Turn Off a Light When Another Light Switch is Turned Off?

I have two lights on zwave dimmer wall switches. I want to be able to tap off on the one closest to the door as I’m leaving the room and have the other light turn off as well. This seems so easy but I’m struggling to do it with the native tools.

As long as they are both actually zwave devices, rather than one being a dumb accessory switch, and as long as you want switch B to be off every time switch A is off, it should indeed be easy to set up. :thinking:

So, the first question: what’s the brand and model of the two switches? You can find that in the official Web UI to your SmartThings account on the advanced page.


As long as both devices show up there as zwave switches, you should just be able to create a simple routine through the SmartThings app.

(Bizarrely, smartthings puts the edge driver developer name under “manufacturer“ on the Device details page, so you will see a lot of things listed as having “smartthings“ as the manufacturer which are actually from other companies. The real manufacturer will be listed under the field labeled “manufacturer code“ and then the model is under “model.“)

If one switch doesn’t show up there at all, then it’s probably a dumb accessory switch and will only be able to turn off the master switch It’s physically wired to. This is a common configuration for GE Zwave switches, but there are a few other brands that use dumb accessories as well.

But as long as both switches show up as devices on your SmartThings account, you should be good to go.

Then you just use “create routine“ in the SmartThings app to set up the routine linking them.

This routine will always turn off the second switch when the first switch is turned off.

Or is there a detail that I’m missing? :thinking:

1 Like

Ok, both devices show up as zwave switches. Here is what my automation looks like. But for some reason, it doesn’t work.

What is the brand and model of the two lights? And do both work when you turn them on and off from the device tile in the SmartThings app?

These are the dimmer switches I’m using. They seem to be manufactured by the same company that makes the GE switches. Yes. They turn on and off with the device tile in the app.

Yes, those are all manufactured by Jasco, although the firmware is a little different.

Is it that specific model?

What you’re describing definitely should work, so at this point you should probably Open an official support ticket. Or maybe somebody else here can help you look at the logs.

One more troubleshooting step: try creating a routine where turning off the first switch does something other than that other switch. Something virtual. Like changing the smartthings home monitor security mode or The location mode. Just to see if the trigger device is reporting correctly.

The biggest issue I see with this is that it’s not a trigger. I need an automation that says, “if state changes to off”. Otherwise this automation occasionally recognizes that the main light is off, and then turns off my work area light.

That’s why I initially said it would work if you always want B to be off when A is off, so that they are fully synchronized. Once you set up a rule like the one I posted above then, yes, you can no longer use switch B independently. That’s a whole different kind of rule. And it’s not a simple case on any home automation platform. I should have been clearer in that explanation, so I apologize for any confusion.

We still need to know the exact model of your devices, though, because different models do offer somewhat different features specifically in this regard. For example, there are some Z wave switches, but not all, which can distinguish between the source of the trigger to fully identify a manual change at the wall.

Also: what do you want have happen when the switch by the door is turned on? Should it also turn on the switch by the workspace? Or do you want the workspace switch to be independent except for when the switch by the door is turned off?

Anyway… just posting is quite difficult for me. (I am quadraparetic and have to use a speech reader) so I am better able to help in conversations where I don’t have to repeat questions to get information. That’s my issue, not yours, but it is a real one for me.

So at this point, I’m going to leave it for other people to help you. Good luck! I believe there will be a way to accomplish what you want to accomplish, but it is going to be a bit tricky. :thinking:

Note to others: Depending on the exact model of the switch, you may be able to do this with one way, direct zwave Association from The switch by the door to the switch by the workspace, as long as you can set it up so that it only works when the door switch is manually manipulated. But with many models that will also always turn the workspace light on when the door light is turned on and I don’t know if that’s what the OP wants. But the advantage of this method is that you’ll still be able to use the workspace switch independently, it’s not synchronization, it’s just a command sent when the door switch is physically manipulated.
Barring that there may be some edge driver issues as some of the Jasco edge drivers have built in polling Which is what is going to create the problematic situation where the poll recognizes that the switch is off And that ends up functioning as a trigger, even though the actual turn off event was an hour previous. You can probably get around that with a precondition of the door light being on and then it gets turned off, but that gets complicated and again there are some specific model variations in how it all works.

