Scenes & Modes (and scene bugs)


What are best practices for scenes vs modes? should you encode actions into scenes vs having RM rules that trigger on scene changes? Scenes don't seem to work that well, any way to fix?


I have 4 modes and 5 modes


  • Away (All presence sensors leave)
  • Daytime (Sunrise occurs)
  • Evening (Sunset+offset occurs)
  • Sleep (pico button pressed)


  • Sunset (Transition lights from Daytime to Evening)
  • Night Away (Fewer lights on in the house after dark when no one is home)
  • Play (Dimmer lights than Sunset, focused on creating atmosphere for watching tv and getting ready for bed)
  • Bed (All lights off except bedside tables)
  • Lights Out (all lights off)

Some other things besides lights happen in the scenes, like closing blinds, turning on or off specific air filters or whole house fans, set thermostat temperature, open and close HVAC vents. Some of these things are in the scene others trigger from RM due to a scene being active.

  1. Am I doing this right?
  • Why not just use modes for everything?

What are best practices for scenes vs modes?

  • What is the reason for using scenes at all vs rules that are triggered

Should you encode actions into scenes vs having RM rules that trigger on scene changes?

  • Right now things seem to work mostly well, although occasionally scene changes based on modes just don't fire

Scenes don't seem to work that well, any way to fix?

  1. Set the light
  2. Click capture button
  3. Sometimes the scene will swith to (ON) sometime it'll stay on (Not Set)
  4. Click Capture button again, most of the time it will switch to (ON)
  5. Activate a new Scene, about half the lights will switch to no scene state for new scence may switch to (on) may stay as (not set)
  6. tap activate button AGAIN, rest of lights will switch over, scene will switch to (ON)

If anything in the scene changes (e.g. manually adjust a light) scene will become in active (not set) which mostly makes sense but makes scene based rules hard, since one you change anything set by the scene you're now in no scene

Maybe I am wrong but they are totally different things.

Modes are basically either occupied, or unoccupied. Some add more complexity like day and night or sleep. Modes can be used in rules, or other apps where you want to know if someone is home or away, and whether it is day or night.

Scenes to me are used more to set a particular set of lights a certain way. You want to watch a movie, you set the living room lamps to 20%, turn off another light, and so on. You might have another scene like I do for when the garage door opens, it turns on the front porch light, garage lights, and entryway light to 50%.

So I guess it depends what you are doing. I use both, and I would guess that most intermediate or advanced users do too. If you had enough modes to cover all your proposed scenes, it would be crazy complicated. The mode app really isn't written to be used this way.

I am not an advanced user of scenes, but I believe they are more efficient than having many rules, or many actions in rules. They are also easy in the sense that you can go around and adjust everything "just so" capture the scene, and you are basically done.


Not sure if you have seen this...

And a good demo by Bruce in Hubitat Live:

Lots more valuable movies on their Youtube channel.


And just one more. Here is an example where I use modes. Modes are nice in the sense that everything tied to a mode all switch or work at the same time, but they don't have to have the same action.

I have a near exact rule for the other bathroom, and for various other switches around the house. So at night, if a motion sensor trips, it does something different than if it is daylight.

And another. Ignore the red lines, I was using this as an example for someone else too.

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I use Motion Lights extensively and have per-mode rules like those you shared.

problem begins when you want to do per-scene rules, so from my original post

Mode : Night
Scene : Play

Play dims the kitchen island light I want to make a rule that says if there's motion AND the active scene is Play in the kitchen then increase the brightness by +20 but the second the light increases in brightness then the scene is no longer active !?!

Right, that is how I understand it is supposed to work. You don't have the same scene once you have changed it, so it doesn't do the same thing as the old scene.

I am not sure what the solution is to what you want to do. There is probably an easy solution, but my brain isn't in the mode (no pun intended) to sort that out tonight.

Hopefully someone else can give you some ideas in the meantime.

Maybe @bravenel can confirm for @jared.zimmerman that this is the way modes work?

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I’m also not sure when the best time to use RM vs a scene is, but I have an anecdote that may or may not be helpful. I have a couple RMs that turn on the entertainment ctr and switch the Logitech harmony activity to streaming tv, and set the the lights to dimmed. Not sure if I’m doing it the best way, but I did notice a couple of things that made me do one over the other. Both are set up as pico triggered events, I wanted the lights to respond only if HE mode was evening/night, but I wanted the entertainment center to respond no matter the mode. Therefore , I set up two different RMs with the same trigger, one conditioned on mode, the other not. Also, I wanted to bark at Alexa, so I duplicated all of this as a scene ‘movie’ that she responds to. However, my second RM is different again in that it triggers the entertainment ctr outlet and the streaming activity right way, then waits 18 seconds and triggers the streaming activity again. This was important because if the outlet was off, it takes awhile for all the av equipment to boot to a point where the streaming activity command is effective, but if it was on, I don’t want to see the 18 second delay, so I fire the command twice 18 seconds apart. My ‘movie’ scene essentially does exactly the same thing as these two RMs combined, but as far as I can tell there is no way to get around the 18 second thing outside of RM. The reason I keep the scene setup too is because of its easy import into Alexa. Am I making a mess? 🤷🏻

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