Using virtual switch or modes instead of STHM?

I’m thinking of doing away with using smart home monitor ( or whatever it’s called now ) and using either just modes or virtual switches to determine whether we are out (away), night, morning, etc. I feel this would be the most logical way to have ST do certain things more easily.

Trying to make things run locally and I believe both modes and virtual switches run local, so which one do you think would be the best for this going forward?


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SmartThings Home Monitor manages Security, Leak and Smoke. For security, it can set; Arm/Away, Arm/Stay and Disarm. If you remove STHM, you would lose the ability of the system response features it provides such as text, push, email of events and the actions you set for it to take.

Location modes (Home, Day, Night and whatever additional modes you have created) are separate from STHM.

So if you are looking to do things more easily, removing STHM may not the best decision unless you are not using leak, contact and smoke sensors. Otherwise you are going to need to create many Routines to manage the features that STHM provides.

I’ll let others discuss virtual switches and local.

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As long as the Location Mode does the job for you I would favour it simply because it is a one off that needs special handling and is intended for the job.

If ST introduced more global variables, which is sort of what the Location mode is, then they would perhaps be an alternative.

When we use virtual switches for this sort of thing we are usually doing so as a workaround and there can be compromises. One is that a virtual switch used as a flag looks broadly the same as a physical switch to apps. It is painting with too broad a brush.

I don’t use the Security Mode in any apps or automations outside of those directly implementing security solutions, with the exception of ActionTiles. Other apps and automations don’t need to know about it.

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You are limited to a total of 200 routines per location. STHM does not count against that, so one of the first questions is whether you have enough routines left in your quota to make it all work. :thinking: (also 200 devices.)

Otherwise, using STHM or not Is up to you.

There are edge driver virtual switches and those all run locally. However all ST notifications always require the cloud.

GPS Geopresence, including with the ST app, requires the cloud, but there may be some custom presence options, like going by the unlock code on a smart lock, that don’t. That all comes down to the details,

I’m not sure about location mode.

So you can probably stop using STHM if you choose to, but you can’t make everything you’ve described run locally.

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Thanks for the input folks.
Yes I’d likely need more routines which I’d be happy to set up but as mentioned, the 200 limit is ridiculous.

Don’t need it for smoke now as ST doesn’t support it now, I currently used nest manager but groovy and all that…:

Don’t use any leak sensors.

The only thing I really use it for it when there’s any motion to set off some lights etc when in away mode. i do however use Arlo cameras and Alexa to do some things when we are out so these would still be reliant on the cloud but I could set these up as separate routines so that at least the local ones would still work if no internet. Again, the 200 routine limit is a right pita

My main annoyance with SHM is it relies on the cloud and sometimes I’ve seen it not switching to disarm when arriving, whether or not this was to do with presence detection is irrelevant because I can’t come out of arm/away if ST or the internet is down at this time. So using a virtual switch to tell ST I’m back is easy enough to switch that off with a local button if this occurred again.