Vacation Mode / Randomize Lights?

If you live in the United States, it’s a built-in feature with Alexa. There’s a free tier and then paid tiers if you want more features. It doesn’t have anything to do with smartthings, it will work with any lights which are controlled by Alexa. It figures out your normal usage patterns and then re-produces those with some randomness thrown in.

Here’s a good how to article. For further questions, contact Alexa support.

Not yet available in all countries.

You can still write your own custom code for yourself, and even share it with other people. There’s just no longer a “marketplace“ section in the app.

There’s a whole section in the forum for people writing custom smart apps and device type handlers:

@mike5256 , It is not difficult and with the help of people from the community we all learn what we need.
You can start by entering in the smartthings page (IDE), with your samsung account and enter to Developer tools:

You will access to your devices, Hub, … in “Documentation” you have very useful information about what this page is, what can be done and what are the Device Handlers (DH or DTH), smartApps …
If it serves as a reference, I discovered it last October, reading in the community. Although it is said in the forums that this year it will disappear and hopefully replaced by another, it is incredible how easy to use and useful it is.
The links of the forums, which @JDRoberts put, will be very useful.
If you are interested, as soon as I have the app well debugged, I will tell you all the steps you have to do to install the app in smartthings and use it.
So far it works very well.


Awesome. Thank you!

Curious. I was able to add vacation light director from something I found, but not sure it is working? Is there a more current code? Or is it scrapped

@mike5256 ,
SmartApp “Random lights on-off” turns ON and OFF at random Intervals, one random device in every random Interval. You can select one or various lights or devices with “swicth capability” of your location.
This APP was created as modification of the original code of public SmartThing, SmartApp “Gentle Wake Up”

I put the link to a pdf guide when explain how to use the app:

If you are interested, I put the links to the smartApp at end of the steps to install the App in IDE:

  1. Copy the SamarApp code of the link
  2. Open your IDE page
  3. click on “My SmartApps”
  4. Click in “+ New SmartApp”
  5. Click in “From Code”
  6. Paste the copied code in the link into the blank app
  7. Click “Create”
  8. Click “Publish” and "For Me"
    (If the device handle “Gentle Wake Up Controller” has already been published for you, the following steps are not necessary)
  9. Click in “My Device Handlers”
  10. Click in “+ Create New Device Handler”
  11. Click in “From Code”
  12. Copy code from link “Gentle Wake Up Controller”
  13. Paste code and Click in “Create”
  14. Click “Publish” and "For Me"
    You are now ready to install the SmartApp in the SmartThings App as explained in the pdf guide.

In IDE “live logging” can see how calculate the next random interval and device controlled.

I have tested it a lot and it works well, if this is worth it, I’m glad.

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I installed your smart app and the “Gentle Wake Up Controller” DTH. I was able to create a randomized automation. A virtual switch showed up in the android mobile app but I can not open it. I get and error [Can’t connect to device. Check device and try again] when I try to open the device. Also t! here no on-off button on the tile like I see in you screen shot.
I can create and automation with the randomized virtual switch and operate it from the automation.

@Paul_Oliver ,
I don’t know what happened, it’s good for me, I have 2 now and I did several in the tests.

the controller is created in the cloud assigned to your location, it does not have to be assigned to the hub.
Open the Virtual Controller in IDE, it has to be like this.

Check that the DTH is published for you and the assigned DTH type is the one you created, the one at the bottom of the list. There is an identical one in the official list of Smartthings, with that it doesn’t even work.
Try change the versión of DTH to “Draft”, this do that DTH allways is the created by You.

I will see more things

My entries looked just like yours, but I had no control button and was getting errors when I tried to open a tile.
I tried toggling to different device handlers as you suggested, and I was able to get rid of the errors, and temporarily added an on/off button. But when I closed and reopened the ST mobile app the on/off button were gone.
So I started to look at DTH for virtual switches and I saw some differences. So I did some minor copying out of the virtual switch DTH and pasted them into the GWUC DTH, and that fixed my problem after toggling the DTH again. I created a new random switch after the changes and it also works.
The following screen shot shows my changes.

I know nothing about coding and this was just stab in the dark that worked. I suspect that 2 or 3 of the items I pasted in the DTH were not needed, but I works, so I did not make any further changes.
Thanks for your help.

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I’m glad it works for you!
I think if you delete all changes in DTH, it will work too.
Now I’ve seen that you already created it other virtual controller. :+1:
When you use it, if you see something that can be improved in the app let me know and we will try to do it.

Fantastic…i will try this tomorrow. Anything i need to be aware of? Any issues with this as of yet?

@mike5256 ,
To me, works perfectly.
In the previous posts, @Paul_Oliver he had some trouble creating the virtual controller, but then it worked fine.
if you have any problem tell me.
Important, do not forget click on publish for You.

I think i have it setup. I am using an automation to control the devices named Random Lights. A few questions. If I add my if and then statements, how do i do only from sunset until let’s say midnight? I just need to test this now.

Hi @mike5256 If you edit the previous post, it doesn’t tell me the answer and I didn’t see it until now. Click reply better.
You have 2 ways to do it:

  1. In the same automation you can put automatic shutdown after the time you want.

  2. Creating another automation with a shutdown conditions at the time you want.


@mike5256, if you are from the US, UK or South Korea and using an Android phone, then you can have a look at this:

It is a revamp of some of the old Groovy SmartApps.

Especially the “No worries while away” and “Gentle wake up”

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Your Random Lights on-off Smartapp works well. Thank you.

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You are wellcome,
I am very glad that it is useful to you :+1:

Hi Mariano (and all)! Yes, thank you for this app. I’m new to automation, and clueless on how losing groovy will impact me. Will apps like this just be gone? Only to be replaced by some non-Samsung independent developer? If so, so many custom apps will never be replaced because they are niche (like this one, MyQ garage opener,, Flume flow meter and others I have). Is that all true? Sorry for the newbie comment/questions.

You are wellcome.

I think that yes, these apps would disappear, but surely there are other users who will be able to answer you with more precision than I can.
Somes apps are availables In smartthings labs apps. Only for android and some countries

I’m sorry to say I spoke too soon. After a successful test of the app, I shut it down, and the next day my lights started going on/off unexpectedly. I setup the “rules” section (Time on, Time off), and suspected that maybe I did something wrong by reinstalling the app a couple times to try different lights. Likely I made a mistake, so I uninstalled the DTH and App figuring that someday later I would reinstall and use in automations instead to make sure I don’t screw it up. But then, a very strange thing happened! With the DTH and App DELETED, even removed from my IDE, my lights turned on/off today!! I would turn one off, and then 30 min later or so it would turn on again. How is this possible? Does the app send code or something to the device somehow and the device remembers this? The only fix was to exclude my lights from the hub, and then add them back in. All seems stable now. Anyways, I wanted to mention this because it seemed so strange. But to be clear, I suspect I made a mistake somehow, and will give it a try again (with only one light to be safe) using automations.