"System Changes Mode" vs "Set For Specific Mode" What's the Difference?


I was wondering if someone can explain the difference between, “System Changes Mode” and “Set For Specific Mode(s)”.

Thank you

In which context?

Well, right now I’m using a Logitech Harmony SmartApp that says, when System Changes Mode to “Away”, “Away PM”, or “Night”, start the activity, “Activity OFF” (It turns off my Harmony “Watch TV” activity). So I’m wondering if I should keep it like this, or if I should move from “System Changes Mode” to “Set for Specific Mode(s)” instead.

Different smart apps handle these sort of things a little bit differently. And use slightly different terminology. So that’s why I asked.

I’m not 100% sure about any particular harmony smartapp , but in general if a smartapp has the option

“when mode changes to…” Then that smart app will be automatically initiated when that particular mode change occurs.

However, if a smartapp has the option “when the mode is…” Or something similar the mode may just act as a filter on the smartapp such that it is available to run in that mode, but it will not necessarily automatically initiate without some other trigger.

For example, let’s say that I have a smart app which turns on my home theater when a motion sensor stuck to the underside of an end table next to the sofa detects motion. Further, I say that this should only run when the mode is Night.

Now I also have a routine which changes the mode automatically to “night” at sunset every day. And another routine which changes it back to “daytime” at sunrise.

In that case, at sunset, the mode will change, but the home theater will not yet turn on. The trigger event hasn’t yet occurred.

But when someone sits on the sofa after sunset and waves their hand past the motion sensor, THEN The home theater will come on, because both conditions have been met: the mode is night and the motion sensor has detected activity.

In the same scenario, if someone sits on the sofa at 10 in the morning and waves their hand past the motion sensor, the home theater will not come on, because both conditions have not been met. The motion sensor did detect activity, but the mode was not “night.”

In the other scenario, where the smartapp allowed a trigger of “mode changes to,” if I set it up so that when the mode changes to “night” the home theater comes on then it doesn’t matter whether the motion sensor detects activity or not. Assuming I have the same routines set up, at sunset every night the home theater would come on just because the mode changed to “night.”

Admittedly, those two examples probably aren’t that practical, I’m not sure if anyone would actually set things up that way, but they do demonstrate the difference.

More commonly would be if someone had a special mode like “movie time.” Then you might have some people who want The home theater to automatically turn on to Netflix as soon as the mode changes, but other people who wanted to wait until the motion sensor was also triggered.

Again, different smartapps may use different terminology, or handle these situations a little differently, but this is the general distinction between “mode is” and “mode changes to.” :sunglasses:

Thanks for your detailed explanation, JD. But using your example, what if I set, System Changes To “Night” and Motion Here, “End Table Motion Sensor”? Wouldn’t that achieve the same thing?

Probably, although again I’m not familiar with that specific Smartapp.

it might be that it would only trigger exactly at the moment when the mode changes and, say, an hour later when the mode was still night and the motion sensor detected motion the entertainment center wouldn’t come on. Because it was looking for that moment when the mode changes.

That is how some of the smartapos work. It’s really a distinction between whether you’re considering the mode change as a moment in time that will trigger The smart app or whether the mode is more of a phase that you might be in for a while.

But again I don’t know that specific Smartapp. It would be easy to test and see, just wait until 15 minutes after the mode had changed and then see if it triggers based on the motion sensor.

Thank you, JD

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