Try This: A Car That Knows When You’re Home

You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when your family or pets greet you as you step through the front door? Well, what if your whole house could welcome you home? Now it can.

All you need is the SmartThings Arrival Sensor and either some compatible bulbs or lamps that are plugged in to SmartThings Outlets. Then, just use the SmartThings app to set your lights to automatically turn on when you come home. Here’s how:

  • First, use the “Add Device” feature in the SmartThings app to pair your Arrival Sensor, your SmartThings Outlet(s), and one or more connected lights from Philips hue, LIFX, OSRAM, and CREE with your SmartThings Hub.
  • Then, set up a customized “I’m Back!” Routine in the SmartThings app.
  • Next, select the lights or switches that you’d like to turn on.
  • Then, tap “Automatically perform ‘Phrase’ when…” and select the Arrival Sensor you’ll keep in your car, pocket, or keychain.

And… that’s it! Once you’ve set up your “I’m Back!” Routine, it will automatically activate whenever your Arrival Sensor comes within range of the SmartThings Hub. You can also manually activate it at any time by selecting its icon in the Routines section of the SmartThings app.

Welcome home!

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See more Entertainment and Convenience smart setups!

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  • Still learning the protocols, how’d you specify that they only come on at night? Sounds helpful though!

    • Off-Field Ltd.

      You’d include a logic. Say, if the car is at home and it is either 6.30pm or the light level (lux value) is below a certain threshold, then the lights should come up. I will begin a series on IoT in mid September and this concept was something I had shortlisted for discussion. My blog is at

    • Welcome home!

    • december weekly calendar

      Welcome home!

  • Sansira Seminowich

    I prefer to use the Smart Lighting SmartApp. I have it configured to turn on lights on the Arrival trigger “when someone arrives”. You can restrict it to only a certain time, and sunrise/sunset are available options….so I have it set for sunset to sunrise. This SmartApp has allowed me to do many things that would have otherwise took a crazy number of modes. It is also possible to turn the outside lights on when you open the door to go out. I have gone on step farther so that the light won’t stay on. Another instance of this SmartApp turns the lights off after 30 minutes if they are left on (using the Power Allowance Exceeded trigger).

  • Panquee1013

    By the way, you don’t even need to buy the arrival sensor if you have a smartphone. I use this automation at my home where the lights turn on when SmartThings detects my phone by geolocation.

    • John Hutchison

      I did this too, but it seems to only work sporadically.

      • Panquee1013

        That’s interesting. Mine works consistently.. maybe once or twice in a year it didn’t register. You may want to reset your ST hub and/or reinstall the app?

  • John Mosow

    One thing they never mention is how to get the lights to turn off. With a presence sensor, there is not option to turn lights off. I use the Lights Follow Me smartapp to do this and shut the lights off after so many minutes after the lights go on.

    • Charles Keisler

      to do this in reverse you would use the “when everyone leaves” condition trigger or the “goodbye” activity.

      • John Mosow

        But I want to turn off the lights after a period of time when we are home.

        • Charles Keisler

          I don’t think this sort of logic is nativity part of smart things.
          I would recommended you check out the Community’s Own Rules Engine or CoRE addin. Loading core onto you hub will take a bit of work in the samsung website, but after that you setup roles with it just like the rest of your existing smarttings app.

  • awicon tech

    Interesting but still i couldn’t understand why there is no particular option to set the time for automatically turning off the Lights, is there any option of time setting in making it happen to save the energy

  • Interesting technology, im very interested
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