SmartThings allows users to specify that SmartApps only execute when in certain modes.


Modes can be thought of as behavior filters for the smart home. Users can change how things act or behave based on the mode you’re in. For example:

  • When in “Home” mode, motion should turn on a light.
  • When in “Away” mode, motion should send a text message and turn on an alarm.

SmartThings comes with a few pre-configured modes, such as “Home”, “Away”, and “Night”. Users can also create their own modes for each Location.

Getting the current Mode

You can get the current mode by using the mode or currentMode property on the location in a SmartApp:

def currMode = location.mode // "Home", "Away", etc.
log.debug "current mode is $currMode"

def anotherWay = location.currentMode
log.debug "current mode is $anotherWay"

Getting all Modes

You can get a list of all the modes for the Location the SmartApp is installed into:

def allModes = location.modes // ex: [Home, Away, Night]
log.debug "all modes for this location: $allModes"

Setting the Mode

You can use setLocationMode() or location.setMode() to set the mode for the Location:


These methods will raise an error if the mode specified does not exist for the Location.

Allowing users to select Modes

In the SmartApp preferences block, you can specify that the user select a mode by using the "mode" input type:

input "modes", "mode", title: "select a mode(s)", multiple: true

This will allow the user to select a mode (or multiple modes), and the SmartApp can then vary its behavior based upon the mode(s) selected.

You can also use the mode() method to allow a user to select a mode that this SmartApp will execute for:

mode(title: "Set for specific mode(s)")

The SmartApp will then only execute when in the selected mode, without any action needed by the developer to determine the correct mode.

You can learn more about the various ways to allow a user to select a mode here.

Mode events

You can listen for a mode change by subscribing to the "mode" on the location object:

def installed() {
    subscribe(location, "mode", modeChangeHandler)

def modeChangeHandler(evt) {
    log.debug "mode changed to ${evt.value}"

In the example above modeChangeHandler() will be called whenever the mode changes for the Location this SmartApp is installed into.


The following example is a simplified version of the “Scheduled Mode Change” SmartApp. You can view the SmartApp in the IDE templates for the full example.

This example shows how to use the "mode" input type to ask the user to select a mode, and then (based on the user-defined schedule), changes the mode as specified.

preferences {
    section("At this time every day") {
                  input "time", "time", title: "Time of Day"
    section("Change to this mode") {
        input "newMode", "mode", title: "Mode?"

def installed() {

def updated() {

def initialize() {
    schedule(time, changeMode)

def changeMode() {
    log.debug "changeMode, location.mode = $location.mode, newMode = $newMode, location.modes = $location.modes"

    if (location.mode != newMode) {
        if (location.modes?.find{ == newMode}) {
        }  else {
            log.warn "Tried to change to undefined mode '${newMode}'"

In the changeMode() method above, there are a few things worth calling out.

First, notice we first check if we are already in the mode specified - if we are, we don’t do anything:

if (location.mode != newMode)

If we do need to change the mode, we first verify that the mode actually exists. This ensures that we don’t try and set the mode to one that does not exist for the Location.

if (location.modes?.find{ == newMode})