Thoughts on Modes

I just started using it and haven’t had any problems.

Well, none that aren’t my own fault at least… :slight_smile:

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@tslagle13 Very cool! I’ll try it out tonight. Is there any chance this SmartApp will be available through the SmartThings SmartSetup? I’m a homebuilder and we include SmartThings with our homes so it would be ideal for our customers if they didn’t have to worry about creating an account on and making the SmartApp by copying/pasting code as it’s probably too complicated for most.


I just loaded Tim’s Magic Home App.
I deleted my old Modes and Hello Home Actions.
I’m now using 4 Modes: Home Day, Home Night, Away Day, Away Night.
and 4 Hello Home Actions by the same name: Home Day, Home Night, Away Day, Away Night.

My question is setting up the Hello Home Actions (Hello Home, Gear Symbol):

Under "Automatically Perform _____Mode when:"
Everyone Leaves- I have Away Day & Away Night
Someone Arrives- I have Home Day & Home Night

When asked "Don’t Automatically do this if I am in one of these Modes is it best to put:
For Action:
Away Day- “Do not do when in” Away Night, Home Night, Away Day modes
Away Night- “Do not do when in” Away Day, Home Day, Away Night modes
Home Day- “Do not do when in” Away Night, Home Night, Home Day modes
Home Night- "Do not do when in"Away Day, Home Day, Home Night modes

Is this necessary or will the Magic Home App take care of this step?
If I should enter these “Do not do when in” modes, does it make any difference if I enter the Mode that’s named the same as that Action? ie list Away Day mode under “Do not do when” for the Away Day Action…

Confused yet… :smile:


No need to do this. Magic Home will take care of it for you :smile:


I have submitted it for official support.

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Made a dedicated thread for me app here:

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@themightypope , have you made any headway on this?

It sounds like the best, most flexible solution short of SmartThings doing it native.

This would basically be an environment device that we’d include in every bit of code we write to store a list of global state variables, right? Sounds perfect.

Brandon, I see you have been using Tim’s Magic Home SmartApp. How does it compare to your 20-30min setup method?

Magic Home works great for me except for when my phone presence leaves and returns in the middle of the night. That’s the only time I’m in a Mode that is not automatically activated by magic home (Home Sleep).

At Sunset, I have Magic Home change my mode to Home Night.
At 10:30pm, I have ST change mode to Home Sleep until Sunrise when Magic Home changes it to Home Day.

Just after 11pm the last three nights my phone briefly left and returned causing the mode to change from Home Sleep to Home Night unwanted. **Magic Home does not have a "do not perform this mode (Home Night) if in these modes (Home Sleep), like your old long hand method does.

It’s not the phone leaving (I don’t get an unwanted Away Night) it’s the phone returning (Home Night) that is messing this up. The false alarm threshold of Magic Home is preventing the unwanted Away Night but does not work when the phone returns (Home Night).

If you did not have any problems with your long hand method, I may go to that since the “do not perform this mode when …” option is available.

I increased the ST presence circle around my house three times already and do not want to increase it anymore in an attempt to prevent this issue.

@Dave, good question. The first thing I should say is that we actually use the SmartSense Presence Sensors rather than our phones (for the sake of phone battery life). Also, I have an alert setup for whenever my fiance arrives/leaves home (not to spy on her, but to trigger a specific Tasker task on my phone). There have only been one or two instances where I remember receiving false notifications that she left/arrived home during the past 6 months or more that I’ve had the alert setup.

Secondly, I don’t use any other modes than the 4 main modes we’ve talked about. That said, I’m not sure I’ve ever really experienced the issue you’re describing. It does sound like using the “Don’t automatically perform this action when…” functionality could solve your problem, but I’m not sure if @tslagle13 plans to add this into his app. Tim?

It’s already there.

I think i was mis understanding this whole time…

just use my restriciton that’s built into the magic home app. you’ll be good.

If I use the “Only when mode is” selection in Magic Home and select all my modes except Home Sleep that would work except Magic Home will not be able to change my mode at Sunrise to Home Day correct?

At sunset Magic Home sets my mode to Home Night.
At 10:30pm ST changes my mode to Home Sleep until Sunrise when Magic a Home changes it to Home Day.

I will fool with it again tonight. I already have my ST presence circle around my house set for almost 2miles and still getting false presence info.

Might be time to swutch to a fob :frowning:

Hi Dave,
Like Tslagle said before, you have to add the restrictions within his app, not within the mode edit screen.

The “restrictions” in this app (Magic Home) do not stop the mode from switching when I need it to (from Home Sleep to Home Night, when my phone comes and goes on its own).

The 10minute delay stops the mode from switching from Home Sleep to Away Night when my phone briefly departs. But does not stop the mode from changing from Home Sleep to Home Night when the phone RETURNS.

As I mentioned above, if I fill out the “Only when mode is” with all modes other than my Home Sleep mode, that would keep it from from switching to Home Night but it would also keep it from running at Sunrise and prevent it from switching to Home Day like it should.

To fix the problem this app needs a "Do not perform this mode (Home Night) if in these modes (Home Sleep). Other than that it’s a great app.

For over a week now I have been using @triggertact long hand method of this app and it has been working perfect and preventing the unwanted switch from Home Sleep to Home Night.

I’ve begun going down the rabbit hole of modes to further refine my home automation setup, including installing the Magic Home app (which is pretty awesome). As with others, I’ve determined the way modes are currently treated doesn’t work well. I think it would be best to enhance modes by allowing me to create multiple mode types each with their own list of values, such as:
Mode Type 1 = Presence
Values = Home, Away, Babysitter, etc.

Mode Type 2 = Time of Day
Values = Morning, Day, Evening, Night, etc.

I think of it like demographic attributes of a person. Rather than forcing me to combine every combination of hair color and eye color as a list of mutually exclusive values, I would prefer to create two attributes, each with their own list of values.

Again, as with others, I would then like to create rules to set mode values using ‘if/then’ logic as well as ‘and/or’ condition comparisons. I won’t pretend this is easy to implement, but doing so would open up a whole new world of possibilities that would be much easier to create and maintain than my current (and quickly) growing list of mutually exclusive modes and actions. I know some would suggest learning how to code SmartApps, but I’m not a developer by trade and don’t see that as a feasible solution.

Same comment as other. There is a way to name Modes but I don’t see the mechanism to do that. I don’t even see the definition for Night and Home seems to override this anyway.

These are just simple text strings. In the mobile app, go left to your location, then click the gear icon, and near the bottom are all of your modes. You can edit the names there if you want, or add additional modes.

Wow this is a long thread, I really hope the SmartThings project manager / developers are paying attention.

Modes are too restrictive as-is and won’t work in simple configuration. Realistically having anything like “mode groups” or the ability to be in multiple modes simultaneously won’t work though. The implementation & logic is too complex and inconsistent to be useful in a product targeted at the masses. However, most if not all situations would at least be possible if the available modes were user configurable. Sure, default it to have “Away”, “Home” & “Night” for starters, but allow the user to add / remove / rename modes as desired.

For example, I may have a guest stay in my home for a short while. When I’m home that’s “Home”, but if I’m not home and they are in my home I can’t use the default “Away” mode because that would trip the security sensors and set off the alarm. But I don’t want the system to be in the same “Home” mode that applies when I AM HOME. Because my guest has no business getting into certain areas (such as my home office) that I have sensors on and, if they do, I still want that to set off an alarm. There is no way to allow something like this with the 3 default modes. But if I could create my own modes I could set this up no problem.

You can change or add modes now.
This pic shows my 5 modes:

Click the gear symbol at the top of your page, the page I have shown.