I have completed my ST to HE migration (at least in terms of devices). With almost 200 devices (including cameras, etc) this was no small task! Fun though!
Here is a very odd one that hopefully someone can help me with. I have several Peanut Plug devices in my house. One in particular is used to control a small space heater. For some reason, these plugs are showing up in Alexa as a “light”, which doesn’t seem like a big issue, except now when I say “A, turn off the lights” she turns off the heater as well. The option to change that in the Alexa app does not appear (it shows it’s a light but apparently you can only change a switch to a light, not the other way ‘round). Is there any way that anyone knows how to label/identify a device in Hubitat so it won’t show up in Alexa as a light?
I thought perhaps it had to do with having “light(s)” in the description as I have a couple of “scenes” that are labeled with that word included, but my peanut plugs are labeled “Heater” and “Dishwasher”, and they show up as lights in the Alexa app. Any ideas?
First off, welcome to the community. (I'm a bit late with that) But, I think the only way to be able to include it in routines is as a switch. If it's got the plug driver, then there's not much you can do about it. There is a way around it, though. Set your actual lights up in routines and don't include that one in the routine. Done. You could just not expose that plug to Alexa and, instead, create a virtual on off switch and expose that to Alexa that would trigger in a routine if you want to turn the heater only on and off. Then create a rule in HE to finish the job based on the status of that virtual switch. Hope these ideas work. I like to keep things simple. Lights will show as switches and bulbs and plugs do too. Just because of their functionality.
I appreciate the ideas!
With such a complicated system as is my house, obviously I’m trying to keep things as consistent as possible (and simple). I do understand how to get the result I want (for example, I’ve not associated my dishwasher with the kitchen, so when we say “turn off the lights” it doesn’t also turn off the dishwasher).
However, these kinds of “workarounds” make for lots of exceptions to have to remember when looking for devices, coming up with new automations, etc. Plugs and switches can be changed to lights in Alexa, pretty easy. But, I’ve never seen a plug show up as a light, and be stuck there. That’s what I’m going to figure out?
The more I dig through this, the more I am starting to think that an area of further refinement for Hubitat would be how devices are exposed to Alexa. For example, Alexa can discover scenes. I’ve had scenes in ST, Kasa, etc and they show up as scenes, but from HE they show up as a switch (and have difficulty for some reason being incorporated into routines in my brief experience). Scenes should show up in Alexa as scenes, not switches. Plugs should should up as plugs, but lights (as Alexa lets you decide whether that plug as a light plugged into it). Does this make sense?
I know how to get my desired result, but as with anything, the more “engineering” you have to do to get a result, the more one has to look at why it has to be so complicated.
I’m beginning to think it doesn’t matter what the device type is, Alexa will turn it off as if it was a light anyway. This morning when my wife got home, she told Alexa to turn off all of the lights. The HVAC in my son’s room turned off and the air cleaner turned off. One is labeled as a thermostat device type, the other as a switch. The HVAC is not connected to Hubitat, it’s integrated through Alexa btw. Not sure why this happens, but it is a pia. I’m starting to be grateful that the Nest thermostat has very limited Alexa integration. Otherwise I’m pretty sure it would also have been off.
I do hope that these problems subside when they come up with that "standard" they've been speaking of. I feel like if you don't pay the big names to integrate with them, you get minimal. It's unfortunate that money talks anymore. It's much like the products that are system specific. If it wasn't for the community our drawers of shame would be bins of shame. I hope that in the future we do see better engineering and the products become more universal. But, I definitely get it. That's one reason I have left alexa to do her own bitchy thing in the corner. Ready to answer questions about the weather. It's only recently that I've found an interest in utilizing her a bit more since I've automated my garage door opener. I was given an echo auto recently. Boy, is that one picky. She wants the app on your phone, but when you ask her a question and you're not on media, it plays on your phone and on the auto. It's so confusing and frustrating.
This is actually why I am putting Hubitat between most of my devices and Alexa. That way we have control (or more, anyway) about how they integrate. There’s no way securifi is going to do anything to keep their plug from showing up as a light, but I’ll bet someone here could figure it out. There have been several devices that work much better by having Hubitat expose them to Alexa than sending them to Alexa directly through their own skill. It’s pretty cool actually. My TP-Link devices, for example, work much more reliably and consistently by having them visible to Alexa via Hubitat than with TP-Link’s own skill.
I’ve not seen Alexa turn off something that’s not a light with the “turn off the lights” command (unless, as in my situation, the device looks like a light to Alexa). I have groups (bathroom, for instance, where devices that aren’t lights like fans are grouped) and if I say “turn off the bathroom” it turns off the lights and everything else. But if I say “turn off the lights” when I’m in the bathroom, the fan stays on. The fan shows up as a “switch” to Alexa, not a light. That would be so frustrating and I hope you can figure out why that happened! That’s not how it’s supposed to work!
My OP here is identifying a very narrow and peculiar instance where HE sees a plug, and exposes it to Alexa as a light. Sooo many other devices make their way through this exactly as predicted such that this one stands out. Seems like that should be an easy adjustment somewhere in the user driver or whatever mechanism through the Amazon Echo Skill app exposes HE devices to Alexa.
I have made a group called ‘all lights’ in HE and exposed that to Alexa.
She defaults to that group when I tell her to turn off all light regardless of how they are defined in the Alexa app. Just an idea. I too have some things that Alexa sees as lights but are not in my all lights group on HE.
With the group defined, she just switches the HE group.
What driver are you using?
I don't use Alexa but from another topic the light capability of the driver needed to be replaced with outlet and then Alexa would see it as an outlet.
So...I removed the outlet from Alexa, changed the driver, readded it to Alexa, Alexa discovered it as a switch, and still turns it off with “turn off the lights “.