Best way to set modes when presence doesn't work

The description above says it all. Just set up the hub and I can't get presence modes to work. I think everything is setup correctly, but modes don't change upon presence. I only want 3 modes home-away-night. Home is for when I am at home and don't want alarms to go off. Night is for when I am asleep and want alarms to go off. Away if for away. I used presence and Alexa to run scenes and change the mode, but I am not sure how to set the up. I could use some help here. I hope I don't sound stupid, because I probably am.

To help others help you: I'd be more descriptive on the "setup"

Did you use a combined presence solution?
Screenshot of your rules for this?

You don't really give anything to work on, and rest assured Alexa is not a requirement for it to work

1 Like

Hey David

I use Life360 on both phones, been very reliable for me. Next is Modes, I use the same 3 as you for the same reasons.

Created a good morning routine so when I tell Alexa Good Morning, she turns on some lights via HE and sets mode to Home. If we both leave or the first to arrive, mode is then set to Away/Home. When we go to bed, we tell Alexa Good Night and she turns off lights, sets the Ring alarm to Home and sets Mode to Night

Been working for months this way for us

Good luck

Hey Thanks. You've done what I am trying to do. Still setting it up. If I get it right it may help with my presence device problems. I have seen geolocation on my devices, but I don't remember setting up a geofence on the hub. Is there an option for that?

In the Hub's console:
Settings > Location

Hey David
I also use life360. It's pretty easy to set up. I use 4 modes to keep my home in harmony and the HAF (Husband acceptance factor) at nominal levels. Home/Away/Quiet/Night
I also use a presence solution, but am in the process of reviewing it because that life360 has been pretty spot on as of late.
I use rule machine to change my modes so that I could step outside that box
Home - at least one of us is present and both of us are out of bed
Away - both of us are away form home
Quiet time - based on modified cell phone chargers that trigger this mode. One phone docked means one person is in bed (or napping) - keeps the lights in the bedroom from blaring bright they are blue at 50%, the fan turns on and adjusts according to temperature, the hall light doesn't trigger, the bathroom only has a light strip at 50%. The kitchen/dining lights don't turn on.
Night - everything shuts off. Indirect cabinet lighting stays on for a nightlight in the kitchen/dining, the bedroom lights don't turn on at all. Bathroom light strip is 25% triggered on motion.
In the morning when the hubs gets up, house goes back to quiet and lights interact in a muted way as not to wake me up. When I get up, the house will fully interact.
I base my lighting automations on the mode mostly, except for the basement. That interacts 100% 24/7 as there is nothing to disturb down there. I base all other automations on our activities and not so much on the mode. I suspect much like you are doing. The house just needs to know what I'm doing. Makes it much cooler to visitors.
Good luck. Happy to share more about my automations if you need ideas. I have some cool rules running my kitchen as we have light strips above the cabinets that kick up when motion starts instead of blaring the bright lights just to get a drink of water.

Just wanted to throw in that we have voice commands available, but we don't call for them. We don't use a dashboard either. Things just have to happen at our house. That was a standing edict from my husband.

1 Like

Nice, document everything you have done and send it too me and maybe I could figure it out. For now I will limp along the best I can. Maybe I will learn something along the way.

Have you watched the Mode Manager App video tutorial, yet?

I have been using Mode Manager for years now, and it works great for my needs. As long as you have a reliable method of determining 'presence', it works very well. I use Life360 on all of our phones as a reliable means of determining presence.

Once modes are changing automatically per your needs, they can be used to Arm/Disarm Hubitat Safety Monitor.


My wife and I use Life360 for presence and it works very reliably. My phone also indicates presence, but it is very flaky. Our kids are in their 20s and stay with us sometimes. They found Life360 to be too invasive of privacy. For them and other occasional visitors, I have a global variable number_of_guests which I edit manually via a dashboard. Fortunately, that doesn't need to change frequently. Away mode is based on both my wife and I being not home based on Life360 and number_of_guests being zero.

My wife has a noise machine that she likes to use when she sleeps. Even though it doesn't use very much power, a power moniting smart plug is able to detect it. I use that to trigger the transition to night mode. I use either a switch at the base of the stairs being turned on or 7:30 a.m. to transition out of night mode. What might work in your household depends on your lifestyle and habits.

1 Like

Yea, I watched it, still working on it.

1 Like

I have solved my problem for now. I made modes change with virtual switches and rule machine. I will have to figure out the presence stuff. It seems like a lot of you use Life360. I am under the impression that Life360 was used a lot before the mobile app was developed. In a perfect world we shouldn’t have to use it any more because of geofencing and the mobile app.

Absolutely agree with this statement. Unfortunately, for many of us, the geofencing in the official Hubitat Mobile App is not nearly reliable enough. Hopefully future improvements will correct this.

I don't use L360. I don't like the battery drain or privacy issue. I use a combined presence model, using Hubitat phone app, phone wifi on my network, and Smartthings arrival sensor (fob).

The logic is that the phone radios turn off at various times for power savings, at least mine does that. So you cannot rely totally on either GPS or wireless. The fob is fairly reliable, but still not 100%.

So the idea is that if ALL leave the network I am gone. If ANY arrive, than I am home. You can combine any of these in any combination that works for you. If you want to integrate L360 too, you can. I use the jwetzel1492 combined presence, along with his wifi presence app (works with Android too), but bptworld has some really solid apps too.

Thanks a million for the iPhone wifi Presence Sensor info. I loaded it up made a couple devices and reserved some IP's. Seems to be working well.


Ok Yoda - you gotta tell me how you set that up! I am in awe!