Can virtual switches be trigger by real devices?

Can a virtual switch on SmartThings be triggered by it’s zwave or ZigBee address over the real network by a real device?


Don’t understand the question. Devices don’t trigger other devices. You can certainly use smart apps to trigger virtual switches based on activity from other real devices. But your question seems to imply you want one device to talk directly to the other and nothing that I am aware of does that.

Perhaps explain what you are trying to do.

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Not through direct zwave Association, if that’s what you’re asking. But certainly you can have a virtual switch “follow” a physical device by using the official smart lighting feature or web core or another smart app. The physical device turning on is the trigger, the hub recognizes that it turned on, the logic stored in your account says that when that switch comes on, then the cloud account should turn on the virtual switch.

It parallels exactly having one physical switch follow another by using the cloud account as a “man in the middle.”

Once a virtual switch has been created, it will show up on the list of switches on your account along with all the physical switches and will be available to routines, the official smart lighting feature, web core, other smart apps, etc. just like any other switch.

Or are you asking something different?

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Z wave direct association does exactly that. The first device, such as a motion sensor, can issue a “basic” command (that’s a Z wave term) to another nearby Z wave device without having to talk to the hub at all.

We don’t usually use that with SmartThings because with SmartThings we want the hub to know everything that’s going on so that the mobile app can be kept in sync. But the protocol does support it, and sometimes it’s useful for specific use cases.

But in that case, it has to be two physical devices, it can’t be done with the virtual device because in direct Association, the trigger device is going to literally broadcast a zwave command and when the target device receives that command with its own Z wave radio, it will know what to do.

Since a virtual device doesn’t have a radio, it can’t be part of this method. Instead, it’s the hub’s radio that receives The broadcast from the trigger device and then the cloud account that, as you described, uses logic such as in a smart app to change the state of the virtual switch.


Maybe I’m missing something but you could certainly use Smart Lighting to automate a virtual switch via a real device such as a physical switch or motion sensor.

Smart lighting, core, webcore, Stringify; you can use any of these rules engines to associate a physical and virtual switch