How have you moved from just a "smart home" to an "automated home"?

I’ve got plenty of devices and scenes set up in our home that can be manually triggered (via physical switch, or hitting a button in the Vera app).

But I’m trying to get to the “next level” of truly AUTOMATING things so we don’t need to interface with the system as much.

I’ve done things like schedule thermostat based on time/presence, schedule outdoor lights based on sunset, and a couple “unlock doors and turn on lights when we get home” type scenes. But I know there’s so much possibility.

I would LOVE some advice and inspiration on how to keep going. Again, my goal is to move away from manual triggering, and set things up so “the house just works” without much human input. (Forgive me if this has been extensively discussed, I had a hard time finding a lengthy discussion about this)

Thanks so much,

This is an ancient thread but you could start there to get some inspirations.

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So in the spirit of moving towards an automated home, how would the assembled brains solve this problem. I’m assuming reactor will be involved :smiley:

Between 0445 and 0600 and the bathroom light is on for more than 10 minutes, trigger an action (well scene)
If the light goes off before the 10 minutes elapses, do not trigger the scene.

Any thoughts?



I’ve done this by writing a custom module (lua) for the entire house, in which we have logic that does things like “turn off the entertainment center socket if the power consumption is below a certain threshold and there has been no movement in the living room for a set period of time” or “turn on a welcome light which ramps down within a defined time period when someone (who belongs in the house) approaches the house at night (leverages the ping sensor)”, the list goes on and on.

It was just a nightmare to inject a load of custom lua into the scenes and from time to time during upgrades my scenes would get corrupted. With a custom module I can see everything at a glance, and making additions is as simple as editing and uploading.

It was a lot of work to move from scenes to one large Module but IMO it was worth it. My scenes are just used to hook into the custom module from different triggers, the scene action is a dummy action and there is literally one line of code in the lua of the scene to call into the custom module. This can probably be improved upon but it works so well that I have not been motivated to put further work into it.

Easy with Reactor:


  • Date/Time: between 0445 and 0600
  • Device State: Bathroom light - Status - equals - 1 Condition sustained for at least 600s

Under Activities run scene when True


D’oh. Thanks!


I’m interested in this also. My latest smart feature: flood sensors in each potted plant, I have a job that runs every day and if the flood sensor hasn’t been triggered in more than 7 days, it sends me an alert and plays a ‘water plant’ recording via my pi speakers


Cant you just use the countdown timer to start a scene or do nothing depending on state of device (lights in this case) at the end of timer ? For instance, i use the count down timer for freezer and fridge in my garage. I installed door contacts on both doors and when the door is opened it starts the timer, if contact closes within a set time nothing happens (door is closed) and it just resets timer. But if door isnt closed like someone left it opened and timer reaches 0 then an alert is sent to let me know so i dont lose a freezer full of meat again because my kids left door cracked a little. In your case have light trigger the timer, if its turned off in the 10min time frame it does nothing and resets. But if it goes past your 10min time then it can trigger whatever you want. Im not sure why everyone wants to write code to accomplish things, its hard to get people to move to home automation (which means more devices and solutions for all of us if more people are using it) when we make it seem like you have to be a computer programmer to accomplish the simplest tasks. It seems alot of “help” here is more for people to show off how technical they are instead of making things simple and intuitive. But its late and maybe I complain missed what you really wanted to accomplish, if thats the case I apologize to all. Im just tired of every thread being a discussion on what code to write. Pretty much everything in my house including a few appliances and oven are automated with verasecure and existing apps (i made it a point to keep it easy so i could help friends and family move into 21 century) accomplished it all. And yes yes i know the code for the apps needed to be written but if we would build on what we have instead of everyone trying to re-invent the wheel every-time something needs to interact with something else mote people would get on board.

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To update with my progress on moving toward automation, right now I’m working in Reactor for two projects…

  1. When any smart lights are turned on in the house, they are automatically dimmed to an appropriate level based on time of day.
  2. HVAC is automatically set based on current and future weather. This will help eliminate my need for separate seasonal rules, and will be especially helpful in the spring/fall when the weather rapidly swings between freezing cold and sweltering hot. Much less manual adjustment needed.
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