Update a device-less entity by automation action

Based on what’s available in the automation UI, it seems I’m unable to directly update the state of device-less entities via automation. I can reference these entities under Triggers or Conditions (using the State option), but unless they are parented to a device, these entities can’t be manipulated under Actions.

I’m a bit confused by this limitation and haven’t been able to find any documentation or community threads about it. There’s a handful of automation scenarios in my home which are infeasible because they require updating a standalone entity via automation. Examples from the top of my head:

  • Updating lights controlled by Leviton Decora WiFi switches. The integration adds them as standalone entities.
  • Updating one of the input boolean helpers I created as a proxy for room-specific variables.
  • I have a few group helper entities (each containing 2 distinct light switches) to always keep them in sync. This group entity is technically device-less, even though it controls two devices.

I’d love to understand more about this and how others have solved similar problems.

When creating an action, select “Call a service” and then the service you want to run (light.turn_on, switch.turn_off, etc) and you will be able to select the target to the entity level.

Glad to learn there’s a first-party UI solution here after all!

That said, the above steps aren’t exactly intuitive or discoverable, especially for users who aren’t tech-savvy. A discrete Entity picklist option would make this more approachable; I think I’ll propose that as a new UI feature request. Thanks for your help!

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