IFTTT + Sense Applets



Earlier this year, we announced IFTTT (If This Then That) integration to expand the possibilities of what you can do with your Sense. For those that aren’t familiar with IFTTT, it gives you the ability create conditional statements called applets, that are triggered by, and then trigger, events in other web services. For example, you can trigger a smart light to turn on when Sense detects garage door activity. Pretty cool, huh?

Given that that we’ve had this integration available for a little while now, I’d love to hear what kinds of things you’ve done with it! What applets have you created? Have they been useful? What would you like to do that you haven’t? What kinds of triggers are you interested in being added?


I have to be honest, Ben, I’m hesitant to set up the applets I’d like because consistent and accurate device detection still isn’t there yet.

A while back, I brought up an applet that would turn something off (eg the air conditioning) when something else (eg the water heater) came on. This would be helpful in utility districts that charged based on demand, where your peak usage is reflected on your bill.

After reading this post, I went back and looked, and even after having Alex try to make sure my hot water heater model was accurate a couple of weeks ago, I’m still missing about half the instances of it turning on. It’s not an overly complicated schedule, really - it’s on for ~1hr at 5am and 5pm.

I’ve since found other, more consistent ways to accomplish this objective. I think it’s a great idea on paper, but I need more consistency to feel like I can rely on it.


When I initially saw the integration I had several triggers in mind. However there have been several issues and only one success.

The success was that I wanted to circulate the furnace fan in my house if it hasn’t run in x minutes. Normally I would use the ecobee to control this. However, since I have dual zone setup the ecobee will cycle each zone independently. Sense (at least in the heating season) allows me to know when the fan has run for either zone last and trigger the cycle when both have been off.

A failure was to trigger a notification if the fridge door (by light) was open too long. However ifttt often missed the off trigger because the light was only on for a brief moment. I believe this is a limitation on the frequency of events from ifttt not sense.

I have several others using the oven/dryer/etc that I would like to use as triggers for some home automation. However they suffer from the short duration-missing trigger issue and just overall sense heating element inaccuracies.


Hey @BenAtSense, do you have any plans to add IFTTT triggers from Sense using total energy consumption, solar generation, or net energy consumption? This would be real helpful to provide alerts to homeowners about when net energy consumption is high during peak utility rate hours, for example.


@106oxfordave, we don’t have a specific timeline for it but we do plan to add additional IFTTT triggers at some point. We’ll keep those in mind when we do!


I’m currently working on creating an IFTTT notification for when my washing machine completes running (which goes through 3 on/off events before really being done).

The most recent Sense app update allows notifications in app if a device is off for a certain amount of time, but I’d like to be able to create a notification outside of Sense (send an email, sms, trigger a maker channel event, etc etc).

Since IFTTT can’t read a value from a Google doc, I’m using a spreadsheet function to send an email which IFTTT can be triggered from. My basic process:

  • IFTTT to add a row of data to a Google spreadsheet each time the washing machine turns off, including a cell that acts as a tally by populating with the number 1.
  • I have a modulo formula in a cell that uses the sum of my tally column as the dividend, 3 as the divisor.
  • When my modulo formula cell = 0, trigger an email (https://developers.google.com/apps-script/articles/sending_emails)
  • Finally, an IFTTT applet runs when email is detected

This is my first iteration of this process and I haven’t given it too much thought, so I am sure there are ways to improve or maybe a way better way to go about it. Definitely open to suggestions.

And of course, if Sense misses an event and my doc formula is thrown off, that’ll mess things up. So I may want to change my doc function to be based on the timestamp of the event. When it’s been >30minutes or so… send the email.


Thanks for sharing @llamabox. Let us know how it goes!


Thought I would share an issue I have had with Sense not running IFTTT apps.
First off I signed into IFTTT AND added Sense to my account. When I added it to “if this” and added my Nanoleaf Aurora to blink my lights when my freezer would come on the app would fail to run every time.
Yesterday I again played with IFTTT and still had a failed to run connection. What do I need to do to get it to work?
I ended up cancelling my Sense’s connection in IFTTT, then reconnecting it through the Sense app. Once I did this I am able to use IFTTT. I had a mystery heat kicking on and off. With this flashing my lights I am more apt to notice this and found my freezer is making ice. I had never thought about my ice maker in the freezer as a source of heat. I really like Sense and being able to use it in IFTTT. Thanks.


Hey @rjgroves -

Sorry for the initial troubles getting IFTTT and Sense linked together. We’ll get this logged as a bug for the team to look into. Very glad you were able to get it working eventually though, and what a great idea for helping to identify mystery devices! We’ll have to recommend that to more users.

Thanks for sharing. Please keep the ideas and updates coming!