Google Home turning on all lights by mistake

One of my biggest pet peeves is Google Home voice command that would hear me wrong and then proceeds to turn on all my home automation lights in Hubitat. I've searched high and low and cannot find a fix for this, it is one of the most annoying things on home automation, almost to the extent I want to rip out Google Home and punt it.

But at the end of the day I want a voice command, I just pray and wish someone would come up with a fix. A simple filter that said if Google Home tries to turn on more than one device in 3 seconds please ignore it. F- Google Home.

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I was having the same issue until I organized ALL of my google home devices into the same rooms as my HE devices (in the Home app). Has been working well since then. Otherwise, you have to be VERY specific about which lights/devices to activate by name. One Caveat, any devices you do not want to be generically activated should be in another room than the google device. So, if you have plugs, virtual devices, etc, that you DO NOT want activated, try putting them in a segregated room with no Google devices in it.


When I started using Amazon Echo devices I had this problem; they couldn't reliably distinguish 'Hall Lights" from 'All Lights'. Fair enough, they sound almost exactly alike. So in the Alexa app I created a group 'Hallway Lights' and two other groups 'All Lights' and 'Hall Lights' (both these groups have no devices in them, so they act like no-ops if the commands are misheard). I also made a group named 'All House Lights' to turn everything off. That solved the problem.

AFAIK there is no way with Google Home to create synonyms for device control; seems like a major shortcoming so I don't use it for voice control. No one in the house seems to be able to remember a single name for a given device, so I've made many synonyms in the Alexa app (you just create a group named whatever you want and associate it with the device or devices you want to control, or leave the group empty if you don't want an action when that command is heard).

For all their smarts Google Home devices can act pretty brain dead. The name of my city ends in 'Falls' and the postal address for that part of the name is often abbreviated 'FL'. When I ask a Google device for the local weather, it says 'Florida' for the location name when it replies, even though the Google Home app knows my zip code is in New York.

My current pet peeve is the commercial running on Hulu (I have the cheap ad supported tier) that has a Lawrence Brother saying 'Hey Google what song is this'; my Google device pipes up and says 'There is nothing playing'. It then hears 'Hey Google, Let's get this party started'; my device then says 'Lets get this party started' and starts playing disco music (at high volume). Really annoying because Hulu repeats this commercial a half dozen times a night.

Alexa almost never misbehaves when hearing its name during a TV broadcast; live or pre-recorded. They use really clever techniques (locally stored snippets of current commercials, as well as real-time cloud analysis of something a talking head might be saying live on TV); there's no excuse for Google not to do the same.

Why Alexa won't wake up when she hears her name in Amazon's Super Bowl ad


MOST Alexa devices. I had to turn off the mics on my Ecobees because while on vacation mode, I have the TV's come on. Apparently, a commercial (or commercials) had Alexa change the thermostat as well as play music. So, my vacation mode kicked out and ran the regular schedule the entire time we were gone AND I came home to a ridiculous playlist being broadcast through my thermostats. My Alexa in my Bose speakers has been stellar though.

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Wow that would really be annoying. I've had a couple of wifi connected Honeywells going on seven years now but only controlled with Honeywell's own app. Every now and then I'll miss the convenience of voice control and get motivated to enable the Alexa integration... then I'll read something like this and get demotivated again.

I didn't buy them for the voice integration. I'm primarily a Google household. But, I initially left the mics on just to see if I wanted Alexa.

With the exception of the Bose speaker, which has better integration with Alexa, I find I like Google better. But, that is admittedly biased to the fact that I'm just used to it.

As to annoyance over the commercials, it would really be nice if advertisers would just agree not to use trigger words in commercials. Google did similar to Alexa in setting up "safe" commercial tones. However, I've had both Google and Alexa have moments with the commercials (even after they tweaked the tones). It's kinda BS that anyone thinks it's cool to use the trigger words at random times.

According to the Amazon blog, Alexa even has some immunity to the very first instance of wake word being spoken in random conversation during a live broadcast-- if the cloud gets hit with thousands of 'Alexa' invocations simultaneously (along with identical pre/post audio) they'll determine in real time that it's a bogus activation during a live broadcast and inhibit the wakeup. They can save the offending audio and use it later as a saved filter when the same audio gets played in a DVR recording.

I don't remember reading about a requirement for a safe tone in the commercial's audio track in the Amazon blog. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be included in the Samsung/Google commercial that's been driving me nuts for weeks on Hulu.

That's my fuzzy memory. I was remembering "altered audio" as a safe tone.

Note that the only real fix in the article is to disable the mic or (in the case of Alexa), change the wake word.

Ah yes, that explains the slurred/muffled Alexa's that I remember hearing in commercials not too long ago. That article was from 2017 and apparently now they (well at least Amazon) have the future filtering technology in place that it alluded to.