Make a smart bulb flash?

I’m looking for a way to flash a smart bulb for alert purpose.
Either to find a smart bulb that has flash capability. Which i can’t seem to find. Or smarthings app.
Please help!

Hue can do this with bulbs attached to a hue hub. The option is available through the Hue API, but smartthings has not taken advantage of it.

1) If you have a SmartThings/Aeotec Hub

The good news is there is a community-created edge driver which does have access to this feature, so as long as you have a SmartThings/Aeotec hub, you can use that edge driver. For more questions about that option, ask in the author thread:

[ST Edge] Philips Hue LAN [BETA] (3rd Party Driver, Not ST Native)

2) What if I don’t have a SmartThings hub?

If you don’t have a ST hub, you can still do it by using a third-party intermediary.


IFTTT is popular for this, in part because it’s super easy to set up if you’re used to working with Ifttt. It’s just one of the available actions for an IFTTT applet. :sunglasses:

2b) if you have an android phone, you can use Tasker

Or If you have an android phone, you can do it with Tasker. I don’t know the details of that, but I’m sure other people can help if you’re interested or you can just Google it.

2c) if you have an iOS phone and you use HomeKit, you can do it with shortcuts

And that one will work with any light controlled by HomeKit. To get the smartthings integration, you need to have a proxy that’s visible to both systems. I use the Meross power strip as a proxy. It’s inexpensive, visible to both platforms, and gives me the equivalent of four virtual devices. But there are other choices as well. Or you can just use a single Meross smart plug if you only need one proxy.

Here’s a video describing the shortcuts method:


So those are just a few possibilities depending on your exact configuration. This is a popular use case for people who are deaf, so there are ways to do it on almost every platform, but you do have to do some research. :thinking:

I wish it was part of the official smartthings features, again, because of the accessibility aspect, but even though it isn’t, you should still be able to make it work with a smartthings routine, although the setup may be somewhat different than you were expecting if you have to go through an intermediary.

But definitely if you do have a SmartThings/Aeotec hub, check out the edge Driver. That will be the simplest option if you’re OK with using a hue hub.

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I should also say that LIFX are WiFi bulbs that can be made to blink through IFTTT or HomeKit. I’m not sure if that can be done with tasker or not. Anyway, if you’re one of those people who just really really doesn’t want a hub, LIFX does not require one.

Both Hue and LIFX have promised future matter compatibility, but I don’t think that’s going to change The ability to blink them from smartthings. You’d probably still have to use an intermediary or, in the case of Hue, the custom edge driver.

Make automation


Alarm is On
Bulb is Off and remains off 2s


Bulb On and auto turn off after 2s

I haven’t explored the rules api, can this be accomplished there? My use case is with a switch, not bulb.

@nayelyz is there any chance flashing can be added to routines or smart lighting?

Hi, @William_Knecht
If I’m understanding correctly, the function you’re looking for is to turn on a switch device (do you mean a smart outlet) thanks to another event (motion, door open, etc.) and turn it off after a few seconds, right?
Both bulbs and switches like outlets use the same capability in SmartThings to turn them on/off, and the Routines tool has the option to turn the device off after a specific period of time:

Have you tried configuring a Routine like this?

I’m referring to a smart switch. But could apply to a smart bulb or smart outlet. I’m wasn’t referring to turning on and off once, but having it turn on and off, 2,3,4 (or however many times) in a row before returning to the initial state.

ok, then, please send that request to the ST Customer Support team as they handle concerns about the ST app non-development/customization related.

Open here to see their contact info

Through the SmartThings Web page

  1. Enter this page
  2. Click on “Support” in the upper-right corner
  3. Check if the URL includes your region. For example, en-us here:
  4. At the bottom, select “email” and describe your issue as detailed as possible.
  5. Click on “submit”

From the ST app

  1. Open the SmartThings app
  2. Go to the menu tab at the bottom-right corner.
  3. On this page, select the option “contact us” and then go to “Report a problem”
  4. Accept the generation of logs, fill up the form describing your issue as detailed as possible, and screen captures of the issue always help.
  5. Click on “submit”. The Customer team will receive this info.

Via email

US: 1-866-813-2404
UK support 0333 0000333



I’ve just done this with 2 routines and a virtual contact device “flasher”

When the flasher virtual device is opened a routine auto closes it after 30 seconds.
While the flasher virtual device is open the same routine cycles turning the light on and off every 2 seconds.

I’ve just tested this having it triggered by my front door motion sensor and it seems to work .
Would this fit the bill?

Ps this solution assumes the light is already off before it starts flashing. If you wanted it to flash when the light is already on add another routine to switch the light off if flasher virtual device is on, that would start the first routine flashing.


Thank you, @Declankh! I got your method to work, albeit my rather limited knowledge in ST, virtual devices, Edge drivers etc.

One question though, instead of seconds, is there a way to do milliseconds? I set the routine to turn on and off for 1 second, thinking it would get me the closest to flashing, however the light will only flash about 4 times during the virtual contact being open for 30 seconds. I am using Lifx lights, and unsure if the delay is due to going through the cloud (delay meaning only flashing for a total of circa 4 times in the 30 seconds the virtual contact sensor is open)

The options I can see (for turn off automatically) is Hours, Minutes & Seconds.

If milliseconds is an option, that would make this routine as close as possible to flashing.

I also tried to see if I could do a mix and match of SmartThings Routine alongside a Google Home Routine, but could not make it work. (Google Home does not seem to have the ability to ‘turn off after x time’ or similar action - it’s just turn on, or turn off).

Your issue may be due to the lightbulb not executing locally.
I have my light on for 2 seconds and off for 1. It flashes 10 times in 30 seconds, it’s an zigbee bulb which executes locally.
I decided against using 1 second on and 1 off, for fear of stressing the bulb or the SmartThings hub.


That makes sense - my light not being local is possibly the cause for the delay. Will run some more tests when I get a moment in amending it to 2 seconds if that helps.

Appreciate this workaround, nonetheless!

The new Alexa virtual switch / contact that @TAustin has pushed out today, to solve the recent problems with Alexa, allows setting an auto revert for those 30 seconds. No need for 2 routines and if you wanted would allow you to say “Alexa, switch on Flasher”