Scheduling Feature - Random on/off Cycles & Dusk/Dawn

I currently use the cayenne scheduler to turn on/off lights remotely based on a set schedule. I would like to see a feature in the scheduler where you could select dusk/dawn based on a zip code (i.e. as found in google). I would also like to see a random on/off time based feature to have cayenne randomly turn things on/off when i’m not home so people think i am. Being completely random would prevent thieves/crooks from tracking a set schedule and realizing things are on a timer.


Hi @josh1,

These are both great ideas, thanks for sharing.

dusk/dawn based on zip code

  • will look into this.

Random on/off time based feature

  • put on Cayenne roadmap.
  • What are the minimum and maximum on/off time cycles that you’d expect?

Example: minimum time that a light could randomly cycle on/off is 1 min. Maximum time that a light could randomly cycle on/off is 4 hours. And then I suppose you would set the length of time for this ‘randomness’ to occur.


I was thinking of a random on duration between 1 to 4 hours that occurs everynight between say 9PM and 7AM. Again, the intention is confuse someone who might be scouting my home to see figure out if things are on timers or not.

or you could do what I did and put a TSL2561 on a pi and trigger you lights based on the exact lux in its location… mine is working very well like this now.

I like that idea of the lux sensor. I think I may give that a shot. Thank you for the suggestion.

Great work around!

yes its pretty handy, one thing that caught me out was that the TSL2561 will overload in full sun. It is VERY sensitive. I have found its only great for indoors. It has a range from 0 - 40,000. But full sun can be up to 120,000. So keep it indoors or under a filter of some kind (smoked glass or plexi/acrylic) and watch the graph over a day or two and you can then work out your baselines.

When it overloads it gives a “NAN” value or basically can’t post any data. so don’t panic if you find this (I thought I had a broken sensor).

Hi, I currently use a program called Nexahome to run my home automation on the pi this has a sunrise sunset feature also based on location but what make it interesting is the ability to add a
random number of minutes before or after. This means that each day lights around the home come on at slightly different times and in different order giving a more natural feel.

Any luck @kent_chalmers? There is another user with the same problem here Light Sensor Overwhelmed

My son installed a motion sensor that will text him when someone enters his room. He only wants the sensor to text only when he’s in school (Mon-Fri from 8:00 to 3:30). Any suggestions on how to do this as the schedule function only allows repeats?

We will be improving the scheduling feature to meet this use case. Right now, it is not possible to ‘disable’ a sensor, for example turning the motion sensor off while your son is home. I couldn’t come up with a work around either that would meet your need. Of course, you could always put a cover over the motion sensor when your son is home/ in the room, which would disable the text messages…of course this is a very primitive work around :slight_smile:

We’d love to see the project if your son has some time to submit it to our Projects Made with Cayenne section. We’ll tweet his project out and also add it to our website!


As I’m located in Belgium, using the Cayenne app for my home control steering, I was wondering if the future feature “Dusk/Dawn” can be used in other countries as well? Maybe by filling in the coordinates of your location? I’m really enthusiastic about this feature as it saves sensor(s) and GPIO’s that can be used for other purposes.

I’m also interested in dusk/dawn feature. I know that it’s possible to work around with photo resistor, but problems arise due to me living close to a road where light form cars trick the sensor. Found a Link for a java script here:

Would be nice with delays (sleep before) in the desired action and timer that can do the action for seconds, minutes or hours after being triggered.


I am sure if we do a dusk/dawn type feature in the future it will not be limited to any specific country or time zone. We’re committed to a platform that works globally.

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Hi @paul.hellfalk,

Yep, dusk/dawn feature as well as a timer feature will be done! Right now, we’re pushing hard to get an MQTT API out the door here. There’s been a slight stall on releasing community features since most resources are on the API, but good news is it will be done soon and we will then switch to working on these types of community requests!



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I would love to see this feature. I currently use a script to calculate the sunset time for my geo-coordinates and trigger a relay to turn some lights on (they then turn off at midnight).

I’d like to move away from this script and use Cayenne to manage it, so the sunrise/sunset functionality would be great.