Using your voice or smartphone to control smart lights in your home is great. However, you can take it up a notch and schedule lights in the Google Home app so the lights will turn on or turn off at a different time of day as a recurring event. Make sure to learn how to do it below.
Table of contents:
- Use voice command to schedule a light
- Schedule your smart lights with Google Home Routines
- Use Home and Away to automatically turn on and turn off smart devices
Can you schedule devices in Google Home?
Yes, you can. You can schedule devices to turn on or turn off with a direct voice command or by using routines. Routines are especially useful if you want to automatize your home as you can tweak actions. At least, when routines work as intended. This is especially useful if you want to schedule lights with your Google Home app, although smart thermostats, smart plugs, or cameras come to mind, too.
1. Use voice command to schedule a light
If you just want a light or lights group to turn on or off once at a particular time, you can just ask Google Assistant (on your phone, smart speaker, or display) to do it. If you phrase your command properly, the smart device will turn on or off. For example, you can say “Turn on the bedroom light in 5 minutes” or “Turn off the kitchen lights at eleven“.
This is quite handy if you want a one-time action instead of a recurring one. And it’s not limited to lights — you can use it for smart plugs, thermostats, and other devices to schedule an action.
2. Schedule your smart lights with Google Home Routines
On the other hand, if you want to schedule your smart lights in Google Home, you should definitely check Routines. Google Home Routines are an efficient way to automatize your smart home, although not as advanced as something like Home Assistant. And configuring routines in Google Home is quite an intuitive process. You can create a new routine or use the existing ones like Good Morning or Good Evening.
You have Starters and Actions. In this case, you should probably focus on “At a specific time” and “At sunrise or sunset” starters. Have in mind that you’ll need to set two separate routines if you want lights to turn on and turn off at different times. One to turn on the lights and one to turn them off. Also, don’t forget to mark all days if you want the routine to start daily.
Here’s an example of how to schedule your smart lights with Google Home Routines:
- Open the Google Home app.
- Tap Automation or Routines.
- Tap Add new (the + icon). You can select Personal or Household routines. Only you can edit and run Personal routines and both you and your household members can edit and run Household routines.
- Tap Add starter. Here, you can select a specific time when the lights will turn on or turn off, with available time zones and the daily repeat option (just like an alarm). Tap Add starter when you configure everything. Alternatively, you can use an automatic sunrise/sunset starter. You can provide a custom location, sunrise/sunset time offset, and daily repeat.
- After you added a starter, tap Add action.
- Tap Adjust Home Devices.
- Select the light or light group you want to schedule. Check the “Turn on or off“ box and choose one of the two (Turn on or Turn off). You can add multiple devices and configure them in any way you see fitting by adding another action for each device.
- Finally, just name the routine and tap Save.
That’s it. You successfully automatized your smart lights by scheduling turn-on/turn-off sequences. If you want to disable it, just delete the routine.
3. Use Home and Away to automatically turn on and turn off smart devices
Home and Away routines are premade Household routines you can find in Google Home. But we decided to give them a separate section because they offer some extra functionality compared to standard routines. What’s the main difference between standard and Home and Away routines?
Well, they are primarily made to use geofence (Presence Sensing or smartphone location) to determine if you are at home or out and about. With these starters, you can turn off your light as soon as you leave your home and make them turn on as soon as you get back. And not only you but any other Household member that’s listed in your Home.
In order to utilize these advanced starters in Home and Away routines, you’ll need to keep Location Services enabled on your smartphone.
Here’s how to use Home and Away routines to automatically turn off/turn on smart lights in your home:
- Open Google Home.
- Tap Set up Home & Away Routines.
- Grant permissions and allow Presence Sensing (optional) and allow access to phone’s location services.
- Select Starters based on your preference and tap Add actions.
- Select your light or light group by checking the box.
- Tap Next and then select Turn on or off.
- Select ON for Home. Later, you’ll repeat the steps but choose OFF for the Away routine. Or vice versa for outdoor lights, for example.
- Tap Save to save the routine configuration.
And that’s it. Those are 3 ways you can use to schedule lights in Google Home. If you have any alternative ideas we overlooked, make sure to share them with us. Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.