Smartthings: I'm sick of this sh*t! Shape up!

SUPER helpful to have those examples, and great fuel for improvements we can make. I get the sense that there are many things that are perhaps too difficult to find in the app, which have caused the community to discover funky workarounds, and then others replicate those workarounds and on and on in a bad cycle. Thank you for your comments.

For your specific 2 examples, here would be my advice:

  1. For Christmas tree lights - check out Hello, Home and phrases. Configure to turn them on when you wake up with Good Morning, turn them off when you say Goodbye (leave for work or whatever), turn then on when you return home with “I’m Home”, and off when you say “Goodnight”. You can set these modes to trigger automatically based on a schedule, when you leave or return home, when there is no motion for a period of time, or whatever.

In my case, my Xmas lights (and similar for many others) turn on in the morning automatically when “Good Morning” gets triggered when anyone walks downstairs and triggers any 1st floor motion sensors after 6 AM. The lights turn off when the house says “Goodbye” automatically when my wife and I are both out (via presence tag and mobile phone geofence). They turn on automatically when we come home and house senses our presence and says “I’m Back”. At night they turn off automatically when the house says “Good Night” automatically whenever there is no motion for 15 minutes on any of the 1st floor motion sensors after 11 PM. 100% done with Hello, Home and feels magical.

For #2 and your basement lights, we should certainly get dimming into the Lights and Switches module (silly that we don’t). For now, you could create custom phrases in Hello, Home that don’t trigger a Mode change but rather just set a range of dimmers the way you’d like them to be set. As an example, in my house “Good Morning” sets all of the main living area lights on and dimmed to 100%, and “Kids Bedtime” turns many off while setting some specific bulbs and dimmers to 30%, and “Movie Time” dims them a specific way, etc.

With regard to Modes, keep in mind also that you can have apps that only run when you are already in a certain Mode. So my lighting examples might only run that way while I’m at home, but when I’m away on Vacation (a custom Mode I set up) none of that stuff happens and instead the house uses random lighting schedules to make it appear like we are at home while also running a bunch of security related apps.

I hope that’s helpful to you!