Turn on light when sensor opens but only if these conditions exist


Is it possible (without using CoRE) to have an open/close sensor turn on one set of lights but only if all other lights are off?

I’d like for one set of lights to turn on when the front door opens, but if my wife is already home and the lights are already on, I do not need another set of lights to turn on when the front door opens.

Core would be the best way to do this. I know you said you didn’t want to use Core, but this is what is called a “stacked conditional,” A “do this while not that.” Core does this extremely well, and there are many community members will be glad to help you set up the rule (which core calls a “piston”) to do it.

If you really don’t want to use core, you will have to use a mode that gets set when the other lights are on. It’s not impossible to do that, but it’s going to be super complicated to cover all the possible situations. Or write your own complex Smartapp.

Or if you willing to buy another device, you could use a luminance sensor to determine if the other lights are on and then combine that. But again it’s going to get complicated plus that method costs more money. (The challenge in the scenario you describe is that it sounds like you want to test more than one light and that’s where Core is very good and most of the other choices are not. Testing for luminance lets you treat all the lights as one event. )

What’s your reason for not wanting to use core for this?

Also, do you have an iOS phone? SmartRules is a $9.99 paid app that might be another option. It’s much simpler than core, but it still allows a two level conditional which the standard smartthings features do not. Basically a “do while” structure. But you do have to pay the license fee and it is only available for iOS. A lot of people do like it, it has a nice graphical interface, so it might be something to consider:


There are some other very rube Goldberg approaches that might work by creating a virtual presence sensor and turning that on and off depending on whether the other lights are on or off. That’s what we used to do before core was available. But again, it’s going to end up being more complex than core is.

So I’m not saying you have to use core, choice is good, it’s just definitely the most straightforward way to do what you’re describing now, and it’s free. :sunglasses:

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Agreed. I was just looking at setting modes and maybe using it with Lighting Director app and fiddling with the ‘Turn off this scenario after motion stops or doors close/lock’ and the ‘Only during the following modes’. You would still need to trigger maybe with a routine the mode change. Core is your best bet.


BTW, welcome.


Thanks, Alan and JD!

I was under the assumption that, because CoRE ran in the cloud, it may be slower. But it does seem to be the best for the solution I am looking for! I’ll check it out.

The more pieces you use laying around to put something together, the more ways you can introduce something that may not work. I’ve been in the ‘community’ (like an M. Knight Shyamalan group ) for a few months and using Core for that amount of time. I’m satisfied for what you have to do, it will work solid.

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Everything runs in the cloud except for the Official smartlighting feature and a few bits of smart home monitor. And those only run locally if the specific devices they reference are also eligible to run locally. All of the other suggestions that I made would require custom code, and all custom code runs in the cloud. Even tapping an icon on the official mobile app to turn something on and off requires a round-trip to the cloud and back.

For now, SmartThings is essentially a cloud-based platform, and Core should be as quicker or quicker than pretty much anything else. :sunglasses: