It doesn’t work nearly as well as the other option we had. The Labs one has to be manually triggered off and on (which makes no sense based on the title) and you have far less control. Doesn’t have sunset option, only set time intervals, lots of less abilities compared to what we have.
Again, biggest shortfall is if you have it on, it comes on regardless if you are away or not. If this at least worked only when SmartThings was in away mode it would be usable. Lacking, but usable.
I’ve been using TAustin’s virtual contact sensor connected to Alexa Guard and been working pretty well. Something I’ve come across is I originally tried to use a switch, but that didn’t show up as something I could trigger Alexa guard with, so went with the contact sensor. Now when I leave home and the hub goes into a way mode I get the notification saying the contact sensor is open since it being open is what I use to trigger Alexa. I know I can select which sensors are used in which modes, but I like to just keep them all selected so I don’t have to remember when I add new ones, but if that’s the right choice not that big a deal. I could always inverse that and make it when closed, but then it stands out on the smart things side since it spends most of its life “not armed”. Does anyone know how to get the virtual switch to show up in Alexa or have another device type to suggest?
At the present time, Alexa routines can be triggered by
Echo brand button
Some lights and accessories attached to a hue bridge
But no switches yet.
Some community developers have created virtual devices which are a switch with a hidden contact sensor component. Those worked for a while, and then some of them stopped working and you had to pick the contact sensor option to get it to trigger an Alexa routine.
Best thing is to ask in the author thread for the virtual device edge driver that you are using to see what the current situation is.
Thanks, I knew that was an option, and ended up just doing that. My issue is when I add new devices I often forget to add them to the monitor so like to just keep All as the choice. Probably not going to add any I’d use for monitoring for a while so will just hope I remember.
Its the 3rd party developoers that made all the drivers and smart apps that made this platform so powerfull and useful. Now it looks like samsung just erased all their good work as well as all our work and killed smartthings.
So far the new system is unrelliable has very limited functionality and i see no indication that it is going to have anything near what we had before.
I haven’t used it all that much yet so hopefully someone else will chime in, but I’m finding kind of the same thing about the randomization. It seems to turn a few things on and off in like the first half to full hour, and then they just sit. I haven’t been away late enough to find out if it ever turns off, but I feel like someone else raised the same issue. At some point I will probably adjust the routine to disable it at like 1:00 a.m. and shut the lights off, just haven’t spent the time to do it yet.
My plan is to have a second routine that disables Alexa Guard and shuts off the lights. The first routine has a trigger around time and a virtual switch tied to away status, so as long as I get it right, it should kick back off at sunset in case I am away for multiple days.
Definitely clunky compared to Vacation Lighting, but conceptually I think it will work.
I made a workflow using virtual switches and the Virtual Appliance Mirror switches. It has been working well for turning lights off and on. It triggers at sunset if I am away and I grouped lights to mirror the status of different mirror switches.
Same exact situation with me. Very disappointed with Alexa Guard. I moved to a paid version, hoping that I’d be able to resolve this. But Amazon support was a big zero in helping, stating that they’d get back to me - and never did.
Others have suggested workable methods to automatically start it when leaving, or possibly stop when returning (as well as to disable it at a certain time, since it’s really dumb to have lights on during sleeping hours - its normal operation). But for me it usually turns on all the lights and leaves them on, even the lights that I regularly use (so a usage pattern would be available).
I’m always surprised when people suggest to use it as a replacement for that amazing Vacation app. I’ve wondered if they simply don’t have this problem for some reason, or haven’t really used it themselves.
Milan, thank you very much for your tip about this feature, which I hadn’t known before! Although I’m still looking for something that will randomly turn on lights at random times, this will be handy until I find it.
Has anyone been able to find a way to get the random light rotation, like vacation director?
I just can’t belive that with all the tech, Samsung don’t have any program thta allows this with the light eco system…
Interested as well. Currently I’m using a combination of virtual mirrors. It’s a complete cludge as compared to prior Vacation Lighting. Although I really do appreciate the work put into the virtual mirror driver… It feels like a workaround.
If you have a pro subscription to the third-party app, SharpTools, ($30/year at the time of this writing for the pro level), it has a randomizer, and one community member is using it as a vacation lighting Director alternative: