Turn on Light when Door Opens: SmartThings Home Automation

Use Case:

I use this automation to turn on my garage door, it does not sound like much but I find this simple automation to be one of my most used and loved home automation setups. I have a tilt senor on my large garage door and a open/close sensor on my conventional door. We park our cars in the garage and use it as our entry into the house. Basically as soon as we pull into the garage or walk out into it the lights turn on.  Our garage overhead lights are a significant improvement over the very dim light that turn on by the garage door alone. Even though I have this setup for our garage, this idea can easily be adapted to any light/door combination (e.g. closets, bathrooms, ...etc).

Hardware needed:

  1. Zwave Lights or Light Switch Controller
  2. Zwave Door Sensor.
  3. SmartThings Hub and App

My Setup:

  1. Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Micro Switch
  2. Ecolink Intelligent Technology Z-Wave Garage Door Tilt Sensor, TILT-ZWAVE2-ECO
  3. Aeotec by Aeon Labs ZW089 Recessed Door Sensor
  4. SmartThings Hub 

Installation and configuring of SmartApp

Before you start you will have to have your Z-Wave Light & Door Sensor paired with your SmarttThings Hub. I am not giving much detail on this step, since there 100's of different products and methods to control lights and door sensors. 

1. Now in the SmartThings mobile app on your phone, tap the Marketplace "star" in the lower right corner to add a SmartApp.

2. Select the "SmartApps" tab on the top right and then select "Lights & Switches" from the menu. 

3. Find the SmartApp called Smart Lights". Likely, it's at the top of the list. Tap on it to start the install process.




4. The SmartApp will ask a serius of questions.




4a. Which Lights do you want to control? I my case it was the garage light.


4b. What do you want to do? The options are turn off or on the light you selected in 4a above. In our case we want the light to turn on. 

4c.  Select trigger. This SmartApp is very versatile and there are a lots of triggers to choose from. But for our case we want will choose Open/Close

4d. Which open/close sensors? I selected both the garage door sensor and my large garage door (tilt) sensors. This means if either of those sensors is triggers then this lights will turn on. 

4e. Turn on when. In our case we want the light to turn on as soon as a door is open.

4f. Turn off when closed. If you don't turn this switch on the light will turn on and stay on. In my case I want the garage light to turn off when I am not in the garage and 5 minutes tends to be more than enough time. 

5. After you answered all the questions hit next at the top of the menu. You can choose to name the automation. If you plan on doing a lot of automation I recommend naming it something simple you will understand. That helps you ID issues when something does not work as expected. Finally hit done. 

Now whenever your door opens SmartThings will automatically turn your light on and turn it back off in 5 minutes.