Homey Community Forum

Vacation Flow(s) question

Dear Homey fellow users,

Now a lot of us are (about to go) on vacation, I was wondering how you automate fake presence.
I’ve already automated my sun blinds during the (sunny) days. Next step is to automate the lights (after sunset and before sunrise (but not during bed/night time) randomly.
With randomly I mean random lights during random time.
Now random time isn’t the problem (countdown app) but random lights is more challenging.
So for example I want to have at least 1 (but max 4 different where 1 light should be downstairs) lights on, switching on/off randomly between sunset and bedtime (for example between 22:30 and 23:30).
All of this should only be done if the virtual device “vacation” is switched on.
How do you people fix this?

In a flow you can add a delay for switching on and for switching off. This delay doesn’t have to be fixed, but can also be like: 1-60 minutes where the action takes place randomly after waiting 1 to 60 minutes. Of course 5-30 of any other combination is possible.
Also when using sunset you get a varying time (altough only about 2 minutes every day).
I’m happy with my roller blinds that don’t let any light through… I only have a few lights that I need to manage now. My outdoor light switches on by a fixed number of minutes after sunset and switches off somewhere between midnight and 2am.

You can let one flow turn the 4 lights on at random times (like ArnoP explained). If you want to make sure one light is always on, just add it as a condition in the AND-part of the flows which are responsible for turning the lights off. So the flow for light 1 could read:
WHEN
it’s 23.30
AND
light 2 is on
AND
Virtual Device
Vacation is on
Then
Turn light 1 on with a delay 30 - 45 minutes

Be creative :wink:

I use a logic variable, but a virtual device works as well. I also have a flow which automatically turn the logic variable to ‘no’ when I’m at home (because I’m obviously no longer on vacation when I’m at home).

Maybe you can use the ‘Continue with a chance of…’ card from the Logic category in the ‘and’ column. Make a couple of flows that trigger on a specific time (or combined with the delayed trigger like mentioned before), and include the ‘chance-card’ in the flows that switch the light on or off. This will result in different lights being on and off each day.

Consider not making complex flows with random light switching.
If undesired visitors are keeping an eye on your house…, they want in, and will notice nobody is moving in the house.
If they just pass by, a non random light is fine to fake the presence.

I do not change the behaviour of my lights during the holidays. Its exactly the same as when I am home.

Risk of fully random flows is that they could also result in unusual random behaviour, that would not show the presence is fake…

Thanks all for all your suggestions.
I’ve configured multiple flows to simulate our normal bedtimes behavior (with some random delays since our own bed time can vary as well)
Apart from that I’ve added some random toilet times :wink: as well.
Now I need to wait for the new Ikea rollercurtains so I can add them as well :sunglasses:
Thanks again for the suggestions and tips!

I have a outdoor PIR that is placed such only a visitor (friend or fo) is detected.

When: motion alarm is turned on.
And: nobody is home
Then: bedroom light on(10 sec delay), play podcast on sonos, turn on outdoor light