Lighting Groups

Short answer: No. :disappointed_relieved:

However, for some purposes, such as turning on several lights at the same time, a scene might work, and scenes can be used in automations. But you’d have to have one scene for on and one for off. So not as good as real groups, obviously.

The other approach is what we used to do with the classic app. Create a virtual device to stand in as a proxy for the group. Then have all of the individual lights “mirror“ the proxy. (Of course, that requires one SmartLights automation for each of the lights in the group, which is a lot of work to set up.) Now you can put the proxy into automations and the individual lights will all follow its state for on, off, and Dimming. But it doesn’t work for color temperature.

So it all depends on what you were trying to do. I agree that it’s very odd that this doesn’t already exist in SmartThings. :face_with_monocle:

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Thanks for the answer, very strange to create a very much wanted grouping tool then not allowing anyone to utilize it in automatons or scenes? Never mind, hopefully an update in the app soon enough!

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Is this still not available?
I want to automate my light groups! :expressionless:

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Nope, still can’t control them as a group. Your best options currently are using scenes or the community created SmartApp Trend Setter. With TS, you create a virtual device that acts as a lighting group and can control all devices in the group, including the dimmer, temp and color. The benefit of this over a scene is that, as @JDRoberts stated, you’ll need a scene for on and a scene for off. And multiple scenes for different dimming/temp/color.

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While lighting groups are not available in ST, they ARE available in Amazon’s Alexa app which integrates with smartthings and acts as a controlling front-end for ST so I’d recommend you install the Alexa app for this use case. Of course the Alexa app will provide plenty of other ST features such as voice control, new ways to design if>then commands, etc, and you don’t even need to own an Alexa device!

The problem with using virtual switches to control groups of lights is that they remember their “state”. i.e. if you turn all your lights on with the virtual switch and have your physical switches mirror this, it will work great. But then if you use your physical or any other kind of command to turn the lights off individually, the next time you tell ST to turn on the virtual switch it will do nothing because within ST the switch is already on; as it was never turned off. Using the Alexa lighting groups solves this.

One other tip for Alexa is it may not be compatible with all of your ST devices so you might have to create virtual switches in ST that ARE compatible w/ Alexa, and then have that virtual switch mirror the behavior of the incompatible switch as a workaround. Virtual switches can be used this way to pull almost any other ST action into the Alexa front end as well. For example if you want your Alexa devices to say “Alarm disarmed” every time you disarm you ST alarm, you can create a virtual switch called Tell_Alexa_Alarm_Disarmed and have ST turn this switch on and off every time your alarm is disarmed. You then tell the Alexa app to speak every time that switch is turned on and voila.

You are replying to a post which is two years old, and a lot has changed in that time, so people may feel a little confused. :thinking:

As far as specifics…

While lighting groups are not available in ST,

As of this writing, smartthings does offer lighting groups, it’s just that you can’t do anything with them except activate them through the smartthings app. You can’t include them in scenes or routines and they are not visible to the voice assistants. :disappointed_relieved:

they ARE available in Amazon’s Alexa app which integrates with smartthings and acts as a controlling front-end for ST so I’d recommend you install the Alexa app for this use case. Of course the Alexa app will provide plenty of other ST features such as voice control, new ways to design if>then commands, etc, and you don’t even need to own an Alexa device

The smartthings integration with Alexa is complicated. Alexa’s groups are great, but they are NOT available for use in SmartThings routines. You can use them in an Alexa routine, but then you are back to needing a virtual device to trigger that routine from SmartThings. So great for voice control of a group, but otherwise does not meet the OP‘s requirements. (At the time the original post was written, “automations“ was the term used for what are now called “routines“ in the smartthings app. So that was a very specific question not related to voice control.)

The problem with using virtual switches to control groups of lights is that they remember their “state”. i.e. if you turn all your lights on with the virtual switch and have your physical switches mirror this, it will work great. But then if you use your physical or any other kind of command to turn the lights off individually, the next time you tell ST to turn on the virtual switch it will do nothing because within ST the switch is already on; as it was never turned off.

