Smart Lighting - someone arrives

Quick question, does the “someone arrives” portion of the Arrival/Departure in smart lighting activate everytime someone arrives or only after everyone leaves and one person comes back.
I am setting up the hallway lights to come on when one of us arrives home ONLY if all of us had left.
I don’t want it coming on when I arrive home if my wife is already home.
If not I can fix this with a mode but just wanted to know how it works regularly.


The key to the routine is “someone”. For example in Routines:

Good bye: everybody leaves
I am back: “someone arrived”

Extra notes:
good bye: tie it to SHM to arm away in away mode
I am back: tie it to someone arrives (I am back). Home mode.
Goodnight: arm stay (I ditched the sensors. Only outdoor locks/contacts) night mode.
Good morning: disarm. Home mode.

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Yeah, I got the wording but I guess to me it could be taken either way. By itself, “someone arrives” could mean when anyone arrive (I leave and come back but my wife stays home). You are right though, together it implies that you would use them together and it would mean when someone arrives home to an empty house.
I just wanted clarification as I can see benefits to both scenarios.
I had it setup before using modes and HH phrases but am just getting into Smart Lighting since I just setup my new hub and trying to eliminate some of the not needed smart apps I had.


For me the most important features are presence via modes and then lights…if the use cases work, it works or if it fails. Good luck! Everything is pretty much based on modes triggered by presence one way or the other.

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Sounds good, I will base it off of mode changes which I am going to setup anyway.

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This should happen for your good night whereby good night set the mode of SHM to arm stay…pay attention to the security system line.

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I was looking at “Someone Arrives” to turn on my porch light if it was in the evening hours. How close do you need to be to the front door for the hub to sense you have “arrived”?

Just got three of the GE wall switches while Amazon had their 15% sale and looking for applications.

We are all using iPhones for presence sensors.

The minimum range for phone detection is 500 feet. If everything is working correctly, SmartThings should be aware of your presence well before you reach the front door. :sunglasses:

I leave my porch light on all night but do the same with my hallway lights so when we get home and its dark we have a light on when we walk in.
I have mine set to the smallest range and sometimes it will turn on when I am still down the road and other times I can be in the driveway and getting out of the car and it will turn on. I am fine as long as it is on before we open the front door :smile:

I wrote a SmartApp I named Lights After Dark that uses the will turn on the lights between sunset and sunrise when someone arrives. I was not thrilled with how convoluted it was to do it out of the box with “Routines” (what used to be called modes) and lighting events.


Thanks for the app link. I was wondering how hard it would be to configure all the rules into just the swithch without help from a SmartApp.

You could do it this way (I believe)

  1. Create a mode for “Day” and a mode for “Night”
  2. Create a routine to change to “Day” at sunrise and another to change the mode to “Night” at sunset
  3. Go to the settings for your switches and select the switch you want
  4. Select the “Turn on when people arrive” and configure that and make sure you set “Only when mode is” to “Night”

There are some downsides. There are no overlapping modes, so if you use modes for other things, this may not work for you.

Good luck

Nice work! Consolidates the functionality of AND totally replaces the deprecated ‘Power Allowance’ and ‘Turn On Only If I Arrive After Sunset’ smartapps (and you’re right about the “convoluted” bit).

Outstanding. Thanks for the code! A huge feature addition would be to leave the light on, if it is already on similar to the way the Smart Light Timer app works.

Thanks for the code! This is exactly what I was looking for.

Hey swindmiller, did you get your initial question resolved? When “someone arrives” turn on the lights but not when someone is already home?

You are responding to a thread which is three years old, and many things have changed in that time.

But the short answer is you can set it up to work whichever way you want it to.

If you only want the lights to come on when the first person comes home, then put a mode restriction on it so that the automation only runs when the mode is “away.” Then whoever comes home, have the lights come on and the mode change to “home.” That way when the second person comes home, the mode has already changed, and the lights don’t change.

Alternatively, if you want something like porch lights to come on whenever any of the people arrive, you just set up one automation for each person and you don’t put a mode restriction on it.

Thanks for the quick response. Exactly like you said I just want the light to turn on when the first person comes home, do not run any routine if somebody is already home.

Sounds like for this use case I need to use the modes, HOME and AWAY.

Just to confirm, the turn on lights will be a smart lighting configuration under " SmartApps" and changing of the MODEs will be a normal Routine that I need to create separately?

Yes, that should work. :sunglasses: