Using Smart Plug as Button?

Hi, new to all this so apologies in advance if it’s a stupid question. I just got a ST hub and and looking to get a load of plugs to control some lamps that I have. I know I’ll be able to use alexa or the app to turn them on, but I’m also wondering if they report when they’ve been switched on/off to use that as a trigger? I’d like it if I could switch on/off a single outlet to turn on/off a lamp, and it could trigger the rest of the lamps in the room to also be switched on/off.

Sure! Plugs are Technically Switches…

You could do this with one of the stock apps called SmartLighting. It’s in the Marketplace.

Lots of us use webCoRE as our goto rule engine. There’s a bit of a learning curve but it uses simple logic such as If, Then and is WAY more powerful than any of the stock apps.

Ok brilliant, any any switch should do the job in that case then?

Thanks I’ll look into webCoRE, I’m a software dev so hopefully should be able to pick it up without too much trouble!

Yep any switch. Physical or Virtual.

You can create Virtual Switches (VS) in the IDE.

Login-Location-Home-Devices-New Device-Simulated Switch

The IDE is where you go to install custom code as well.

Here’s a custom app to create VS on the fly.

webCoRE is fantastic and very powerful, but it always runs in the ST Cloud vs locally on your hub. Smart Lighting actually runs locally on your v2 Hub, assuming all of the devices used in your lighting automation are also running locally. So, Smart Lighting is a good way to improve reliability and responsiveness vs running your logic in the ST cloud.

I use both, but prefer Smart Lighting whenever possible just to get the local processing functionality.

For your devices to run locally, they pretty much need to be either Zigbee or Z-Wave based, and have full Device Handler support from SmartThings. Cloud-to-Cloud connected devices (i.e. WiFi outlets and Switches) will always run in the ST Cloud, and thus your automations will too. Stick to mainstream Zigbee or Z-Wave switches and outlets and you’ll have more luck running locally on the hub. There are lots of threads discussing which devices run locally here in the forums.

Have fun and welcome!

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Thanks, that’s very useful to know. Actually one of the reasons I opted for the ST hub over getting the echo plus (which has a built in home hub) was to retain control of my devices locally in case I lose internet connectivity. I thought that webCoRE was installed on my ST hub directly; I think I’ll be taking a look at Smart Lighting now

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The important thing is to have a backup plan. Most smart plugs only switch ON/OFF one of the outlets. The other is usually constantly powered. So if all the Cloud stuff went down, you could just move the power cord to the other outlet (or in most cases just plug it back in where it was) and then use it as a regular light once again.

I have a couple Alexa devices, several GE switches and some Hue light bulbs. I can never be totally in the dark as even if ST is down the Alexa can still turn on the Hue lights, even if my Internet is down the switches still work. Maybe I lose the double-tap features while the Internet spins back up, but I’m not sitting in the dark.

It’s a good thing to be aware of, but I wouldn’t go all “doomsday prepper” in worrying about it either.