Smartthings Labs - Virtual Device Alexa Trigger

Hey everyone,

I’ve been creating virtual devices through the Smartthings Lab Virtual Device maker feature. The switches work fine and there’s nothing wrong there. But I discovered an issue and I think I must have a setting wrong somewhere.

When I create a virtual switch in Smartthings labs, I can’t trigger a routine off of it in Alexa. However, I created 20+ virtual devices in the IDE a long time ago for my leak detectors (because Alexa doesn’t natively allow you to trigger a routine off of smartthings leak detectors) so I know it’s absolutely possible to trigger a routine in Alexa with a smartthings virtual switch.

Am I missing something? Is there a setting I missed? It seems like a pretty straightforward process and this appears to just not be an option?

Checking on the Alexa side, the virtual device is being represented as a switch not a light and all my virtual switch leak detector routines are still in tact.

Is this a limitation of the new virtual switch creator?
Can I fix this in settings in the IDE?
Should I rely more on the IDE for making virtual switches instead?

It is absolutely possible to trigger a routine in Alexa from a virtual sensor. And many people use a virtual sensor which also has the capability “switch.“ If you do that, then when you turn on the switch, the sensor looks like it opens. When you turn off the switch, the sensor looks like it closes.

But Alexa routines will not trigger from a switch which is only a switch. That’s just the way Amazon has done it. It will trigger from a sensor.

So I’m not sure what you used for your leak sensors, but you might check and see what DTH that was.

Or view the community FAQ:

FAQ: Can I trigger an Echo Action without Speaking to It?


I got it working and I found out what’s different and how to fix it.

In the IDE, you can change the virtual device device type to “simulated Alexa Switch” vs how smartthings labs creates a “virtual switch” by default.

As soon as I changed the device types on all of them, ran discovery in Alexa to force the new device types down, I was able to create routines in Alexa that will trigger off the state of these virtual devices.

While, yes this solution works, it’s not ideal and I never would’ve had to worry about this if the Smartlife/Tuya integration worked properly in ST. At any rate, I’m glad I can trigger my ceiling fans from the same webcore pistons that run everything else which was the goal all along.

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Right, a “simulated Alexa switch” also has the sensor capability, so that’s why it works. :sunglasses: