Long delays vs multiple automations?

I have a couple of situations where I would like a device to come on for a few hours a couple times a day, like automating my front porch lights to come on at sunset for a few hours then switch off, then come on again an hour before sunrise for a couple hours and switch off. What is the best/most efficient way to automate this? Can I use one automation with delays of several hours or is it better to have two automations, one for switching them on twice a day and the other for switching them off at the appropriate times?


Delays won’t be preserved when you reload automations or restart home assistant. If this is something that is important to you, then a single automation with 2 triggers, one for on, one for off would be the best way to do it.

I just stick with delays for things and have a catch-all at night that turns off things that might randomly be on. Helps with lights/switches like this that might get restarted, and also when people push the button manually and forget to turn them off.