How do I automate my smart home? With automations in the Home app, of course!

The Automation tab in iOS's Home app can seem a bit intimidating at first, but it's actually a great way to get more out of your home automation accessories. Make your accessories work for you instead of the other way around with automations!

How to set up an automation

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap the Automation tab (looks like a clock).
  3. Tap Create new Automation.
  4. Choose when you want the automation to occur. For this example, we're going to choose A Time of Day Occurs.

    How to set up an Automation

  5. Dial in your specific time.
  6. Tap Next.
  7. Choose which accessories or scenes you'd like to control with this automation.
  8. Tap Next.
  9. Adjust the settings of your chosen accessories to your desire.
  10. Tap Done.

    How to set up an Automation

How to remove an automation

If you've set up an automation you no longer need, it's super simple to temporarily disable or completely remove an automation. Here's how:

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap the Automation tab (looks like a clock).
  3. Tap on one of the automations you've set up.
  4. Tap the switch next to Enable This Automation to temporarily disable an automation, then tap Done.

    How to set up an Automation

  5. Tap Delete Automation to remove the automation, then tap it again to confirm.

    How to set up an Automation

Understanding the different automation triggers

Home app automation triggers

There are several different automation triggers you can choose from, so it can get a little overwhelming when you first set 'em up. Here's what they all mean:

  • My Location Changes: Your automation takes place when you leave or arrive at a location.
  • A Time of Day Occurs: Your automation takes place at a specific time or at sunrise/sunset.
  • An Accessory is Controlled: Your automation takes place when you or someone else controls another accessory in your home.
  • A Sensor Detects Something: Your automation takes place when a sensor accessory (smoke detector, motion detector detects something).

Examples and ideas for automations

Automations are a powerful tool for making your smart home work for you, but they can be a little overwhelming at first. It's like a blank smart home canvas — what the heck do you automate‽ I actually don't have many automations set up, myself, because I'm a bit of a control freak.

Home app humidifier automation

One automation I'm really happy I set up involves the iDevices switch connected to the humidifier I have in my bedroom. Every day at sunrise (it changes based on when the sun actually rises and sets, not just a static time) the humidifier automatically turns off, and every day at sunset it automatically turns on. That way the humidifier isn't running while I'm away from my bedroom, but it automatically humidifies as I'm winding down and heading to bed for the night.

Some other ideas for automations:

  • Turn on the lights as I arrive home from work, only after sunset.
  • Turn off the lights as I leave the house, only before sunset.
  • Turn on the fan every day at 7 p.m.
  • Turn on the kitchen lights every morning at 6 a.m.
  • Turn the office desk lamp blue when the front door lock is used.
  • Turn on the fan in the bedroom when the bedroom lights are turned on.
  • Turn on all the lights at full brightness when the smoke detector detects smoke.
  • Turn on my garage lights when the motion sensor detects movement in the garage.

Any ideas?

As you can see, there are loads upon loads of different automations you can set up in the iOS Home app. Do you have any automations you swear by? I'd love to hear about them — shoot me a message on Twitter or leave a comment below!