Scenes Beta!


A routine treats all lights as a single group, so they all get set to the same dim setting, color, and color temperature.

A scene lets you give each light its own individual setting.

There are other ways to do that, of course, particularly webcore, but this is just matching some of the basic functionality in other home automation systems.


Oh in that case then not cool, not sure I’m finding scenes useful in my case for now…

will need to read other’s use cases for scenes to understand its usefulness.

(Bob) #143

It’s just my take on it.
I may be completely wrong, who knows…
As for scenes, I cannot find a need for them in my setup.
Probably with more complex and ambitious setups scenes are a great addition to ST.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #144

My recommendation is this:

  • If you used Routines to just turn on or off a set of Lights (or other Switches); then you should move that to a Scene.

  • If the Routine used a Trigger, then create a new Routine with that Trigger, but have it call the Scene instead of the individual lights.

In other words: A Scene is a great way to organize. It abstracts the switch and light preferences from whatever is Activating the Scene. Right now a Scene can be activated by: Icon Press, Smart Lighting, and/or Routine. (And Routines can be triggered by an ActionTiles Routine Tile or Routine List Tile, which is how our customers can already use Tiles to Activate Scenes now).

(Ron Talley) #145

Scenes is a needed feature. I think of it as a subset for Routines, which admittedly I hardly bothered with before Scenes.

In my home, lighting is everything! Can’t be too bright in the night time and has to be bright enough in the daytime. We have a mixture of 3000kv, 5000kv and 2700kv bulbs. We have several RGBWW setups and a couple of Hue Color Floods.

Having this much variety can give many different moods and settings. Scenes make it easy to manage the various moods for each room. Yeah, you can do this with virtual switches and webCoRE but having the ability to do it quickly within the app is handy.

Den we have:
Ceiling Light
Mantle Light
RGB Lighting Behind TV
Lamp on Dimmable Outlet
2 x Hue Blooms

I could say: Alexa, set ceiling lights to 20%, set lamp to 10%, set bloom 1 to ambient green; set bloom 2 to dark ambient green, set tv light to blue, set tv Light to 21%, set…

Or I could say: Alexa turn on Ron TV

The beauty of Scenes is that each family member may like the room set up differently but many of the settings overlap.

We all like the ceiling light at 20% so there is no need of redoing that because there is already a Scene called Den Ceiling 20%…

Once you find that perfect light setting, just store it in a Scene and then use Routines to trigger the Scenes.

Routines are more rigid.
For Example:
Ron TV Routine also has these going on:
Turn On Fireplace
Turn Off Den Automation
Turn Off Hallway Automation
Turn Off Kitchen Automation
Turn Off Various Lights
Turn On Fire TV
Set Downstairs Heat to 72

That’s a lot going on just to watch TV but we have about 4 different TV watching Routines!

I like it and I am actually using Routines again because this is actually faster than using webCoRE!



good real world use case…
scenes are starting to click*** for me.

***see what I did there. :sweat_smile:

(The Viking AKA "Holy Crap You're a Giant!") #147

The only issue with the current implementation of Scenes is that you can’t pre-set the lighting by normal means, get everything set up, and then capture the state.

Imagine this implementation:

You have your devices organized by room. You set your lights in each location that you want to capture to the desired settings.
You then “Create new scene”. The options come up for both manual creation and capture. You choose capture, check the boxes for the rooms you want to be part of the scene, and hit Done. All devices in those rooms get captured at their current state, and you now have your scene.


veddy nice, veddddy nice.

that would be a killer feature implementation.

(Ron Talley) #149

I do this with webCoRE with store attributes to local or global store. It is an extremely useful tool. It would be soooooooooooooooo freaking cool to have that feature in the native Scenes Section which should be in the Automation Section and give me back my freaking Family Tab in the Home Section


Thanks for pointing out that distinction JD. Scenes being able to drill into individual device configs is an advantage. I haven’t used routines in so long (other than for modes and various changes that happen on mode change) that I forgot about the all or none restrictions. So, I can see this being beneficial to non-CoRE/webCoRE folks.

But, all of this just makes me wonder why we have this arbitrary differentiation between scenes and routines anyway. Routines are potentially automated Scenes with limited configuration. Scenes are non-automated Routines with limited device scope. Ughhh.

(might be my fake name?) #151

If anybody has the lifx app, you know how scenes work…with lifx bulbs…its kinda like that.

(Robin) #152

In an ideal world, scenes would have triggers and routines could be scrapped… but imagine the uproar if that happened, everyone screamed about loosing the Family tab, ST couldn’t easily replace routines outright (forcing everyone to rebuild!)

(Ron Talley) #153

They could have just added the drill down options into Routines…


I guess they could give us the ability to have Scenes and Routines locally-run (with the addition of more light DTHs), then I wouldn’t complain at all. :slight_smile:

(Jimmy) #155

Scenes don’t use the normal smart app architecture, either, so i’m sure there are some technical reasons why the two can’t be combined.


“Scenes” is the term that’s been around in home automation for at least 30 years, and pretty much always means the same thing: the snapshot end result with different settings for different devices. It’s not an “if then” statement. Just the end result.

Z wave uses it this way, Lutron uses it this way, HomeKit uses it this way, control 4 uses it this way. That’s 4 different network protocols, but all with the same basic concept of a scene.

Scenes can be activated just with an icon or a button controller or can be automated by including them in some automation rule. But the scene itself doesn’t have the rule built into it, it’s just the end result.

I’m sure SmartThings could do it a different way if they wanted to, but I think it’s actually a good thing if they follow common industry practice in this.

One of the first questions we often get from people who are coming in from a different home automation system is “Does smartthings have scenes?” And now it does. :sunglasses:

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #157

Great idea! … a couple notes:

  1. The SmartApp “Scene Machine” does exactly this; but doesn’t have an “editor” to modify/tweak the scene using your phone.

  2. During the Beta, SmartThings mentioned that “capture” was a Feature under consideration.

(The Viking AKA "Holy Crap You're a Giant!") #158

If only Scene Machine were compatible with ST’s scenes, then you could implement your scene and embed it within the ST Scenes.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #159

I’ve already made a Feature Request that “Routines” and “Scenes” should be 100% interchangeable inside SmartApps.

This would give ALL EXISTING SmartApps immediate “Scene Activation” functionality.

Yes indeed… It would have been really, really, really clever if SmartThings had implemented Scenes as an extension of Routines instead of a whole new object. Regardless, my suggestion could be implemented today if they just “merged” the Scene and Routine lists in SmartApp calls.

( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #160

SmartThings needs to get a head-start into using their new “SmartThings Cloud” APIs for internal use before 3rd party developers dig in too much.

So … yup.

But Routines are not “normal SmartApps” either. They could have been combined; but I’m backseat driving here.