There were a few responses at the time, mostly of the, "I don't find a need for modes" variety (although I thought there was one excellent use case for modes included).
Since I was sitting here today, pondering how best (if at all) to use modes, and another two years have gone by, with (I presume) a lot of new members out there who weren't around for that initial discussion, I thought I'd throw the question back out there:
How do you use modes?
Have you added any additional modes that have proven particularly useful to you?
I mainly use them for my motion lighting. In the motion lighting app you can specify different settings per mode.
For example, I have my living room lights turn on to a cool white and only 30% brightness during my afternoon mode. And a warm white at 50% brightness during evening mode. Finally they turn on at 2500k at lowest brightness during night time (i.e. a night light). They don't come on at all during the morning mode.
The modes I have set up are:
Morning - Sunrise to 11 AM
Afternoon - 11 AM to sunset
Evening - Sunset to 11 PM
Night - 11 PM to sunrise
Can't wait to see what others may have cooked up for their settings. I feel mine are pretty basic.
Mostly for a couple things. Light dim levels at various times of day. Allowing automations and lights to turn on if we are home or not, or suppressing motion lighting late at night. Also, I use it for notifications (if doors unlocked when away), for things like away mode triggering Alexa Guard.
Day and Home (sunrise to sunset)
Day and Away (sunrise to sunset)
Night and Home (sunset to 10 PM)
Night and Away (sunset to 10 PM)
Sleep/do not disturb (10 PM to sunrise)
Maybe a bit overly complex, but with two people both working swing shifts, and other odd schedules (hello, work from home 2020), I needed something a bit more flexible than what was predefined. It works for me, but maybe not for everyone.
I almost am thinking of doing a couple more modes, maybe movie night where things all work, but are dimmer than normal, a cleaning mode where things are kept on full brightness, and/or maybe a work mode where again things are disabled or enabled to make the house quiet while I am online conferencing. Not sure about any of these, but it sure would help in certain situations.
Bruce already had a heart attack with my existing modes, I am sure he would have a massive coronary if I added any more. LOL
I should have mentioned, I am using Rule Machine to do this. At the time, Mode Manager didn't work right, or maybe for my use case it did not react correctly. So I just wrote a rule instead. I am not sure if/what was wrong with Mode Manager, or why it was being stupid in my install. I just never revisited it after using the rule. It has been running for almost 2 years in Rule Machine and working great.
Ah yes, of course! I almost forgot to mention that when the house is set to Away mode all lights turn off automatically. No need to remember to turn everything off before leaving!
To reliably use our phones as a presence sensor I use the Combined Presence app, which uses the phone being disconnected from WiFi AND it outside of the geofence to trigger Away. And it uses the phone being in the GeoFence OR it being connected to WiFi to stop Away mode.
I use it in conjunction with the iPhone WiFi Presence Sensor app (works with Android too).
I'm having issues in Mode Manager where using an "Earlier/Later of..." two times isn't resolving correctly for me. I've started plugging my rules into RM, but would prefer to be able to use it myself. Of course, I could always write my own version as an App, as well.
I quite like this rule, and was thinking about something very similar, but have been wrestling with how to do "earlier of/later of..." two times easily. I.e., I'm in the central United States, so this time of year, when the sun is setting ~5:00PM, I want that to be the start of "evening." This summer, when the sun isn't setting until 8:00PM, I want to set "evening mode" starting at 6:00PM. Very similar with my Daytime modes.
I was disappointed in RM that I'm not able to do something along the lines of:
IF (CURRENT_TIME >= MAX(7:00AM, SUNRISE))
I know, of course, that I could do this with a custom app, but still.
I simplified it a bit. My existing rules include conditions.
Lux goes above 500 and time is before 8am (latest sunrise is 7:15am here)
Lux goes below 150 and time is after 4pm (earliest sunset is 5:15pm here)
Also, this is southern AZ, so clouds and rain are a bit of a novelty. I doubt that it rained more than 6 times in 2020.
Early Morning - weekdays at 6:30 am
Morning - sunrise +30mins + illuminance above a set level (as measured by a number of external sensors)
Afternoon - midday
Evening - sunset -30 + illuminance below a certain level
Night - triggered by me saying ‘goodnight’ to Alexa
I use illuminance during "day" on my hub. If the illuminance drops below a certain threshold then the background lighting turns on in my rooms when it goes above a threshold it turns off the background lighting.
This rule does have a condition and if a room was manually set the background lighting actions are negated.
Mine are fairly simple, although all my light automations will check the mode before executing.
06:00 - Change to Home from Night
If all leave set to - Home Alone (so I don't trigger certain lights to come on)
If they come back, set to - Home
22:00 - Change to Evening, this sets all lights to be 20% when executed
Goonight routine - Sets to Night and turns all off and sets HSM.