Unlock Door with Presence Sensor


1) Give a description of the problem
I’m looking to find some type of an example of a basic unlock piston using the presence sensor of my iPhone, but with the current ST sensor it unlocks when I’m blocks away from my house. I’d also like to Disarm my ST ADT system when the door unlocks. I can’t shrink the radius anymore on ST.

2) What is the expected behaviour?
I’d like to unlock my doors and disarm my ST ADT system when I’m on my block (or in my back yard) so when I get in the driveway my doors is ready for my kids and I to enter, but I don’t want it to unlock when I’m 5 blocks down the road if I happen to be driving through town and don’t have time to stop in for lunch. I’d like to do this through WebCoRE, but I’m not finding any examples I can see or borrow from to customize.

3) What is happening/not happening?
Right now it’s unlocking if I’m 3-5 blocks from my house because I can’t shrink the radius on ST anymore.

4) Post a Green Snapshot of the pistonimage
I don’t have any example to share.

5) Attach logs after turning logging level to Full


You can add a Wait command after your presence sensor changes to present and your door unlock command. You can determine the amount of time that works best for you.

As for disarming, disarm your system before unlocking or else you will set off SHM.


I like @jkp’s idea, although I would probably make it a bit more secure by checking a second time (AFTER the “Wait” has expired) to make sure your location is still home.

Otherwise, “drivebys” will leave your house unlocked.

The real challenge though will be, what if you are asleep, and your GPS presence briefly jumps away, and then back. (it will happen) You may wake up to an unlocked house, unless you have safety checks programmed in advance.

I normally recommend that new users not use presence to unlock doors, unless there is 3 or 4 double checks in place. This is why there are no rock solid, universal pistons in the Examples forum here. (every SmartHome I have ever programmed for a client was unique to their environment, with a huge emphasis on security)

Pro Tip:
One of my favorite ways is when my Android disconnects from my car’s Bluetooth, Then if my location is home, Then unlock door. It never unlocks unless I am physically on the property & getting out of my car.

Using this method means that GPS is not a trigger, so it won’t bounce around. It also means a thief would also need to steal my car and my phone to get my house to unlock itself.

One caveat: I think the only time this method will fail is if you drive two doors down to visit a neighbor. When you turn your car off, your location may still be showing as “Home”.

Personally, I do not drive to any neighbors house, so it’s 100% reliable for me.

Piston not firing - review please

GASP GENIUS! :slight_smile: LOL Sorry to butt in, I’m going to check this out!


Thanks jkp. That’s a good idea. I don’t utilize the SHM portion of SmartThings since my ADT system is what’s monitoring my home. It technically won’t go off until the unlocked door is opened since I don’t have anything set to go off if the door is unlocked.


Thanks WCmore. I like the multi check portion of your reference to guarantee that I’m home, which is really what I need. I’m VERY green to the all of this and can fumble through WebCoRE to get things done. So far I’ve built about 5 automations for my lights in the evening/morning, as well as a few auto lights that turn on and off based on motion sensors in different areas of my home. Part of what I’m looking for an example of is to understand the logic of how to put something together. You wouldn’t happen to have a snippet or an example of something that I could reference to help build something would you? I currently have a DUMB car with no Bluetooth. Is there something else you’d recommend to verify presence short of your suggestion? I’d like to build in a few check if at all possible to keep things from happening. I forgot to add that all my locks are the Wave Schlage Camelot locks.


Unfortunately, no. Not for presence sensors. I approach each household on a case-by-case basis.

I have a few posts scattered about showcasing some of my strategies for presence.

This methodology utilizes multiple triggers that all change a Simulated Switch (which is acting as a Presence Sensor). I am not sure if I have ever posted specific safety checks for presence, since those are always customized to each household.


You are in good hands with @WCmore I just wanted add my thoughts on SCHALGE… I have Schlages around the house AND they are great BUT I wouldn’t trust them with AUTOMATION.
Because sometimes they register UNKNOWN in ST APP. Which is not a great thing for your door lock.
The only automation I have with door locks is If doors are not locked for 10 minutes, my piston locks them. Eventhen I maybe 1 out 10 times door remains unlocked…FYI


Thanks for the note about the SCHLAGE locks. That’s good to know how they behave. Are there other recommended locks that work better? Maybe something that works with ST but that also has Bluetooth built in as a double check for an unlock automation?


These is great for showing me your methodology for creating something. I’m going to have a friend of mine over this weekend. My guess is with a case of beer, a laptop and some time we’ll put something together that utilizes what you’re referencing here. I really like the idea of utilizing a virtual switch to initiate the unlock, and then tying it to multiple options for the unlock, which will keep it from failing. I also like the way you’re requesting a list of items from the route to determine if the device is home and on the network. I have a pretty good connection from outside so that would allow me to allow the presence sensor to work in tandem with the wifi verification to guarantee I’m in proximity of the house and the door before it triggers the automation. I’m also going to purchase a ST presence sensor that can act as a third trigger. Given those three items I think it would allow me to guarantee it’s me home and multiple items have to be present to unlock the door. =-)


I would also add a smart dog on top of them;))))) :joy::joy::joy:

Shlages are the only locks I’ve been using so, not sure if other brands would give you better results.
I believe that’s not the locks onny, the connection and signal issues between Schalge - ST App - Webcore
and St app is not the best app on the market :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


ike2018, thanks for that point!!