SmartThings Community

Skybell not turning on lights in SmartThings (want a timer)


(Eric Anderson) #1

I’ve added skybell hd thru the Marketplace - Things - Safety & Security - Cameras - Skybell - Skybell HD - Connect Now. Now I would like to turn on lights for a few minutes when the doorbell is pushed while dark out. I went to SmartApps - Lights & Switches - Smart Lights, which “would” allow lights to be turned on after sunset when the doorbell is pushed but it doesn’t work. I would also like the ability to turn off the light (if it wasn’t already on) with a timer.

Edit: The light doesn’t turn on when the button is pushed. You can see the door bell reports that the button was pushed under recently.

When will SmartThings fix this? I see in things that the doorbell reports the button is pushed.

I would also like the lights to turn off after a set period.

Also the Skybell app doesn’t report any “integrations” even thou it is connected to Alexa and SmartThings, under options.


#2

Am I correct that you can in fact set it up so that when you push the doorbell button the light comes on and what you’re really asking is how to have a timer on that light?

Are you saying that you cannot use smart lighting to set it up so that when the doorbell button is pushed the light comes on at all?

If you’re just asking how to set it up as a timed light. There are several ways to do that with smart things, but none of them are intuitive. That issue doesn’t have anything to do with skybell, it’s just the way smartthings works.

But first let’s make sure that we’re clear on what the problem is. Can you set it up so that just pressing the doorbell button turns on the light that you want to turn on? Or is that just not working?


#3

I don’t have a Skybell, so I can’t check this, but if it shows up as a Motion sensor in smartthings, it’s very easy to have motion trigger a light to come on for a specified number of minutes and then go off again using Smart Lights.

If instead, you want to have the light come on when the button is pushed and smartthings recognizes that button as a “button controller” there are three ways to do it.

One) you can use the power allowance option in Smart Lighting, but if you do so, the light will always turn off after that amount of time no matter how you turn it on. That might meet your use case, or it might not.

  1. see the article in the community – created wiki on how to use smart lighting to create a virtual timer. This uses one virtual switch and three smart lighting automations.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_create_a_virtual_timer_for_a_light

The result should be that when you push the skybell button, the virtual switch comes on. The real light comes on because it is following the virtual switch. The virtual switch turns itself off after X minutes because of the power allowance automation. Then the real light turns itself off because it is following the virtual light.

So this is clunky, but it works. :bulb:

  1. use core. CORE is a very sophisticated community created rules engine. (It calls and individual rule a “piston.”). People in the CORE peer assistance thread can help you with that.

Core has a more complex set up then the method in two) above, but the rule itself will be easier to maintain since there’s probably only going to be one thing to keep track of.

So there you have three different ways to put a light on a virtual timer, depending on exactly what you need. :sunglasses: Plus the motion sensor option if that is available with skybell. Hopefully one of those will work for you.

( i’m too tired today to pull the full set of screenshots for this, but hopefully it will be clear. If not, someone else can help answer your questions.)


Automate using gps, certain time, turn on then auto turn off
(Eric Anderson) #4

It seems like smartthings has the capability, but it doesn’t work and the option is missing to turn off switch.

Guess I will create virtual switch. Is the core piston engine native to smartthings or does it run on another server.


#5

You should see the option to turn off the switch on the screen you get when you click “what do you want to do?”

The article in the community – create a wiki on creating a virtual timer was just updated today with more details, so you might take a look at that and see if it helps.


(Eric Anderson) #6

It is either turn on or turn off, no option to turn on and then off. I would expect the off options to be in the more section at the bottom but they don’t exist.

SmartThings has added the basic tie in, but nothing useful to do. And is missing advanced features that access the temperature and humidity sensors.

Alexa at least gave me the ability to silence the ringer, SmartThings nothing. Can’t even turn on a light without standing on my head while saying my abc’s backwards.


#7

The way it works is really weird, and completely nonintuitive, but it does work.

You have to set up one smart light automation which turns it after a specific period of time. The following post has a screenshot of every step in that process.

Then you set up a second smart lighting automation that turns the light on with your trigger of the Doorbell.

Those two smart lighting automations together will result in the following: you push the doorbell, the light comes on, then the light turned itself off after the amount of time you specified in the first smart lighting automation.

No question it’s not intuitive, it’s not easy to figure out, but it’s nothing to do with the doorbell-- it’s exactly the same thing if you want the porch light to come on for 15 minutes when your presence is detected arriving home.

If you’re willing to take the extra step of creating a virtual switch and use three smart lighting automations, you can set up a virtual timer separate from the light, which gives you a lot more flexibility to use the same light in other ways.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_create_a_virtual_timer_for_a_light

So the options are there, they just aren’t all there at the same time. :scream: It takes two automations to set up a turn on and then turn off again.


(Eric Anderson) #8

This is like what I had to do to get things to work on the razberry and reminds me why I left…

Fix it SmartThings!


(Chris) #9

Sorry to hear about the trouble. Have you reached out to support about it?


(Shane Schwarzman) #10

You could also set a timer for the light by using the app that’s already in the smart app called (Power Allowance) under lights and switches.

So the steps to do what you wanted would be

  1. Make a virtual on/off switch named (Front Door Light Button) or whatever u want to call it.
  2. Go to Smart Lights and automate what lights you want to come on based on that switch turning on/off. Also make sure u leave the “Turn Off” feature on.
  3. Setup the Power Allowance app that lets you turn off a switch after an X period of time.

Very simple to setup.


#11

That’s exactly the same method we’ve already been discussing. :sunglasses: Start with post three above.

I’m not sure I’d call it simple to set up, though, since it requires three different smart lighting automations plus a virtual switch. It’s straightforward, but nowhere near as simple as the option for when you turn a light on with the motion sensor. That would let you turn the light off again after X minutes of inactivity, and you can do it all with one lighting automation and no virtual switches.

That’s why I wondered if the skybell is also recognized as a motion sensor and if using it that way would fit the OP’s needs. Because that one is easy to set up.

People have been asking for a one automation option with a timer for trigger methods other than a motion sensor since smart lights was first released, but it just hasn’t happened yet.

As you point out, it can definitely be done, but it does require setting up multiple automations to do so.


#12

so now in 2017 with skybell hd and latest firmware, it still does not cooperate with smartthings for simple tasks such as using the button as a trigger to turn on a light outside.

the setup is there and you can select all the proper functions steps etc but when executing it, it never works.

the only way i got this to work is using IFTTT but has a delay.

The only thing I havn’t tried is using Core, will this let me do this simple task and eliminate having to use IFTTT?