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Never Come Home To A Dark House

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2016 06:56PM PST

With Vera, you can easily set things up so you never arrive home to a dark house. There are several ways to do this -- you could use "geo-fencing" to detect when you're arriving home from your cell phone's location (but you'd have to create a geo-fence trigger for each household member's phone.) Or you could use your phone as a remote control to switch on lights as you arrive, but that's not automatic.
Probably the easiest and best way to be sure lights are on automatically when every member of the household arrives home (and when visitors arrive) is to create a Scene using sunset time as the basis for timer control.
Using sunset time is better than turning lights on at the same time every day. Sunset times vary -- anywhere from about 4:30pm (winter) to 9:30pm (summer) in northern parts of the U.S. Vera's ability to use the exact sunset time for your zip code can do a better job of automatically turning lights on just before it gets dark outside, regardless of season.
Here are the steps to create your own "Automatic Lights On At Sunset" Scene:
  1. Select Scenes in the Vera Dashboard app.
  1. Select Add Scene
  1. Select Schedule as the type of trigger
  1. Select Daily as the interval
  1. Select Before Sunset as the trigger time of day
  1. Select 15-minutes as the amount of time before sunset
  1. Click on Validate
  1. Click on Next Step
  1. Click on Select Devices
  1. Scroll down to select devices that will be triggered. Select the light switch(es) or dimmer(s) that control the outdoor and/or entrance and/or living room lights (assuming you've already installed these) using the check marks on the right.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the devices list and click on Next.
  1. Set the dimmer(s) to full, or the switch(es) to on, indicating the state you want it to be in when sunset occurs.
  1. Click the Validate button.
  1. Click on Next Step.
  1. Next, under Finish the Scene, select the Modes that the Scene will run in -- Home, Away, Vacation, and Night. (The default is all modes.)
  1. If you want to be notified whenever the Scene runs (on a daily basis), fill out the next session. (Skip the next advanced section regarding running code.)
  1. Under Name Your Scene fill in a name for the Scene, such as "Lights On At Sunset."
  1. Click Finish.
  1. You're done! The Scene has been created. (There's no need to test it, just check tomorrow at sunset to make sure the lights turn on.)
You might want to create a similar Scene to turn off the same lights later, such as at midnight or 2am, or at sunrise. Follow the same steps above, except the lights will be turning off and you'll select sunrise rather than sunset as the trigger time.
Finally, note that if you decide later to add more light controls, you can include your new light dimmers or switches into this Scene without having to create a new Scene. Click the Modify button in your list of Scenes to add devices or make changes.

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