Routines vs. Modes, etc

When I first started with ST, I used MODES to control things when events happened. I.e., when someone arrived, switch mode to HOME. Within HOME, I could control things like “turn on this light when they arrive, turn off after 20 mins”, only turn them on during these hours, etc. - this works great for the outside floods.

Now that MODES aren’t used the same and it is all through Routines, I can easily turn on lights when someone arrives - but how do you now turn them off after x mins, etc?

I am sure I am missing something simple!


hello, did you try a smartApps named gentle wake up, and reverse the time to take 20 minutes to light off? Not exactly what you asked, but cool?

Instead of Routines or the Smart Lighting SmartApp, you can use webCoRE to perform all your timing based needs and changes within the ST environment.

Routines provide a way to change modes and other things in mass. Think of modes as “states” your home is in. Then use the routine to change them accordingly. Lights are usually controlled through the smart lighting app which is available in the app’s marketplace.your smart lighting rule can be filtered to only run in certain modes, time frames, days, etc.


Most of this functionality is now in the official smartlights feature. Have you had a chance to look at that yet? The “turn off after 20 minutes“ is in the “power allowance” option.

If you want to get fancier, there’s a how to article in the community – created wiki on setting up a virtual timer to use with lights.

It’s true you can do just about anything you can think of with webcore, but that might be overkill for something this simple. So I would just start by looking at smart lights and see if it has what you need. It also has the advantage of being able to run locally, which webcore cannot.

You might also find the following FAQ of interest:

Thank you all for the quick responses! WebCore has my head spinning with all the possibilites - exploring that next! The Smart Lights Smart App is meeting my needs so far… I just got all confused because there are 3 or 4 different ways in the ST app to “automate” things, but it seems routines and smartapps are the preferred way and some of the “version 1” stuff is deprecated. Is that an accurate statement? For example, I had “turn these lights on when motion is detected” on the lights themselves (via the settings gear in the “Lights and Switches” “Shortcuts” in the dashboard (in the app). I have removed all those and moved them to the Smart Lights Smart App. Is that what most are doing and the way ST is wanting us to?


1 Like

My setup is brand new, but this is exactly how I am setting everything up. I am using Hue bulbs in lamps and decorative fixtures with Z-wave on/off toggle switches wired in parallel (switch does not actually turn lights on/off) and z-wave dimmers on the remainder of my lighting (recessed, hallway, etc). I motion sensors in each room.

I use the Smart Lights Smart App to control the lights based on switches and motions. So if I go into a room in Night mode, the motion sensors will turn the lights on to 30%, with hue bulbs at 30% red. If I hit a switch, they then turn on full warm white, regardless of “mode”. The one thing I have to troubleshoot is when I turn a light on full, then the motion sensor reduces the brightness or changes the color during night mode.

My turn off to webcore is not the complexity, but rather that it is evaluated off-site. I prefer to keep my system operating locally as much as possible.

1 Like

Pretty much. Some of the old stuff was moved to Smart Home Monitor.

There’s a table in the official support knowledge base that shows deprecated versions and the recommended new stuff:

1 Like

I disagree, I use modes all the time. I used it with webCore and working on tieng that to blue iris fusion (profiles = modes).

webCore is amazing. You will always learn something and it challenges you.

Just one thing I’ve noticed - I used Smart Lighting to trigger some exterior lights on based on presence detection in the evening, and then had a separate Smart Lighting applet to shut those lights off based on power allowance. Once “Routines” became available I created 2 routines for the same set of lights “exterior lights on” and “exterior lights off” - and then updated my applets by removing the specific lighting loads and calling the aforementioned routines instead. What I’ve noticed is the power allowance feature regarding turning those lights off no longer seems to work. Am going to blow away those routines and just go back to manually specifying each light within each Smart Lighting applet