Christmas Lights!

So what’s everyone doing with their Christmas lighting?

So far mine is simple, I just replaced a few outlets that are near the lighting with z-wave ones and created a single “On at Sundown for 5 hours” scene. Not very creative, but I’m interested in hearing what everyone else doing?

That’s just about all I plan on doing… though I also add in a couple of hours around sunrise for the benefit of the morning joggers and dog walkers.

I bought one of the Home Settings Z-Wave Outdoor Lighting Modules from ZWaveProducts. I’m hoping they don’t end up being as bad as everyone says they are. I used their Black Friday coupons before I read the reviews. Plan on basically just doing the same thing as you are. Didn’t want to change the outlets as they are GFCI. I do like the idea of turning them back on in the morning for the benefit of the morning people though. I’ll probably have to incorporate that.

As my house is 350 feet from anywhere visible I have a single tree lit up with four strings of LED lights. I just tied it into an existing scene which is one at sunset and off at sunrise. Being a 40 watt load I have no problem leaving them on all night, especially since our street is remote enough that not many people put up lights.

They are controlled by a home settings outdoor module, of which I own five and with which I have never had a problem.

I bought one of the outdoor units from ASIHome and just got it yesterday. The fun was actually that my wife was anxious to get it working so she learned how to add a zwave module. I’d have bought that thing months ago if I knew that’s all it took.

I just added a on at 5am and off 2 hours later scene too, including the tree. It will be cool to have that on when I come down in the morning.

Pah Christmas…Bah humbug and all that! Just kidding :slight_smile:

My lights will eventually (when my wife whines enough for me to do it) be powered from within my porch that has an outlet (not subject to rain etc) and therefore will just just use a regular appliance module timed by a scene for sunset and then off around Midnight I guess.

I’m living in a condominium unit, so the only outside decorations I can do are limited to my balcony. I’ve got an outlet there, so I’ll connect my Christmas decorations to an outdoor module. They’ll be set to turn on at 6:30pm (past the cooking rush, when the grid is the most sollicited), and then turned off at midnight (when I usually go to sleep).

For the inside, I might link the decorations in a scene with my main living room lighting. That way, the lights will all be turned on only when I’m around.

Hopefully, this will be all setup this weekend. :slight_smile:

I was thinking of trying to do something with the Google Weather data that I am pulling in through the Weather Data module. What I want to do is make it so that if it is raining outside, the lights are not turned on, or if it starts raining, the lights are turned off. I’d like to do this because some of my decorations are out in the yard with extension cords running out to them.

They are water resistant, but I think it might be a problem if there is a heavy rain. I’m unfortunately not a programmer, so I’m going to see if I can borrow some other peoples code and see if I can tweak it to do what I want. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.


There are some Lua snippets at

An incomplete list of weather conditions is at Installation-UI4 – Weather Plugin.

Wow, that works and it very cool. I loaded the weather plug-ins when I was on UI3 but never took advantage of them (couldn’t really think of one) but this is really slick. Thanks Ap15e

I am using the Intermatics outdoor module to trigger the outdoor lights and accessories about 15 minutes before sunset. I also have relocated my power monitoring plug-in module into the garage to run the ‘big wreath’ in the same time scenario. As for power-off, I have a semi-random event programmed between 10pm and 11pm with a slightly different time on each day of the week and execute an ‘all off’ command. I also have a brief morning scene programmed for 5:30-8:00am. Will soon be adding the indoor tree lights and som other strands through ZW controlled outlets.

Can you explain how you did that? This would not only be great for XMas but also vacation scenes.


I have one scene created called ‘LightsOff’. On the command tab, I select the devices subjected to turn off. On the timer tab, I created a separate timer for Mon1023, Tue950, Wed945, thur1005,Fri1015, Sat1010 and Sun958. (using day of the week option and clicking one specific day for each timer)

If someone were watching the house, they would see lights out at 10:00 +/- ‘X’ minutes but every day at a different time. It would take several weeks of watching every day to figure out that it is a pattern. Once a month I go in and swap a few of them around to break the sequence.

With the ‘LightsOn’ scene pegged to 15 minutes before sunset, it is ramdomizing based on the calendar.

Does anyone know how to find out what Vera “thinks” are sunrise and sunset times? I believe there was an issue with the DST moving to the new schedule while vera and most z-wave devices are still programmed to recognize the old DST schedule.

This may be a firmware issue, but from my practical experience, mine seemed to handle this well across the DSL change over in USA Eastern TZ.


Thanks! I think I might be able to make something out of that weather code example. Just waiting for my outdoor module to be delivered before I start.

In case anyone is interested, I posted the Lua code for not turning on / turning off my lights when raining to the Luup development forum.

Thanks for the help Ap15e.

What about blinking lights when it is snowing? :slight_smile:

Hah, not a bad idea, I’m in the South though, so we don’t see much snow.

My Vera did not handle the daylight savings time change at all today. Scenes keyed off of sunset yesterday did trigger, but by morning today the clock has failed and reset itself back to the year 2000. In fact, unless I completely missed it, I do not see a check box option in UI4 Location to recognize DST.