Steps to have patio lights turn on upon my arrival in new app?

I’ve got one foot in each ST app now, reluctantly. I was avoiding the new one but the old one’s presence detection of my cell phone died maybe a year ago, so I’m finally trying to get the new app to work. And I cannot figure it out.

How exactly do I enable something simple like, if I am gone and then come home, the patio light turns on? Or vice versa.

I’m pretty sure I have the location and presence of the new app enabled properly. And I did an automation that I thought would do what I’m asking here, and tried other tweaks, but it won’t work.

Thanks so much!

There’s an issue (or feature depending on how you see it) in the new ST app automation builder. It doesn’t trigger based on “events” for presence sensors. E.g. it doesn’t trigger when someone arrives or leaves, but instead it checks for if someone is present or absent. That may be the reason why you aren’t able to get it to work using the Automation tool.

Alternatively, if you have access to RBoy Apps, try this app. One of the many features it to turn on a switch when someone arrives. It also has an option to turn on lights if it’s getting dark outside when someone arrives.

Do you have a screenshot of what you set up already?

It should be pretty straightforward as long as you chose location.mode as a trigger and not security.mode

That’s not what the official support article says.

I thought what you are describing is part of the new “pre-condition” feature. But not just regular presence.

Or am I confused?


The actual behavior is different for presence sensors in the new app from what is described. It triggers automations based on current location vs events.

I may be missing something here, but wouldn’t Smart Lighting do the job? Mode changes Away to Home, turn on lights.

Here is my screenshot. It ran once today seemingly correctly, but didn’t a second time I left and came back.

Thanks for your help!

PS I have blurred it, but if anyone is at home checks for my and my wife’s cell. I also have a light turn on, but that was beyond the scroll of my screenshot.

I have continued testing and it maybe is working. I think the problem may have been competition with similar routines set up in the classic app. By removing those routines in the classic app, things appear to be working as expected now.

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@derekwbeck - I am just starting to play with phone presence, so let me confirm … is Away set as a Precondition in your automation?

I do use Away as a precondition for my return automation. So, if the departure automation fails for any reason, the Hub will not be in away mode, and the return to home automation to switch it would then also fail.