Turn on a device automatically at a certain time of day

A common requirement of any HA system is to automatically turn on/off devices at a certain time of day: this is where Indigo's Schedules (formerly Time/Date Actions in Indigo 4 and before) come into play. Using Schedules, it's possible to turn on/off lights, coffee makers, etc. at specific times during the day. You can even introduce some randomness to them so that it will make your house look more “lived in”. This How-to level of difficulty is Simple.

Before you start creating your Schedule, you should understand some basics about Schedules:

  • You will need to specify a time - this can be a fixed time, a time in relation to sunrise/sunset, or a periodic time (every X minutes)
  • The time value can randomized by a certain number of minutes - this will help you attain the lived-in look
  • You will need to specify a date - This can be a fixed date (with various repeat intervals), specific days of the week or month, etc. The Pro version has some extra date options to further fine-tune your triggers.

In this scenario, we want to turn on the coffee pot at a fixed time each weekday morning. Just follow these steps to create the action:

  1. Select SCHEDULES in the outline view on the left side of the screen (or a folder under SCHEDULES if you prefer)
  2. Click on the New… button above the td action list to create a new td action
  3. In the Create New Schedule dialog that appears, give your action a name: for instance “Turn on coffee pot”
  4. You'll notice 3 tabs under the Name: field: make sure Schedule is highlighted (if not, click on it)
  5. In the Time: section, specify the time of day you want the action to happen. For this example, let's make it fixed at 7:00am, so you'll select the first radio button and set the value of that control to 7:00am. If you were controlling a light, and you wanted it to look more lived in, you might specify a value in the Randomize by +- XX minutes - this would take the fixed time specified (7:00am), and, on a daily basis, randomly add or subtract some number of minutes. There are also convenient selections for sunrise and sunset.
  6. In the Date: section, specify the date(s) that you want the action to happen. For this example, let's say that you only want it to happen during weekdays (not the weekend) - select the radio button next to Days of week, and click M, Tu, W, Th, F. By selecting this option, it's an implicit repetition - that is, it's gonna happen EVERY Monday, Tuesday, etc.
  7. Skip the Conditions tab because we always want this trigger to fire (you can use conditions to customize whether this trigger will fire or not)
  8. Click the Actions tab
  9. Select Control Light / Appliance from the Type: popup (we want to turn OFF the device after some amount of time)
  10. Select Turn On on the Action: popup
  11. Select the device you want to turn on (for instance, we may have our coffee pot plugged into an Appliance Linc)
  12. For added sophistication, you might want to check the box next to Auto-off after XX minutes, and set the value in the text box. This will automatically turn off the coffee pot after some time so you don't end up with a crispy coffee pot!
  13. Click OK at the bottom of the dialog.

That's it! Now, every weekday morning the coffee pot will turn on at 7:00am and you'll awake to the smell of fresh brewed coffee(assuming you remember to set it up the night before!). You can see the Schedule fire in the Event Log window, and in the Schedule list you'll see when the next trigger of this action will occur. Congratulations!

Check out the How-To for motion sensors to see how the Condition tab is used.

td_action_basics.txt · Last modified: 2014/05/28 16:15 (external edit)

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