Alexa voice commands vs virtual contact

I am integrating alexa to HE and found that some automations can be invoked by either of the two ways.

  1. By sending an alexa voice command from HE to alexa .
  2. By close/open of a virtual contact from HE and then execute the routine in alexa.

What does everyone use ? Any advantage/disadvantage for these approaches?

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Virtual my friend

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I use both options. But it really depends upon the end result expected and how many devices are involved. Virtual devices make up the core of my system and I act on those from multiple fronts : voice (Alexa), webcore, physical buttons/switches/sensors, RM, Routines, Basic Rules, etc.

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I use a virtual contact/switch combo. Works great!

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From the beginning with HE (started with Alexa before HE), I have used virtual contacts with switches to trigger Alexa routines, and Alexa routines and voice commands to trigger automations in HE. I have only been using HE for 1 1/2 years so far so my experience is limited (I still consider myself a newbie) but I have found that I keep bumping into the 200 routine limit with Alexa, especially since I use Alexa to make various announcements based on HE virtual device triggers.

I am constantly having to make decisions as to which Alexa routines I must sacrifice to stay under the 200 limit. Since I already had Alexa in just about every room, I did not want to undergo the expense and hassle of putting a Sonos device in each room to keep TTS local. So unfortunately, I am still dependent upon the cloud for voice control and announcements, but, Alexa allows me to β€œbridge” non-HE compatible devices such as WiFi devices with HE.

So far, the WAF has been reasonable, with my wife usually first questioning why we would want to automate something, then later complaining that she misses some automation or voice control if it is sacrificed due to the 200 routine limit. A little off topic but somewhat related is that I wish there was a better, completely local way to achieve TTS and voice control with HE. The cloud makes us not only subject to internet or cloud service outtages, but also more vulnerable to being locked out should a cloud service decide to limit access.

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