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April 05, 2019

How to Set Up Home Automation "Rules" In Your Smart Home

setting up home automation rules

Smart home technology is all about automation and convenience. But did you know you could take it to the next level with “rules” that make your devices, like home lighting automation and climate control, work together in a customized and streamlined way? Want your heat and lights to turn on at the same time? No problem. Prefer your doors to unlock when you disarm your security system? You got it. Here's how to set up smart home rules in your Xfinity Home system:

Select the devices you want to control in your smart home programming. You'll only see the ones you have available, so if you don't have a compatible device, it won't show up in the list. Here’s a breakdown of the steps to follow in your Xfinity Home app:

  1. Select the devices that will work with the rule, such as smart lights, door locks, and your security system.
  2. Choose the trigger, such as the lights on your front porch. When you turn off the lights at a certain time, the other actions will follow.
  3. Complete the rule. Designate the action for each device once the trigger is completed. For example, turning off the front porch light between certain hours should trigger the door to lock and the security system to turn on.

Furthermore, here are some other common and useful rules to try:

A "Goodnight" routine

There are certain activities you do every night before you go to bed, such as turn off the lights, arm the security system, lock the smart locks, turn down the heat, and so on. Make all of these things happen automatically (and all together) with a “goodnight” rule template in your Xfinity Home app. This rule lets you prepare your entire home for the late hours before you turn in for the night, so you can focus on winding down and getting some shut-eye.

A "Good Morning" routine

Productivity gurus always talk about how important it is to have an effective morning routine. For you, this could mean going for a run, stretching, or eating a proper breakfast. But starting those tasks at 6 a.m. isn’t easy. You can make it easier, however, by letting your home gently wake you and prepare your home for the day.

Like with the "goodnight" routine, you can program specific actions on your smart home devices to start your day. Here's a potential setup:

  • At 5:50 a.m., your smart lights switch on and slowly brighten to wake you up. Your thermostat increases the temperature to make the house more comfortable.
  • At 6 a.m., your alarm goes off, your coffee pot begins to brew a fresh cup, and your television switches on with the morning news.
  • At 6:15 a.m., the news switches to a music station while you shower and get ready for the day.
  • At 7:00 a.m., you pull out of the driveway, the smart garage door closes, the doors lock, and the security system arms itself.

If you don't operate on a specific schedule, there are ways to implement a morning routine without a set time. For example, you could program all of this to happen according to input from a motion sensor placed under your bed. When your feet touch the ground, the sensor will send a signal and set the rest of the rule in motion.

"I'm Away" and other rules

Smart home rules are not limited solely to waking up and going to sleep. If you work from home and have an unpredictable schedule, you might want a routine that focuses on energy saving and security. For example, you could create a routine called "I'm Away" that arms the security system and lowers/raises (depending on the season) the thermostat. You can also create a routine that reverses these changes and call it "I'm Home."

Simpler routines can be based on specific scenarios. For instance, you can program a rule that will automatically turn off any music and dim the lights if you turn on the television. For fun, you might want to program a specific song to play when you turn on the coffee pot. “Ode to Joy,” perhaps?

Creating rules and routines is easy. Xfinity has thorough, step-by-step instructions that walk you through the basics. Once you've got simple rules set up, you can get creative. Only compatible devices will appear on your list of options, so make sure to double-check that your connected home products are compatible with your Xfinity Home system before you purchase.