Some newbie learning questions about automation

Hi all,

I’m hoping someone can direct me in the method of creating a certain type of automation.

Using presence sensors (in this case, 2 mobile phones - wife and me), I want to trigger the ‘I’m Back’ command. I’ve set it up for when someone arrives, downstairs lights turn on. Easy enough.

However, I only want it to occur when it’s getting dark, or is dark and not after say midnight. Is that possible? I don’t see the option for any additional logic.

Also I’m totally not understanding the difference between Home/Away/Night modes. What on earth do they do? I can’t see any way to edit their behavior.

Thanks :slight_smile:


You can set this up within your I’m Back trigger under Additional Settings by applying the Someone Arrives logic.

1 Like

@Gogorichie I think the OP has that part figured out.

It’s the attempt to add a time restriction that’s causing an issue.

For this automtion that you’ve described, if the only action that you want to have happen is turn on lights, then I’d suggest you use the smartlighting smartapp, not a routine.

You can still create an automation with smart lighting that will turn your light on when one or more people arrive home, but smart lighting also has “more options” that allow you to set other restrictions. In OP’s case, it’s possible to restrict the automation to occur only between sunset and midnight.

Routines are useful for somewhat more complex automations, because they can perform other actions, like change thermostat settings, unlock doors, disarm smart home monitor etc.

1 Like

Got it. Is that therefore working as AND logic? ie now I have

Automatically perform “I’m Back”! when:

  • Someone arrives
  • At sunrise or sunset?

Or is it OR logic?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Ah okay that’s really useful Mark, thanks. How does this all link into the Modes though? Still confused on that one!

I could be wrong, but I think when you set those triggers for the routine to automatically occur, the routine will go off when any of them occur.

In other words, it’s OR, not AND.

I think they’ve missed a trick there, haha. I’ll try your smart lighting idea instead!

So based on this I have another question.

How does Phone Presence work? My wife is currently out shopping so I thought I’d turn it on. I’ve had 2 alerts that she is home, and she’s still about 5 miles away!

This support article explains modes, routines and their differences.