Sunrise Simulator

There are two things I need to know if I can do with the smart things hub before I buy it. And I need to know if I can do both of them when the internet is down.

  1. Sunrise Simulator. I want a connected bulb to come on at 5:00 am at it’s lowest intensity, and then have it slowly increase intensity till it is fully on by 5:30 am.

  2. Turn on outside lights 30 minutes after sunset and then back off 30 min before sunrise.

Both possible.

There are is a smart app which does a Wakeup. Think it’s called Gental Wakeup.

Then there is a sunrise/sunset timer for you location which you can offset, or you can install Rule Machine and do the same thing.

In short: both can be done with standard SmartThings tools. I believe they will run fine without Internet but not sure if the sunrise/sunset time will update if you have no internet for a long time.


Since they are as you say “standard SmtThings tools” I assume they will work without internet connection. I see how it might rely on internet to determine sunrise and set times but it doesn’t take significant processing power to calculate that with the device so it shouldn’t need internet connection. You can buy a timer switch for about $20 that can do sunrise and sunset all by it’s self so obviously it isn’t complicated.

Most of the power in SmartThings is in the cloud. So without Internet the hub is almost pointless. At current there are very few locally running services. They are improving it slowly but think of the hub as a gateway to the cloud.


1 Like

That is why I am very reluctant to buy any of these things. I understand the desire and the advantage having this connected to the internet. However I also understand the risks of having things like doors that can be unlocked from the internet.

What I don’t understand is why the developers of these products don’t understand is even without any internet connection there is potentially a lot of value in home automation type devices. And a device that becomes crippled just because the internet is down, is really just a toy.

Also if I were to ever have door locks connected to such device, I would want it to be disconnected from the internet so that I could only control them if I was connected to my local network.

Right now Smart Home Monitor and Smart Lighting are the only two apps that run locally and will work without internet. This also depends on your device using a SmartThings supplied device type. Smart Lighting could do both.

Scenario 1) This would be “ugly” since there is no start at X level and increase to X level over X time in Smart Lighting. You would have to create a new automation for every X minutes that says set level to X%. i.e. 1) Turn on and set to 10% at 5 am 2) set to 20% at 5:05 am 3)Set to 30% at 5:10 am etc. You would

Scenario 2) Much easier and very simple with Smart Lighting and a z-wave in-wall switch(es). Can be done with one automation in Smart Lighting.

Been said a thousand times in a hundred threads: SmartThings is a data collection, partnership, and platform services company, not a hardware company. There is very little money to be made in selling one-off fully local capable smart home hubs at $99.

How does requiring Internet connection make them more money?

Please reference:

(And several other Topics with the same or similar answers.).

That would then seem to indicate that they do make plenty of money on the hub and other connected devices. I would be surprised if it cost more than $20 to make the hub.

My guess on why the local functionality is so limited is, it is easier to develop test and fix problems if the code is executed on central server. And given the relatively small market this kind of product currently has the cost of the bandwidth required isn’t that significant.

My conclusion is it will take some more time before open and reasonably priced home automation equipment’s potential is realized.