SmartThings Automations (Scenes and Routines) and how to trigger them in SharpTools

My question is related to this HowTo thread: HowTo ST Scenes with Simulated Switches. I figured it might be better to start a separate thread for my question to avoid cluttering the How To.

In summary, in my SharpTools dashboard I want to tap a button to enable or disable my SmartThings Routines - but so far no luck.

I’ve had SmartThings for several years and I think I’ve fully migrated to the new system. I use the new app only. In my Samsung SmartThings app, I have an Automations tab at the bottom. Clicking it shows two types of automations I’ve built: Scenes and Routines.

Following the instructions in the How To, I am able to trigger Scenes no problem. But I haven’t been able to trigger Routines because it’s not an option when I get to step 2.10: only Scenes is an option. Is there a way to do it and I’m just missing something? I got a bit confused about what capabilities were offered by SmartThings Classic app vs. the new SmartThings app (which I have). I can create new Routines in my app so I thought it is still a supported capability, but maybe not.

Not sure if it’s related, but when I get to step 2.3, the How To says when I click the + button I should pick “Add Automation,” but I see two options, Add Scene or Add Routine. Since a Scene is not rule-based, I picked Routine.

My use case is that I have a series of SmartThings Routines I’ve used for a long time when we are away from home overnight (things like turn on and off various lights at different times, send alerts if a door is opened, etc.). Being quite a novice, I never associated those Routines with Modes (haven’t used Modes for anything before). Now that I’ve got a nice SharpTools dashboard I plan to put on my wall, I want to have a button to set “Away” mode and hence enable the various associated Routines. When I get home, I want to tap the button to set “Home” mode and hence disable the same Routines.

I think I could accomplish the goal by abandoning my SmartThings Routines and setting up new Rules in SharpTools to do the same things. I was hoping to avoid the rework but it might be the simplest way.

Sorry for all the beginner questions. I’ve learned a lot in the last month but sometimes still get stuck on simple stuff!

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Routines used to be called Automations, so selecting “Routine” where the guide says “Automation” is correct. The guide was written before Samsung arbitrarily changed the name.

Automations (i.e. the Automations tab) now collectively refers to Scenes, Routines and Smart Apps.


Since you already have a number of Routines working well, I think you can stick with them, just modifying them slightly to include the location mode. In the “If” section of the routine, add a “Location Mode” entry and set it as a precondition. That way the Routine will only fire when the Location mode matches the proper state.

It sounds like you have the location mode button figured out on your dashboard, so all you have to do is set the location mode there and you should be set.

BTW, if you use the STHM, you can automate setting the location mode. But that’s an additional step, so maybe start with setting it manually via the dashboard.


Well that is definitely easier than I was making it out to be! Thanks a lot! Sometimes when there are so many ways of doing things I get lost with which is the better/easier way. Much appreciated!


I don’t know if this will help at all but I created virtual switches (Home, Away, Vacation, Bedtime, etc) in ST that represent modes. Personally I don’t like using ST modes since I can’t easily see what mode I’m in in ST and you have to use automations to change the mode anyway. I use these switches as pre-conditions or triggers for routines. I added these switches to my dashboard and they can be triggered directly.

If phone present
Then turn on Home switch, turn off Away Switch

If phone not present
Then turn on Away switch, turn off Home switch

If Home is on (precondition)
If motion detected
Then turn on light

If Away on (precondition)
If Motion detected
Then send notification

Thanks Terri! That seems to be the approach many others are taking. In my case my family doesn’t look at the actual ST app very much so the fact that they make it hard to see/change the Mode isn’t a big issue for us. I added a tile in my dashboard to show/toggle the mode, and it seems to be working great.

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