If you have smart lights like Philips Hue, you can turn them off automatically when you leave to save energy. However, if you also have a Nest thermostat, it’s more convenient (and more efficient) to turn off the lights when your thermostat enters «Out» mode.

We’ve covered how to automatically turn off your smart lights when you leave the house. This technique uses a feature called geofencing to determine when you left your home. The only problem is that most smart bulbs only control one phone. If you leave the house, but your spouse, children or roommate are still at home, you can leave them in the dark.

If you have a Nest thermostat, you can get around this in a way that makes a lot more sense. The Nest has an Away mode designed to save you money on air conditioning and heating. But unlike Hue, Nest allows you to add other users to your account and use them to trigger the Outside mode. So when these users share their location with Nest, the thermostat isn’t just waiting for you to leave the house, it’s waiting for you to everyone who connected to the account, go away.

This gives us a handy trigger to turn off your other smart gadgets. After all, if your thermostat turns off, it’s likely that no one needs the light.

RELATED: How to automate your favorite apps with IFTTT

To do this, we will use a service called IFTTT (if this, then this). If you haven’t used IFTTT before, check out our getting started guide for information on how to create an account and connect apps. Then come back here to create the required applet.

This applet will use the Nest Thermostat feed. You also need to enable smart lighting channel. You can use this applet with Philips Hue, LIFX and Belkin WeMo lamps, but we will demonstrate it with Philips Hue. We assume that you already have a nest set up and that all of your family members are already connected to your account. If it doesn’t, follow our guide here.

When you’re ready to get started, go to the IFTTT website and click on your profile picture in the top right corner of the site.

Then click New Applet in the dropdown list.

Click on the word «it» highlighted in blue.

Find the Nest Thermostat channel in the list and click on it.

In the list of triggers, find «Nest set to Away» and click on it.

On the next screen, select the Nest thermostat you want to control from the dropdown list (if you have more than one), then click Create Trigger.

Next, click on the word «that» highlighted in blue.

Find the Philips Hue channel in the list and click on it.


From the list of actions, select Turn Lights Off.

Select which lights you want to turn off from the drop-down list. For this applet, we are going to turn off all the lights.

Give your applet a name, then scroll down and click Finish.

Now, when your family leaves the house, all the lights are turned off. This should be less likely to leave someone at home in the dark, as the Nest will only enter Out of Home mode when everyone in the house is gone. If you want to turn on some lights whenever someone comes home, you can also set up a similar applet that will activate whenever your nest enters Home mode, turning on some or all of your lights.

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