evening when you get home, you and your team for I’m back at night.

Like I said, each step is pretty simple, but you end up with a bunch of different routines to manage. So Core might make it easier to follow just because you have all your if’s and’s in or is in the same place. :sunglasses:

Maybe I’m not understanding something …

If I leave the house and my GOODBYE Routine fires - it sets SMH to ARM STAY (because the dogs are still in the house) and Mode changes to AWAY. That AWAY Mode, makes sure the dogs aren’t setting off motion sensor based activities, and also makes sure that while I’m gone, that the other Routines don’t fire - say I leave at 8am, the Thermo goes down to 65F during the winter for being AWAY, I don’t want the Afternoon routine firing at noon and bumping the Thermo back up to 70 degrees if I’m not in the house.

I’m using AWAY MODE to make sure that things DON"T happen when I’m not home - motion sensor activities, thermo changes, automatic routines (Mid-Day, Afternoon, Evening, Good Night).

If I go the method you describe - just changing mode to either DAYTIME or EVENING - there’s no mode change to tell ST to not fire off motion based activities, or change Routines at specific times (Afternoon at NOON, Evening at Sunset) when I am not in the house. I understand that presence will see when I leave the house, and can set SHM to ARM STAY and set Alarms, but I’m not seeing how I stop other routines, motion based activities, etc. from happening if the mode doesn’t change to AWAY. It’s probably something very simple, I’m just not understanding it right now.

You’ll need multiple modes as well as multiple routines.


  1. Home during the day
  2. Away during the day
  3. Home at night
  4. Away at night

Or however many modes it takes you to cover all the variations you want

Then you also have multiple routines

A. I’m back during the day
B. I’m back at night

But all of that gets to be a lot to keep track of. If it’s too complicated, just go with core. You’ll get to build one long if statement with Ands and Ors.

Some CORE examples. Note the if…or…when…then structure.

Core is a very sophisticated community built rules engine for SmartThings. It let you stack all kinds of conditions. Including time of day, whether it’s a holiday, etc. In core, any single rule is called a “piston.”

My point was just that it can be done with the official feature set, but it’s pretty clunky. Core is a much more elegant solution, which is why people created it. :sunglasses:

The initial set up for core is much more complicated than just using a routine. But it’s very powerful and you will have all kinds of options what you do get it set up.

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I think I just got it …

So I set a HOME - MORNING mode
I build a GOODBYE - MORNING routine, that only fires when in HOME - MORNING active, and does not fire on all the other MODES.
I have GOODBYE-MORNING change MODE to AWAY-MORNING, so when I come back, AND the MODE is AWAY-MORNING, then it will automatically fire I’M BACK-MORNING and set everything accordingly.

As you said, creating away and home modes and routines for every automatic time fired routine I currently have - MORNING, MID-DAY, AFTERNOON and EVENING, and keeping track of all of that …

But, that doesn’t solve the problem of leaving at one time of the day - MORNING and coming back in another time of the day EVENING. It would still fire off as I’M BACK-MORNING, if the Mode is AWAY-MORNING when I get back home at 8:30pm …

Looks like i need to learn CoRE!

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Yeah, for this example you need another routine which only runs when the mode is “away morning” and runs at, say, Sunset and changes the mode to “away evening.” That way the mode automatically changes based on time of day even though you are out of the house. So by the time you get home, maybe an hour after sunset, the mode is already “away evening” and your “I’m back evening” would fire correctly.

Like I said, it can be done, but boy is it clunky!

And thus CORE was born. :sunglasses: ( Well, first smart rules was born, and then rule machine was born and died, and then core was bornBut all out of the same need for what we call “stacked conditionals” “If A and B then do that unless…”)

The documentation for core says it was created when rule machine died. But the real reason it was created is because the official features don’t offer enough choices, or at least don’t offer them in any intuitive way that doesn’t require a spreadsheet to keep track of what you’ve already done. :wink:

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Back to the original point … I really want this to happen in the evenings mostly. My daughter is on the JV Cheer Squad, so we’re going to be coming home after sunset a lot because of practice and games (some away games are almost 2 hours away from home).

So, I just went through the whole exercise of creating EVENING-HOME, EVENING-AWAY Modes, and GOODBYE-EVENING, I’M BACK-EVENING and EVENING-AWAY (mode change) Routines, and made sure I altered the standard GOODBYE & I’M BACK! Routines to not fire when in EVENING-HOME or EVENING-AWAY modes. I’ve got to take off to pick her up this evening before sunset, and will be back after sunset … so I get to test tonight if everything I just did works right.

Thanks for getting me on the right path … if this works, maybe I’ll move to altering the AFTERNOON Routines next … or learn CoRE.

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This is working exactly like I want it to work now. Thanks again for the help!

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Boy, do I hate it when @JDRoberts is right… and the thing is, he always is, arghhhhh!!! :slight_smile: