Automation help with scene changes

I’m still new, but I am starting to get into more of the automation of scenes and events. However, I am getting confused quickly. It may just be that I have been spending most of the last week learning and setting up devices and automations. I have items I am currently working on but I seem to be running into limitations with the ST capabilities

My main issue is the lights in my family room. I have three desired states and voice commands:

  • White during daytime: “day”
  • Orange (low blue light) at night: “night”
  • Off: “Game Off”

These are all hue RGB bulbs. I want to be able to control them through voice and ActionTiles panels (happy wife = happy life)

In ST, the following setup for each state:

  • A virtual switch as the “controller” for state change
  • A scene that sets all the lights to the desired state
  • An Automation that turns off the other two and activates the scene

I cannot seem to figure out the third state: Off. My Hue hub has a group name of “Game”. So, when I say “Turn Game off”. Alexa links that to the Hue group, and not the virtual switch “Game Off”. This prevents my ActionTiles “game off” tile from switching.

Things I have considered:

I could remove the Hue Skill from Alexa. It does not appear to do more for me than interfere with ST. this would at least remove the items that were on the Hue Hub when I got ST from my list of commands. I cannot figure out how to get into the Hue Hub since I allowed ST to take it over.

Just having a (virtual) button to turn the lights off when on would be fine. In reality, it would work jsut fine.

At this point, I think there is something I don’t understand about the methods to group lights, automations, and virtual switches. I would also like to know if there are any more advanced SmartApps to handle automations, and even more advanced automations.


I’m sorry, I’m confused. I’m not following what you’re trying to do. Could you give us an example using names of the specific devices? That might be easier to understand.

One important thing to understand is that On most home automation platforms, including SmartThings and Hue, you cannot ever turn a scene “off.“ A scene is just a snapshot of a moment in time. Devices in the scene might be on or off. You “activate“ or “set“ the scene. And that changes all of the devices in that scene to the settings you defined.

If you want to do something else then you activate a different scene. Or just control the devices as usual with automations.

For example, you could have one scene which set each of five lights to off. Call it “dark room.” Activating Dark Room would then turn all five of those lights off.

Echo doesn’t really understand scenes, either

Unfortunately, the interface designers for echo didn’t really understand this, and so the echo command is, indeed, to “turn on“ the scene. However, if you try to turn it off, it will say “darkroom doesn’t support that.“ :scream:

Again, though, all you need to do is turn on a different scene, or Turn off an echo group.

Also, as far as Echo goes, remember that you can put devices in more than one echo group if you like. It’s very useful. So you can create a new group with the name of armadillo or whatever and then use that one to turn things off. If you want. :sunglasses:


As far as more advanced options, sure. See the following FAQ:

How to Get Started Creating Complex Rules in SmartThings (2017) (SmartThings Classic)

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You answered a majority of what I was asking. :sunglasses:: The link to the other thread will be extremely helpful. I appreciate the help!

Let me see if I can clarify:

For two of the cases:

If I say “Turn on Day”,
Hue lights 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 turns on set to Bright White,
Action Tile “day” shows the ON
Action Tile “night” shows OFF

If I say "Turn on Night
Hue lights 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 turns on set to Dark Orange,
Action Tile “Night” shows ON
Action Tile “Day” shows OFF

The last one is

 If I say "Bedtime":
     Hue lights 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 turn off
    Action Tile "Night" shows OFF
    Action Tile "Day" shows OFF

The more I think about it, having an action tile showing “OFF” is not useful. So I don’t want that anymore. However, I would like to have an action panel which turns off Hue lights 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Another thing I was trying to get at was: is there a way to group lights other than in scenes? From what I gather, I can do it in the classic app but not in the new app.

I am mostly using the new ST app, not the classic. I figure at some point I will be forced into using it when the classic app gets deprecated. However, I do have the classic app loaded.

Also looks like I need to look into WebCore some more, as it may alow me the level of control I am seeking.

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@JDRoberts Thanks a million. Your responses got me a very long way. Working through this is not unlike learning a new programing language and figuring out what is possible and how.

I believe I am getting the hang of it but I still need to dive into webCore a lot more. However, I still have a long way to go!

Is there a way to close this thread now that I got my questions answered?

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