Should I use a scene or an automation?

I recently migrated to the new app and a v3 hub. As many other users have noted, routines are not available. As I create new functions, I find myself wondering whether to use an automation or a scene. For example, if I want all of the thermostats to set to a higher temperature in the morning, I used to have an “I’m awake” routine.

Looking at the Automations screen, I see that it is is generally an if/then affair (with the “if” being something like a certain time), and includes the option to add “conditions”. Automations also can be set to run or not. Scenes, on the other hand, do not appear to have any trigger, and can thus only be activated by the user when they wish.

It seems to me that many scenes could be automations and vice-versa. Why not just create the ability (in addition to run on/off that already exists), to manually run an automation and thus do away with the idea of a scene altogether? That would make things less confusing.

What are some examples of things you have chosen to run as scenes, or as automations?

Scenes can be activated by Automations, including smartlighting.

The choice of activating a scene will only be offered if you have created at least one scene.

This is pretty common in the home automation industry, many smartthings competitors and partners have the same idea.

A scene is simply a snapshot of a selection of devices/values at the moment in time. Zwave refers to it as a “to do list“ for the various devices. So the entry light turns on to 100%, the living room light turns on to 50%, the kitchen light turns off. That’s one scene.

Then you can activate that scene based on any of a number of triggers, including a particular switch coming on, a voice command, someone sitting on the couch, etc. :sunglasses:

It’s true that in the classic app a routine had both the trigger and the settings. Now the automation has the trigger and the scene has the settings.


If I have a few lighting settings I like to use regularly I make them into scenes. Then I can reuse the scene from various different automations, buttons, voice commands etc, without having to repeat all the “set Light A to colour X” etc in lots of different places.