Creating Virtual Switches

I’m new to HA but have been using OpenHab for several years. I got used to the idea of making virtual switches to control automations. Because I use OpenHab and now HA, to actually automate my home; the availability of virtual switches is very handy. (I moved to HA because OpenHab was not keeping up with changes to new integrations and device recognition)

For example, I have a routine that lights up a room when someone enters. I don’t want this for everything, just for when the maids are cleaning. Since they do not come during a specific time, and I’m not always home, being able to set a switch when I leave the house to govern this routine is very handy.

Another option is to use such a switch to disable some/all automations when there are workers around or I’m just away for a couple of days. Again, each routine would need to test this switch but that is easy.

I also automated heaters, fans, and blinds based on light, temperature, and sun location. But I also want to disable them when needed.

What do you all think? Is this something that is really needed or am I just one of the few with the desire to automate my house rather than just control it?


NOTE: After trying the “fix” provided by Tom_I, I have it working as expected. My failure was that I forgot that there are more than “adding card to dashboard” to get something to show up. I feel silly that I just did not edit the card and add the item. I guess being in too big a hurry to think was my downfall. Thanks to those who posted and I’ll try and slow down and think things through a bit better (NOT).

You can use a toggle helper for The same purpose.

I tried that but it seems a bit clunky. I want to have it show up as a switch so I can quickly see status. As indicated, I’m new to HA and there are a few things I’m still learning. a.k.a Helpers

Thank you,

Input boolean helpers do show up as toggle switches.

Create one called 'Maids Working". Add it to your dashboard an also add it as a condition to your automations.

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I’ll give it a try. I recall doing this a couple of days ago but it did not work as expected. Since I had other things needing attention, this was put aside. I looked on the forum before adding this as a feature to be sure it was not already addressed. I guess I did not look enough.

Thank you for the info. I have more time now so will work on it tonight. If it works as you describe, it should meet my needs.


Is there a guide to creating this “Input Boolean Helper” ? I clicked on “create helper” and don’t see that item in the list of options.

It is called “Toggle” in the helper UI.

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I found it and it’s working well. I used it to bypass Apple’s requirement to have your phone unlocked and pressing on a confirmation popup to control a home alarm system ( I think it applies to locks, too). If you instead have a button , say “Alarm off Button” trigger the alarm turning off action instead of doing it directly, it doesn’t ask you to “continue on your phone” .

I’ll be sad if Apple ever disables this work around.