Vacation/Away Lighting Schedule

When I am in “Away” or “Vacation” mode, I would like my lighting schedule to be the same as my “Day”, “Evening”, and “Night” rules. Really, the only things that would be different are security and random indoor lighting (Vacation Lighting Director) or “behavioral lighting”. I know that I can just create a Room Lighting rule with similar times as my Modes set up in Mode Manager and adding all the lights to duplicate my actual Day, Evening, and Night rules. Has anyone leveraged their existing scheduled rules to avoid duplicative rules?

My initial thought is “pressing” virtual buttons when mode changes and having my scheduled lighting rules trigger on “button press”. Then, at the very least the lighting behaviors will be same and my “Away” and “Vacation” rules just “press buttons” on a schedule.

If I'm understanding correctly, you are wanting to utilize five modes (Day, Evening, Night, Away, and Vacation)? If so, based on what is described so far, I would just create virtual switches for Away and Vacation "modes" rather than use Mode Manager. These virtual switches when active would trigger your random indoor lighting and/or "behavioral lighting" but not affect the regular lighting schedule of your other modes. I wouldn't use buttons since they are generally stateless compared to on/off of a switch.

Otherwise, with app cloning, it's fairly easy to recreate your normal lighting schedule and have it only active on the modes Vacation or Away.

I'm unclear if we are saying the same thing here or not, so I'll add an example scenario.

Day = 7 AM (Mode Manager) --> Turn OFF Porch light
Evening = 7 PM (Mode Manager) --> Turn ON Porch light

If my "Mode becomes Away" and I'm gone for like 2 days, will my porch light turn off at 7 AM and turn on at 7 PM still, following the Day and Evening lighting rules? Or will I need to create a separate a "Away" rule like:
"Mode is Away and Time is 7 AM" --> Turn OFF Porch light
"Mode is Away and Time is 7 PM" --> Turn ON Porch light

Not sure if that's clearer.

Your porch light would be in whatever state it was in when your mode switched to Away. If you were in Day mode and then switched to Away, your porch light would be off. If you were in Evening mode and switch to Away, your porch light would be on. It would not transition unless you had rules for what to do in Away mode.

Okay! That's what I figured. So, my idea with the virtual buttons would apply to Day, Evening, and Night and specifically only used for triggering the lighting schedule rules. This was the idea I had:

  1. Create a virtual 3-Button controller.
  2. Create lighting rules triggered by the button press on the virtual buttons and turning on/off its specified combination of lights:
  • "Day Lighting" rule triggered by Button 1
  • "Evening Lighting" rule triggered by Button 2
  • "Night Lighting" rule triggered by Button 3
  1. For my regular daily schedule, I'll have the following rules:
  • Trigger: Mode becomes "Day" -> Action: Press Button 1
  • Trigger: Mode becomes "Evening" -> Action: Press Button 2
  • Trigger: Mode becomes "Night" -> Action: Press Button 3

Edit: Mode Manager handles the transition between actual system Modes. "Day" and "Evening" are time-base. "Night" is with a physical button like Pico or "Good Night" Alexa voice command.

  1. I'll have an "Away" rule(s) that are "Time is _" with the Required Expression of "Mode is Away":
  • Trigger: Time is 7 AM -> Action: Press Button 1
  • Trigger: Time is 7 PM -> Action: Press Button 2
  • Trigger: Time is 10 PM -> Action: Press Button 3

I'm not sure if that's overcomplicating it or if there's a simpler solution. I do not want to have to duplicate the lighting rules and manage the lighting states in 2 different places. So, for example, if I wanted to add another light or edit a light in the "Day Lighting" rule, I would want to only have to change it in one place regardless if my Mode was "Day" or "Away".

How are your normal modes (Day, Evening, Night) currently transitioning? Basically, how are Day, Evening, and Night modes being activated?

You're asking what causes the "Mode to become Day, Evening, or Night" for the rules in #3, right? For that, Mode Manager times for Day and Evening. Night is with a button like Pico.

Then I would greatly simplify your ideas about Away and Vacation. Rather than think of Away and Vacation as "modes" in mode manager, I would have away/vacation be a virtual switch that turns on and off. This way would allow you to never have to adjust day and evening modes. You could create a basic rule that at 10pm pushes the pico button that corresponds to evening mode (but only if the virtual switch is on).

The above keeps your lighting as normal. You can then create other rules based off the status of the virtual switch.

With the above said, your idea would still work if you really want Away/Vacation as modes defined in Mode Manager.

I haven't gotten around to setting up HSM yet, but don't I need the separate system Modes in Mode Manager for that to work or can they also work off the virtual sensor for Away and Vacation?

That detail matters. :slight_smile: If you are planning to use HSM, you'll need a Mode for away.

Sorry haha. I need to do a little bit more research on Ring and Hubitat. We were gifted a Ring alarm system as a home warming gift. I know there’s an unofficial Ring integration, but I’m not sure if the path I’m going with is using:

  1. Controlling Ring devices within Hubitat using the Unofficial Integration and HSM (maybe?)
  2. Control all the Ring stuff outside of Hubitat and just use a virtual switch to pass onto Alex to change the “Guard” mode on my Ring. The virtual switch would be set based on the Modes I’ve set up within HE.

2 seems the easier path, but not sure what the advantages/disadvantages are.

take a look at this app i ported..

Isn’t that only for the “random lighting”? I was going to use that when in “Vacation” mode to turn on certain lights inside to make it look like someone is home.


After playing around with different options, I wanted to answer my own question.

Goal: Schedule lights by Mode while maintaining the same lighting schedule throughout the day when in Away or Vacation Mode. I was trying to avoid having to maintain the light settings (ON/OFF and Dimmer levels) in the two separate rules: "Lighting - Normal" and "Lighting - Vacation: Schedule")

I was sort of in the right track with the buttons, but I've been able to simplify it using Scenes. Rather than rules controlled by a button and having my 2 Scheduled Lighting Rules press a button, I created 3 Scenes: Lights - Day, Lights - Evening, and Lights - Night and set the ON/OFF & Dimmer levels.

I then added these scenes to my 2 Scheduled Lighting Rules. "Lighting - Normal", which varies lighting by Mode for Day, Evening, or Night, and "Lighting - Vacation: Schedule", which varies lighting by Time Periods when Mode is in Away or Vacation. Technically, you don't even need 2 rules if you don't mind varying your lights by Time Periods instead of Modes when you're at home. In this case, you don't need the scenes and just do everything in Room Lighting. The reason I have them by Modes is because my "Night" mode isn't scheduled by time in Mode Manager, but when we are in Vacation Mode, we want the "Lights - Night" to be activated by time.

Download the Hubitat app