Start timer from a switch

I came for this too for the stair problem, but even this added to a wishlist 2 years ago, there is no info or anything from the developer. It’s sad.

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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I am working on a solution for this which I expect to have ready within a few weeks.

A new feature called Automation will be added. There you will be able to configure delays between actions.

An automation can be started from a switch using a new action that will be added called “Start automation”. First create an automation in the automations tab at the bottom. As event use the “External” event. After saving the automation you can start it from a switch using the “Start automation” action.

In another future update the switch configuration will be replaced with the automation configuration once all features are available there. So then you can add wait actions directly on the switches.

All of the automation configuration is saved on the bridge, just like the switches.

The new update will be version 1.29.0 on Android and 1.21.0 on iOS.

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This is very cool news, and very timely as I was only just investigating options as I couldn’t find anything suitable in the Hue or Hue Essentials app yet.

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I tried setting up this auto off timer automation and successfully set it up, but it doesn’t appear you can associate an automation with the hue button. Is that correct or can someone point me to instructions on how to do this? I’m trying to just achieve a simple auto off timer for my espresso machine that I would turn on using a hue button associated with a hue plug. Here is a video of a competing Belkin Wemo solution that does exactly that. Tested: WiFi Timer Switch for Espresso Machines - YouTube

I would think hue as a leading competitor in this space would have a similar solution?

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@Sam Thanks for the feedback, this is something that will be improved soon. For now create an automation on the “Automation” tab. and use “External” as event, add actions, and save the automation. After that go to your smart control on the “Devices” tab and add the “Start automation” action selecting the automation you created earlier.

(note that this is only supported on Android/iOS at the moment, the Windows version is still missing the functionality to configure smart controls)

Please let me know if you have any questions. Very interested in feedback.

By the way, the following topic contains some information about the new automations: Automation in Hue Essentials

Thanks for your reply @Thomas, but these instructions don’t seem to be right. When I’m on the automations tab in the latest hue essentials iOS app version 4.17.0, the only thing I see is “wake up with light”, “coming home”, “leaving home”, timer” or “custom”, for the types of automations I can create. I tried both timer and custom, and neither of these have the ability to add an external event. They only allow you to add specific devices. And there is no “devices” tab at all in the app. Can you please provide specific instructions for the current version of the iOS app? Or is this auto off functionality that I see for Wemo outlets in this video not an option in hue?

It looks like you are using the official Hue app. This community is about the Hue Essentials app. Hue Essentials is a third party app for Philips Hue lights which you can download from the App Store.

The new automations feature has not been released yet for all users, it will be available soon. If you want you can help test the feature by joining the beta program here: Join the beta - Try new features before they are officially released. Of course feedback on the new feature would be appreciated.

Hello, if i try to select “extern” o become an error:

Without select a trigger i cant safe the automation.

That’s not an error. Just tap Fertig and the event is added. After saving you can add the automation to a switch.


Thank you very much for that fast answer!

Im so sorry, i try it so often on 3 devices but maybe i forget at least a name for the automation. So i cant safe it.

Im so sorry and good job!

Im very interested in the final and maybe more straight forward (for first use and dummys) version of that timer function.

Maybe in the future it is possible that a button with a “start automation” works further if the automation itself are edited. If i change maybe only the time in my automation, the button on a dimmerswitch have to be deleted and new defined with “start automation”.

Thank you very much,

No problem Alex, thanks for the feedback. About the name field, yes that is a bit unclear, I need to improve that.

My idea is to replace the switch setup with the automations too, but I am still working on it. It will be very similar and then you can select a switch button as event. But it is still a work in progress.

And about the editing, I am aware of the issue and will fix it. For now you will have to re-add the “Start automation” action after editing that automation.


Hi everyone, this feature is now implemented in Hue Essentials. Please make sure you are using the latest version. Below you can find how to create a timer automation for a switch.

How to create a timer automation on a switch:

  1. Open Hue Essentials
  2. Go to the Devices tab
  3. Select your smart switch
  4. Select the button you want to create this automation for
  5. Tap the + button under the Automation header
  6. Tap the Add action button and select Wait
  7. Set a wait time of 10 minutes (or whatever time you want)
  8. Tap the Add action button and select Toggle group
  9. Select a room/group and set the state to Toggle, Switch on, or Switch off (depends on what you want)
  10. Save the automation

Instead of toggling a group, you could instead toggle an individual light, or toggle a scene

For more information on the automations, see the following topic and linked topics: Automation in Hue Essentials

If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know!

@Vincent_L @m4gr01in0 @KlausM @Snow_Wall @Manuel_Schmidberger @DonMC @Sed95 @Speedyconnalis @Toni_Rauma @Michael_S @evilution @_64 @drages @aajh @Sam @Meinzelmaenchen

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When I try this, upon clicking “save”, the icon spins for half a second and turns back into the save button. None of the settings are saved.

iPadOS 16.0

Thanks for the feedback @evilution. Could you please share a screenshot of the automation?

@evilution thanks, it seems that you did not select a room/group for the toggle group action. I will make this more clear in one of the next updates by showing an error. Could you select a room/group by tapping the Toggle Group action, and then try to save it again?

Strangely, I had selected the group but it didn’t show up under the “toggle group” heading. I had to select another group and then go back and select the previous group for it to show up.

@evilution Ok thanks, I will look into it. Were you able to save the automation now?

Yes thank you, it’s all working perfectly.

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