How do you use modes?

I'm considering changing my mode setup so I can take advantage of the "per mode" settings in a lot of the built in apps. Right now I only have 3...Home, Away, and Night. Away is when everyone is gone, Home is when anyone is home and awake, and Night is when everyone is asleep. This doesn't lend itself to "per mode" settings, so I have a ton of RM rules to handle different times of day mixed with different combinations of people sleeping and awake.

I'm looking for some best practices or success stories, trying to decide how to set up the new mode system. How are you using modes? Anything you would change if you were starting over?

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I did not go this route at all. This is available in HSM so don’t see a need for Home, Away, etc.

Rather I went based on time for when I wanted actions to happen automagically with lighting. I have the following modes:

Sleep - controls house from being awake and only automates certain dimmed lighting for navigating safely through house.

Early Morning - allow the kitchen to be an exception to the Sleep mode.

Day - normal operations unless Illumination LUX Global Rule says otherwise. Change default turn off after delay to 3 minutes.

Evening - same as day but delay off increased for WAF.

Night - control hallway lights near young kids rooms and delay off to 1 minute.

So basically dim control and also delay off control.

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I don't use Mode at all. Ever. Not in ST, not in StaplesConnect. (To be honest, StaplesConnect forced mode upon you. Every Automation included a mode selector and I had to select them all to equal not using Mode.)

Everything I build is time + sensor based. Like everyone else, I have sensors for motion, doors/windows, lux, and presence.

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Same as csteele.

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I largely mirror Aaron's approach, everything is very much TOD based. I do use modes, Day, Evening, Night and Away. They are easier to interface with Alexa. "goodnight Alexa" sets the mode to Night, and the VS "Normal" is triggered. VS "Normal" sets the house to the normal condition for the mode/TOD. (nice for going to bed early) Partying past the normal house shutdown? carry evening out till the guests are gone! Up early? "alexa good morning!" sets day mode, and the VS "Normal" sets the house per time of day/mode combo. ( a couple of modifiers in the Rules for early up, mostly dealing with light levels -vs- TOD. The last evening was spent with the input from the "power outage" thread, and my poor hub has never seen so many reboots to ensure that the house would recover after a system start. I had the rule fired on system restart check and set the mode, then fire the VS "Normal". There could be an advantage to the HE coming up and setting itself to the correct mode. I feel that if there was a power outage long enough to cause HE to reboot, the house would come up politely and properly "for me". (after a 5 min delay to allow sensors and switches to boot) The best part of the process last evening, was getting to use existing Rules and just firing them in the order I needed, with, of course, the addition of a couple of more specific scenario Actions/Rules. Some tweeks did apply to the existing Rules, but that was half the fun! (they just got better)...