Vacation Home - Wakeup & Sync upon Arrival Button (Return from Away Mode)

The purpose of this post is to document what was done and ask the forum if there is a better way to have solved this problem.

Assuming a vacation home is in Away Mode, the home should control certain smart devices according to a set of routine and time-based rules when the property is occupied (Mode =/ Away) with occupancy/Mode being determined programmatically based on the time of day a Home/Away button is pressed. And, subsequently, the home should synchronize any/all applicable devices into the appropriate routine settings for the time of day when the home exits away mode via button press.


  1. Created a RM rule with the 'Scenes per Mode' action to "wakeup & sync" relevant devices upon button press (which is my proxy for occupancy/arrival)

  1. The 'Scenes per Mode' action required that I create scenes for each of my 4 modes with the appropriate device settings having been captured

Screenshot (3)

  1. I used the Mode Manager App feature called 'Set Mode with Buttons' to set Mode to Away

  1. After reading certain related posts, it seemed to me that the Mode Manager App feature called 'Use time settings for Return from Away Mode' may not be entirely reliable so I did something different. I created a global variable to shadow/track what mode would be applicable if the Mode was not set to Away and I use that variable to set the Mode variable when the Arrive button is pressed

Screenshot (4)

So, I'm wondering if this makes sense and if there is maybe a better way to have done this. Because, I see a maintenance headache when changes are made and the basis for the underlying logic goes out of sync.

My reading material may be dated so I would be interested to hear experiences with the Mode Manager App feature called 'Use time settings for Return from Away Mode.'

Thanks in advance!


I’ve been using it without issues. It’s a lot simpler to setup and maintain than what would be required in rule machine to replicate similar functionality.