How to create a master virtual switch?

I have an entertainment room, how do I create a virtual switch to turn on\off all the Things (bulbs and switches) in that room. Or Routine is the only way to do it? Thanks.

I’m using a SharpTools widget on Android to do that. You could also use a single virtual switch with Rule Machine, but that would necessitate going into the SmartThings app to access it.

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use the routine method.
or use a virtual switch to trigger rule machine.
or if you use a logitech harmony hub, have harmony hub activity control the lights/switches via Smartthings integration.

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A Routine is the best way to do it in my opinion. I do that in my entertainment room when starting a movie to set the lights the way we like it.

Thank you everyone. My primary device is a Windows phone.
I am relatively new to the ST and RM, please forgive my cluelessness on this.
If I used Routine, don’t I need 2 routines- one turn on everything and one turn off everything?
If I used RM, how do I create just one virtual switch and toggle the RM to turn on and off everything?

A master switch is just a regular switch that you have told the other devices to follow. So when it turns on, they turn on. When it turns off, they turn off.

The master can be a physical switch or it can be a virtual switch. Virtual just means it doesn’t exist as a physical object, it’s just software. But routines, rules, and smart lighting will treat it exactly the same as a physical switch.

If you prefer, you can just use one of the existing physical switches in the room to be the master. It’s up to you. But the reason why most people use a virtual switch as master is otherwise anytime the physical master switch changes, the whole group will change, and people usually like to be able to retain the ability to set each individual physical switch as they like.

So let’s assume you want to use a virtual switch as the master. The first thing you do is create the virtual switch. For your use case, it sounds like it’s best to just use a binary switch type, that is one that works like a regular light switch and is either on or off. When you turn it on it stays on until you turn it off. When you turn off it stays off until you turn it on again.

Once you create the virtual switch, you’re ready to tell the other lights to follow it.

There are several ways to do that. You can use the very popular rule master Smart app. Or you can just use the standard smart lighting smart app.

So now you’ve created a virtual switch to be the master switch and you set up a rule telling the other lights to follow that one.

From now on, any time you use the virtual master switch anywhere in SmartThings, whether it’s a routine, a smart lighting automation, rule master, or any other smart app, you just include the master switch and any other lights in the group will follow it. :sunglasses: :bulb: :bulb: :bulb:


I use JDRoberts method. I have a switch named “All My Sh-t” that controls all my switches. I just say “Alexa, turn off/on all my sh*-” and the lights go out or on. It is funny when Alexa says the name of the switch. She says “All My beep

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Hello @JDRoberts

Is there any tutorials anywhere on how to create a web based dashboard that can act as a series of switches? I can code html / php / css / java, so was thinking I could build my own web switchboard with say, 10 switches on it, that could send commands to ST as if just as if I had bought 10 physical zwave switches. Is there anything you know of to get me started?

You can do it yourself, but there are already a number of community created ones that have been evolving over several years and probably have everything you want and more. Some have a license fee, some are free to use.

The most popular is probably actiontiles. License fee is around $30 per hub (not per tablet). Runs in most browsers, so you can put it on a phone or a tablet. Highly customizable. You’ll find many forum threads discussing it.

A newer, similar offering but with somewhat different features is sharptools.

And you can find the free offerings on the quick browse lists in the community-created wiki. Look near the bottom of that page for the “project reports“ section and then choose the list on “dashboards”. In most cases, including actiontiles and sharptools, these are project someone first built for themselves and then decided to share. So they will have different features and require different degrees of technical skill to set them up.

There are also topics on that list for hardware tablet options, including powering wall mounts. :sunglasses:

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Do you mean more features and more customization, @JDRoberts? :wink:

We just released some really cool features in the latest update:

I’d also note that we have a completely free tier with one dashboard with up to 15 tiles. Considering the 10 switches mentioned in the post, it sounds like this could be a great option for you @t-rex


The most popular is probably actiontiles.

This was where I was wrong… from all the discussions I’ve seen, it seemed that actiontiles was the only one about… My bad for not researching it.

@joshua_lyon thanks for that, I’ll certainly check out

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There’s a lot of information in the forums, but, to be honest, the search sucks. :scream:

Hence the creation of the “quick browse lists” in the community wiki

Always a good place to start when you’re looking for something specific: