Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Home Automation (with Alexa)
  • Premier Icon Alphabet
    Full Member

    Now I have an Alexa from the Sonos deal, I’d like to be able to get her to switch lights and lamps on and off. Perhaps even control the telly and who knows what else in the future.

    How do I go about that then? Is it just a case of buying some smart bulbs and plug sockets (e.g. cheap Alexa compatible stuff from Gearbest or more expensive brands from UK retailers) and then having her control them?

    Secondly what is the advantage of a smart hub (or manufacturers hub) if Alexa will control everything directly?

    Premier Icon HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    I’ve been looking at one of these

    which can apparently control anything operated via Infrared or RF, so you can just get those cheap RF operated plug sockets rather than wifi ones.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    The newest Echo (and possibly Dot?) has a smart hub built-in, previously they didn’t so it wasn’t so much an advantage, it was a requirement to buy a separate smart hub. I can’t see a need for a separate one now unless the one built-in to Alexa doesn’t support the devices you want to use.

    I have a v2 Dot (without builtin smart hub) so for lighting I bought a Phillips Hue Starter kit (includes the hub + 3 bulbs). You need to register the hub in the Alexa app and then register the bulbs in the Philips Hue app. I had to create the rooms in the Alexa app to (otherwise she doesn’t recognise them, at least without some added Skill word). I’ve actually over-complicated my set-up as I have 4 different apps now with config in them and I have no clue what is actually the master now :p

    But basically you create a “Living Room” room and register the bulb you’ve plugged in there to it (they get discovered by the app). Then you just say “Alexa, living room on” or “Alexa, living room 50” (this sets it to be 50% brightness, turning it on in the first place if it’s not already on.

    Then there’s scenes and timers (I’ve only created one timer/schedule so far so my bedroom and living room lights come on gradually starting at 5:35am (10 mins before by alarm goes off) and switch off at 7am (just after I leave the house), on weekdays only (the last bit is important as I found out waking up the first Saturday I set it up with a hangover to glaringly bright lights :p ).

    I haven’t got into controlling other stuff yet, I did look briefly at it and there’s various stuff such as a Logitech controller but reading about that it seemed overly complicated and not fully supported in the UK. I gave up looking at that point but I’m sure others have a working setup…

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Free Member

    Was round a friends house the other day and he had the Logitech Harmony Hub integrated with alexa. Worked well to turn on the telly, amp, sky, dvd, etc. and get everything set appropriately with just one voice command. I’m quite tempted given that it’s a relatively inexpensive bit of kit in the context of home automation.

    I’ve been looking at one of these

    Looks ok that. I guess you’d integrate with alexa using IFTTT?

    Premier Icon cranberry
    Free Member

    I have a harmony, not using it a lot at the moment with Alexa, but it is handy.

    Next to integrate are my Somfy awnings and Tado for heating.

    Premier Icon DT78
    Free Member

    I use hue bulbs in normal fittings and tp link plugs for our lamps. Works great.

    Premier Icon somouk
    Free Member

    A friend uses hue, sonos and nest with an Echo and it all seems to work really well as it is meant to but with simple voice commands.

    Premier Icon Alphabet
    Full Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    That Broadlink Controller looks interesting once they’ve fixed their Alexa skill as I’ll hopefully be able to control the LED strips in the kitchen without having to replace them for wifi versions.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

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