Creating Virtual Switches in SmartThings to Extend Your Home Controls
Creating Virtual Switches in SmartThings
Thanks to user @mgudites for sharing this useful feature! Not only did they share a super useful feature, but they were able to control their Kasa Devices using a Logitech Harmony remote as a result of the new feature! Previously, not all TP-Link devices would be shown as being compatible with the Harmony Remote. Using Virtual Switches for your TP-Link Devices will allow the Harmony Remote to see and add the switch as a controllable smart home device.
If you would like to read the thread where this is discussed, please feel free to visit the link below:
Before Getting Started:
- Make Sure Your TP-Link Devices are Accessible in SmartThings
- Both Kasa Smart and Tapo are officially integrated with Samsung SmartThings and appear separately. You must link both Accounts for the corresponding devices
- If you are still unable to see your TP-Link devices in your home, you may still need to link your accounts through the (+) Add Device Menu, and then find TP-Link Kasa or Tapo in the list of brands under the By Brands Section of the Add Device Menu.
From the Samsung SmartThings Application:
Navigate to: Menu > Labs
The Virtual Switch feature in Logitech SmartThings is considered to be one of the features that they are testing, as there was a lot of demand for this functionality.
If you have never looked into the features that are available under the Labs umbrella, I highly recommend looking into the different ways that these automations can interact with and improve the functionality of your Kasa and Tapo Devices
Virtual Switch Creation
You will be presented with the ability to name and place a new virtual switch in your home. After Tapping ‘Save’, your new virtual switch will appear as any other device throughout your SmartThings application
Automation > ‘+’ > Routine > Custom
When creating automations and routines in the SmartThings Application, you will now be able to see your Virtual Switch along with your other devices. At this point, you can find new ways to create connections between services and devices.
Why Virtual Switches Can Be Powerful
Virtual Switches are a great way to create an input or output for any of your SmartThings Automations. While this example uses virtual switches to trigger a routine, you can have the smart switch be toggled when a specific condition is met, this will allow you to potentially create a virtual switch that is tied to an energy output of a device, or the illuminance of a room.
Pro Tip: Since Writing this, I have already found my favorite use for the feature. If you are creating Virtual Switches for Automations, and you are using a Voice Assistant to control your smart devices, you can pass the virtual switch to either Google Home or Alexa to allow your automations and routines to be enabled or disabled with your voice. This has made it much easier to disable energy-saving modes, and motion sensor lights when needed, rather than having to fumble through my different automation applications to find the source.
How this Works with Logitech Harmony
When configured like this, it is extremely easy to make changes to your configuration. Not only does this allow you to make small changes to your settings in the harmony app, but you can also actually change what automation the virtual switch is controlling to completely change the function of your remote’s buttons, without having to try and navigate through the Logitech Harmony Application.
If ANY of your SmartThings Devices are not immediately shown as an option when configuring your Harmony Remote, other brands included, the Virtual Switch feature will be fix.
Share Your Creations
I know that some of you will be able to create some clever automation to control your devices using this feature.
What are some other uses that you can think of for this Virtual Switch Feature?
We always enjoy hearing how our users are using our devices and services to automate their home, so feel free to leave a comment below with any useful information or automations that you have discovered/created.