Defending against “Alexa, ALL lights on”

Has anyone found a good way to suppress or mitigate the command “Alexa, all lights on” in the Amazon Echo skill?

Alexa is my family’s preferred interface to HE. The Alexa app allows you to group devices into rooms, so that commands like “Alexa, [turn on/turn off/dim] the lights” only apply locally to a room, which we use regularly. However, “Alexa, turn on all the lights” applies globally across the home. When someone utters this phrase (eg my children), the ensuing light show is hilarious as dozens of lights, scenes and virtual switches that control automation rules all compete to turn on simultaneously. However, it’s a pain to clean up and is wearing thin.

My dream feature would be a toggle in the HE Amazon Echo app to ignore every switch turning on at once. But it doesn’t exist yet.

Has anyone else run into the “Alexa, all lights on” problem? If so, what workarounds have you found to reduce the pain?

You should be able to make a Alexa routine specifically for the turn on/off all the lights voice commands as a sort of mask. Then have nothing as an action, or maybe just a wait action as a no operation.

On another note, does your "turn on/off lights" command work well in a specific room? For me it turns on an off locally as you say, but it does not seem to be constrained to "lights" and turns on/off my plugs including my TV as well that are in that group. Have you noticed the same?


review the components in your Alexa app and make them Switches instead of Lights to not have the Lights command affect them

Thanks for the suggestion. Interesting idea. Have you managed to get this to work or is this a hypothesis? My experience of creating Alexa routines that are similar to built in commands is that the commands usually win, but I may have been doing it wrong. I’d prefer not to experiment unless others have got this specific mask to work, given how disruptive an all-on event is.

They all are categorized correctly and for a while it works, then just doesn't for some reason. I contacted Alexa support and they said that feature we are describing doesn't even exist sooo... I gave up and recreated via NR and it works flawlessly now.

I have this working with my "lights on/off" override that I describe above with NR and no issues thus far. Routines seem to take priority.

I knew there was an issue on Amazon side. I try to use the "turn lights on" feature for local room controls, but when I add a specific light to alexa, that's the only light that gets triggered regardless of which room i do it in or how my groups are set up. I've just resorted to not having that switch be voice controlled and let everything else run smooth

I've created an "all lights" group with devices I don't care about inside. I haven't tested yet to see if this is enough to trick Alexa into not trying to find all lights on its own should it think I said "all lights" (I never do, but "all blinds" apparently sounds similar enough sometimes). Because the consequences are borderline disastrous, affecting any switch, virtual or otherwise and not just lights, I'm still afraid to test, but I'm hoping it will work. :slight_smile: I suspect we have different motivations for avoiding this, but just an idea if it does work.


I was having the same issue where Alexa turns on/off my sockets when I ask her to turn on/off my lights locally in that room ... "Alexa, lights off" results in all lights in the room turning off (wanted) and all sockets in the room turning off (unwanted). That feature was working correctly with Smartthings but I've completely migrated to Hubitat now and it doesn't work. So I'm assuming it's something to do with Hubitat. All those Ikea sockets were running on the Ikea socket driver but once I changed the driver to a generic zigbee socket driver everything worked as it should.

Edit, just discovered that changing the driver only works on some of the Ikea sockets, which is a bit weird. I wonder if I move all my Ikea stuff to the Hue Bridge it will change their behaviour with Alexa? I'll have to try that soon.

Edit, also discovered that Alexa turns on the two Smartthings sockets in the kitchen when I say "Alexa, lights on". So, not an Ikea thing, a Hubitat thing.

1 Like

I have no devices set up in the Alexa "All lights" group. "Alexa turn all lights off yields, "All lights doesn't support that." I use Alexa to control groups and scenes. I also have an Alexa routine, "Goodnight" that turns off most lights and the TV.

1 Like

The kids occasionally ask Alexa to “turn on/off all lights” which causes mayhem in the house with blinds, lights, vacuum cleaners, garage doors, announcements etc going off. Having gotten woken up by this mayhem at 06:12 this morning I thought that I really have to look in to preventing this from happening again.

Thanks to the suggestions above, I have created a new group in Alexa called “All lights”. I had to add a device to the group as I created it but I have since remove the device. I have now tried all iterations of “turn on/off all lights” that I can think of and they all result in “All lights doesn’t support that”. Sweet music to my ears (and house). Thanks guys!

There is another issue. Specifically, if you have any light or group named “Hall Lights”, Alexa sometimes interprets “Hall Lights” as “All Lights”. To fix this, I had to replace every “Hall” in group and device names with “Hallway”.

That’s actually what happened this morning. One of my kids were trying to tell Alexa to “turn off hallway lights” which was interpreted as “all lights”. But with the new “all lights” group there now, it will just give him an error message if that happens again and he can then try the hallway lights again

1 Like

I can't get my Echos to understand switches are not lights. I've selected the option to not to include them as lights but Alexa is either stupid or stubborn.


lol. +1 to that

1 Like

Same, even though the interface specifically says to set your switches and plugs as lights if you want to control them with the "lights" command. It controls them either way no matter what you set unless you take them out of the group. For my room with a fan and TV connected to fire TV cube I made the main group "Family Room TV" and then made another group "Family Room Lights" with just the lights, and then put the lights group IN the TV group. So far it is doing what I want. With out that "turn on the lights" would turn on the fan and the TV (the TV is not even on a smart plug, just connected to the cube).

I ran into a similar issue 2 years ago now, and I even went down the rabbit hole with the Alexa support team for I kid you not, 3+ hours, and they swore to me that "Alexa, turn off/on lights" being room dependent is not even a feature when it clearly is, but just horribly inconsistent and broken.

I ended up just getting fed up and made a routine for "Alexa, turn on lights" and "Alexa, turn off lights" that just have no actions (purely just to mask over the broken functionality). Then I handle the logic entirely in NR via the remote2 nodes which just transcribe the spoken command which has been far more reliable.

I have a similar problem with Alexa treating lights and switches both as lights. You have to set the device as a plug in order for it not to be a light, but Alexa doesn't allow you to do that.

I have a dummy Hubitat virtual switch which I put into Alexa groups " all the lights" and "everything" to avoid many of the problems. I've also used the Alexa skill blueprint "Custom Q&A" to trap potentially unwanted requests and respond with some appropriate message.

Quite why Alexa allows "Alexa turn on everything" and "Alexa turn off everything" is bewildering. The result is carnage.

It would be nice if Hubitat had a built in Virtual Outlet that worked exactly the same as a virtual switch but appeared as a plug in Alexa. It easy to create your own though.

1 Like

Sorry off topic... Do you have an example of this? I have one of the remote2 nodes setup and working. I see the "Alexa Event" node but I have never really be able to figure out how to get it to work right. Is that what you are using the grab the transcribed voice commands?

At risk of going further off topic, this was the basic guide I used to set this up:

Also this is the most maintained fork of the remote2 nodes:

If you need further examples let me know and I will be happy to share what I have.

1 Like

Couple of questions. So the Alexa skill blueprints take precedence over the “normal” voice commands? Also, if you annunciate “Alexa” before the command, will the Alexa Custom Q&A still trap the unwanted request or will it recognize the wake word and still go on to executing the normal command?

IOW, if your kids say “Alexa, turn on all the lights”, will Alexa still turn on all the lights, or will she intercept the “question” and answer something like “You know I’m not allowed to do that”?

Download the Hubitat app