SmartThings has always offered several different types of virtual devices. There are both virtual binary switches, which are on/off devices, and virtual momentary switches, which are more like a doorbell button. You turn it on and then it immediately turns itself off again. Its resting state is neutral. So the issue you raised will not be a problem as long as you use the right kind of virtual device. :sunglasses:

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It is definitely strange that two years later smartthings lighting groups still are not actionable except in the app itself and still don’t work with the voice assistants, but there we are. :disappointed_relieved:

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It is definitely strange that two years later smartthings lighting groups still are not actionable except in the app itself and still don’t work with the voice assistants, but there we are. :disappointed_relieved:

Was just thinking this exact thing while i’m updating Rules in the API for this exact purpose. Such a simple and common concept that we’ve waited years for a better solution for and yet, here we are (as you said).

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ST are way too slow to implement changes. Listen to your community Samsung! I reported in July 2021 the scene button under Favorites is too damn small…can’t really display enough info to know what it does. No changes! Zero

Yes that is infuriating. All my scene tiles are identical. I need to see the end of the label, not the beginning, though obviously all of it is better. I just don’t get why they can’t be the same width as Routines.

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Two years later and here we still are :frowning:

This thread was the top Google search result when I did a search after noticing “Lighting groups”, adding one, and then realizing I can’t control it from an Automation.

Like others I was trying to clean up the huge number of scenes I have (one for ON, another for OFF) with labels that are truncated in the UI.

Guess I’ll be patient :smiley:

You can’t use Lighting Groups in app Routines or Scenes but you can certainly turn them on and off using other automations that use Rules or the API. They are just devices.

I’m trying to keep my setup simple, using built-in features that (hopefully) SmartThings won’t take away without providing a seamless migration path. Obviously that excludes the API since I’m not a programmer, but I’ll look into Rules.

This evening I just used Lighting Groups in an automation. I discovered they worked as I was cleaning up some old SmartLighting rules and had originally tested by creating scenes (per above, one for on and one for off). The Lighting Group essentially behaves as a device, it shows up in a room, and I used it to turn on and turn off all of the switches in the group through a single instruction in the automation. Nice.

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The only advantage over a Scene is you can turn it on/off eliminating the need for a different Scene to change state from the previous one. They don’t run local even if all the devices in the group have Edge drivers. Better off using an Edge virtual switch to control a group of devices via a Routine so the Routine runs locally.

Yes, that makes sense. In my case, some of my switches are Kasa plugs, and so cloud based anyway. Grouping them together is a tidy way to do that for me.

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Sure, if you’re already having to rely on cloud to cloud, then this is a reasonable way to manage multiple lighting devices.

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FWIW, and not sure where to post this - I had a very good recent experience with Smart Lighting. I had inadvertently deleted the smartapp (strangely I had 2 instances of it, but deleting one of them deleted both). I had been able to move some of my automations out to regular routines but I also reply upon syncing some switches. I called SmartThings support who were super helpful in two ways:

  1. They confirmed Smart Lighting seems to be good for the foreseeable future in the edge world
  2. they gave me the instructions to recover the Smart Lighting app (you must Discover it under Create Routine).

I was then pleased to see that my switches that are now on edge drivers, so operating locally are flagged in Smart Lighting routines as being executed locally too. Very nice.

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You had two instances because there are 2 versions. Smart Lighting (old) and Smart lighting, with a lower case L, is the new version. Given that it just came out, and is redesigned for the new architecture, it makes sense that it will be around for the foreseeable future.

See this post for more info:
https://community.smartthings.com/t/smart-lighting-new-plugin-version/251409/1

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That’s a great post with all the relevant details - thanks

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Unsure if there’s another way or if I’m “doing it wrong”, but I have a lighting group created for 6 of my recessed flood lights. The group provides single control for ON/OFF and DIMMER, but that’s it. Would be nice if the app was smart enough to see that all the bulbs were the same and also provide the ability to address other controls like color, temp, etc. - all at once. Rather than having to go into each bulb individually.