1 Like

Before I go…

If by chance you do want The workspace light to ignore the door light turning on, and only respond to it Turning off, then the simplest approach to that particular use case might be just to add a third battery powered “all off“ switch next to the door switch.

That way you would keep both the workspace switch and the door switch independent of each other. But if you wanted to turn both off at the same time (or both on at the same time, that’s up to you), you would just hit the all off switch instead of the door switch, and it could turn both of the other two switches off.

You can use any battery powered switch/button that SmartThings recognizes for this. The following is a nice option because it looks exactly like a regular wall switch, it’s also Z wave so that’s consistent with your other devices, and it’s very easy to use.

So that’s just another way to think about the problem that would maximize your options. Choice is good. :sunglasses:

On the other hand, if you’re OK with turning on the door switch also turning on the workspace switch then you probably won’t need a third device, Again, depending on the exact models of what you have now. But if you are just looking for a “all off“ function but you didn’t want the door switch to become an “all on“ switch, then the third device might just simplify the whole situation. Just a thought.

1 Like

Ok! Thanks for all the help and great suggestions. I’ll figure something out.

1 Like

Is that what you meant by “But for some reason, it doesn’t work.”? Or is it not doing anything at all?

My understanding is that your Routine should attempt to turn off the Work Area Lights whenever it receives an event saying that the Main Office Lights are off. It doesn’t care what the previous event from those lights was, only that this one is off.

Any off / off sequences will, by default, get eaten by SmartThings before they make it to the Routine. For this not to be the case there would have to be a reason why consecutive off events were being generated to start with (perhaps the device being asked to report in) and then the developers of the device integration would have had to specifically override the default behaviour of SmartThings to let the event propagate regardless.

The underlying Rules that power Routines are perfectly capable of making sure the condition is only true for state changes, that just isn’t the option the Routines use.

Basically, when I press off on the main light switch near the door, I want all lights to turn off. I want this to happen even if the main light is already off just to turn off the “Work Area” lights.

Ah right, I didn’t grasp that before. You really need it to be a switch that sends out scene controls or the like when it is tapped that SmartThings can use as button presses independently of the switch/dimmer actions.

1 Like

Agreed. Although I still don’t know the exact model of the OP’s switch, none of the Jasco switches of that type will tell the hub that someone pressed The off switch at the wall if the switch is already off.

for the OP

So you will either need to swap that device out for one which has, as @orangebucket mentioned, scene capabilities (Typically as a multitap option) or you will need to add a third battery powered device like the Zooz Zen34 that I linked to and then use that one as your “all off“ switch. Here’s the Zooz Zen 34 link again

Remember, I said that Jasco switches are sold under different brand names, but that the firmware can be different?

I don’t think any of the ultra pros have a multitap option. (First rule of Home Automation: “the model number matters.“)

However, Jasco does make a line of Z wave switches for homeseer, which do have multitap options. And the manufacturer has provided edge drivers for them. So if you are willing to swap out your existing door switch for the homeseer switch, you would have the same capabilities you have now, plus you could double tap on the off on that switch and have it tell the workspace switch to turn off. Regardless of whether the door switch was on or off.


Once you have the custom edge driver installed, the multitap options will appear in regular routines in the SmartThings app so it’s quite easy to use them.

So the zen 34 should cost under $30 and doesn’t need any wiring, but it does take up space as a third switch and you will have to replace the batteries every year or so.

The Homeseer HSWX 300 costs about $60, and would be wired into the mains, replacing your existing door switch. You would use a double tap on the bottom of that switch for your “all off“ command.

In either case, you can keep your existing workspace switch.

Choice is good. :sunglasses:

1 Like