FAQ: Creating a virtual Groovy Device [OBSOLETE]

I’ve figured out how to make the virtual switch. I’ve figured out how to make it seen by echo. But I can’t seem to figure out how to make the virtual switch control a device.

I see the routines, but how do I make the virtual switch control the routine?

Do I have to create a smart ask to control the virtual switch and that is what makes it tire to the physical device?

Did you follow the link I just gave you? I know the forum is a little bit confusing, you have to click twice on the little tiny arrow that is pointing right on the far right side of the quote, and it will take you to that Thread.

Step two in that thread discusses exactly that issue. And gives you the link to a smart app, Alexa Helper, to do just that. :sunglasses:

Normally, you would connect the two by having a routine that triggers what you want to have happen after your virtual switch comes on.

So let’s say you want your virtual switch to lock your door.

You set up a routine that does nothing except lock that door.

Then you use have the virtual switch trigger that routine.

So here are the exact steps:

One) create a virtual switch

Two) create a routine to do whatever you want to have happen when you flip that virtual switch

Three) Use the virtual switch to trigger the routine

( we used to have to use Alexa helper or another smartapp to tie the virtual switch and the routine together, but starting sometime early in 2018, they made this an official option so you can have a routine start when a switch comes on. So you no longer need Alexa helper.)


I had no idea that was a link, thanks for pointing that out to me.

I did figure it out, your comments and links helped greatly.

I created a virtual switch, which I added to echo. I then installed a smart app and used the virtual switch as a trigger to control the device. I added the switch to a room for organization and now echo controls the switch.

I also see how the routines work with the switch as well.
Thank you.

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Yeah the links used to be a lot easier to use before the last forum change. I’m not sure why they’re so difficult now. It drives my screenreader crazy. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Just wondering if we can make a virtual toggle, that toggles on to off or off to on depending on needs?

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Do you Mean one where if it’s on turn it off, and if it’s off, turn it on? Several people have done that code, I think if you search the forum for toggle you would probably find it. I don’t believe there’s a standard device type that does that, but I could be wrong.

See the following topic, you should be able to amend it to do what you want. If you don’t know how, ask in that topic and I’m sure those guys will be glad to help you.

I did search but did not come up with anything at the time. I will search again. I can manually toggle an On/Off switch and it will work. But was looking for something that does it automatically, As always thanks again @JDRoberts

Ok. Now I have a virtual switch, but it doesn’t do anything. How do I add devices to it for it to control?

It depends on how you plan to use the virtual switch, what do you want to use it to control?

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Any help as to how I could add 3 hue bulbs to this so that I can have one button to turn on/off the bulbs in one go (or even better have a virtual dimmer for the set)?

Edit: ignore me. Realized I was being dim and not thinking logically. Create the virtual switch then create an app which uses that switch as the trigger to control the multiple lights.

You can control multiple switches triggered from another switch using smart lighting, no need to write an app to do that.


Hi Mike

Sorry, that’s what I meant when I said create. And that’s exactly the smart app I used for my scenario.

I think I need to stop browsing the forums late at night when I’m not thinking properly :smiley:

I’m pretty sure in the current version this isn’t possible but can you hide devices like these virtual devices so that they do not show under the Things section in the app. My family uses the app in different ways and some use the Things while others use the Rooms and I’m not going to waste the frustration trying to get everyone to use the same approach nor should I.

Basically since my sunset/sunrise on the hub is completely and utterly broken I can use these virtual devices with my echo to trigger my away or home or bedtime routines however unfortunately that means about 5 or 6 virtual devices being displayed that I wouldn’t want anyone to accidentally click as that’s a disaster waiting to happen and will happen! haha

I already attempted to give them a label that pretty much indicates don’t click or whatever but that’s still not good enough but I’m guessing I’m stuck with it unless there is a way to hide devices on the app.

Your best bet here might be to create multiple Dashboards in SmartTiles and leave the virtual devices off the ones you give to the rest of the family.


Good idea! I’ll give it a try. That just might work for now as I really don’t think you can hide devices.

Plus, if you put a shortcut on each phone, it will load up more quickly than the app loads and then gets over to the appropriate tab.

You can then uninstall the app on those devices and secure it all back up.

Interesting problem, and I do agree SmartTiles is probably one workable solution.

There is another option you. Your “Virtual Switches” could be assigned a custom Device Type which has no “on/off” user interface (main tile or subtiles). You’d still all see the virtual device tiles, but it would be neutered.

6 posts were merged into an existing topic: Rule Machine - Programming the Logic Sequence Assistance

Thanks for posting this. How do I assign a routine or phrase to the switch? I am not finding any instructions on how to do it

You have to use a smart app to do it. There are two provided in the official smartthings mobile app marketplace section that work very well. (Note that routines used to be called “hello home phrases” or “hello home actions.” They’re all the same thing.)

  1. open the mobile app
  2. choose the marketplace section.

Three) choose the smart apps tab)

Four) choose “lights and switches”

Five) scroll down until you see the apps to have a switch activate a hello home phrase. install it, and then you will be able to associate the virtual switch with the routine.

There is a much fancier version of the same smartapp by the same author called “Alexa helper” (because it was first used by people who had the Amazon echo). It lets you set up six switches at once instead of just one, with all kinds of filters and rules for them. However, it has not been officially published to the marketplace yet, so here is its link in the community-created wiki:


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