Use Smartthings offline?

I’m kind of new to smartthings… over 2019 i picked up: door sensors, lights, outlets and a bunch of buttons to control some of this stuff without having to use the app. This year i was planning on upgrading even further, by upgrading to smart light switches and outlets.

The outage yesterday, even though it was relatively brief, has me questioning whether i want to continue automating my house… while i don’t have many smart devices, the ones that i do have are pretty critical to day-to-day operations and not being able to control any of them, even with the physical buttons, posed a huge inconvenience (like having to get dressed in a dark bedroom using a cell phone light), so much so that i don’t want to go any further for fear of another outage.

Is it possible to set up smartthings so that your automations can be controlled by local buttons/switches when there’s an outage, or even better, configure the hub so that it can be controlled by IP in an offline type of scenario?


is it possible? Yes. Can you do it with any random device and automation creator? no.

In my house I always implement smart devices with a manual backup. So i always use smart switches vs smart bulbs.


Smartthings remains primarily a cloud-based system. Even just changing the mode requires the smartthings cloud. Almost all code still runs in the cloud. The app itself always requires the cloud even if it is running on the same Wi-Fi as your hub (they didn’t have to design it that way, but they did.)

If you want a hub that runs locally, you’ll need to look at some of the competition like Hubitat, Homeseer, Apple HomeKit, Insteon, etc.

That said, there are some devices which can run locally in a smartthings set up when the cloud is not available, and you can almost always set up a situation so that you have a physical button/switch that can turn a specific light on or off. It’s just going to depend on the brand and model of the light that you were using. So if you’d like to ask a more specific question, we can certainly help.

Also, at the present time you will need to set up the automation using the smartlighting feature, not the automation creator.

Meanwhile, take a look at the following FAQ and it should give you some more information:

How to: Planning for Outages

Thank you both for the input. I’ll take a look at that planning for an outage article tomorrow.

Right now, I have physical smart buttons to control almost all of the smart devices. During the outage, nothing worked, even via the buttons. The buttons are actually STILL having issues since the outage.

How did you create the automation for the buttons? Only ones created through smart lighting and with no custom code can run locally at this time.

The buttons register 3 different events: single click, double click, hold

I configured them in the app.

Yes, but which exact automation did you use? Only automations created through the official “smartlighting” feature Will work without the Internet.

So it is possible to create an automation through the app, using the + in the upper right, that will not work without the Internet.

Can you show us a screenshot of the automation that is not working without the Internet?

I think i see what you’re talking about - I didn’t setup an automation, i configured the properties of the button itself:

Are you saying that, if i set this up to do the same thing(s) via automations, instead of via button properties, this would work when the system was offline?

Yes, if you set it up as a “smartlighting” automation. :sunglasses: But not if you set it up any other way. Only those specific subset of automations can run locally. And only if the other devices in the automation are also eligible to run locally.

What’s the brand and model number of the lights you are trying to control?

If this is the Samsung SmartThings Button, initial setup configuring the press, double press, hold, will by default create the setup using Automations. It’s wild!
No idea why by default it uses a cloud setup
As @JDRoberts advised, Smart Lighting will get you local and allow the same setup.
Personally, I’ve noticed MAJOR response time improvement making this switch.

@Nameless / @JDRoberts - At the time of writing, everything in my environment (Save one device) was SmartThings (I’ve added a few things since then); i’m using SmartThings Buttons and SmartThings bulbs and a couple SmartThings WIFI and ZWAVE outlets. For the purpose of the example though - it’s just a SmartThings Button controlling a couple of Samsung/SmartThings Smartbulbs.

From what i can tell, setting up the smartbuttons did not setup automations… that’s not quite accurate; no automations were created for SmartButton actions that control other smartthings devices.

Most WiFi devices cannot operate without the SmartThings cloud. I’m not sure about the Samsung bulbs, they’re pretty new.

Here’s the goofy part, setting up the buttons after they pair or by clicking on them within the app, creates 3 Automations that won’t run local. Clear those out completely. It should look like this:

Then recreate them in Smart Lighting. This makes the actions run local. BUT, as @JDRoberts mentioned, only if all those devices involved are not cloud based. I, unfortunately, do not know if the SmartThings bulbs run local.

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They do. You can login to and view the Devices page to tell what is cloud and what is local.