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No !! Don't hit your forehead.. it'll leave a mark in all your Thanksgiving pictures :smiley:


Ah, thanks. My coffee machine is broken, so I'll blame it on lack of caffeine!


@bill That makes a ton of sense and I'm liking the idea of focusing on the automatons and voice controls and doing away with the panel idea. I would still like an easy to access UI to see what's going on a control things but I don't need anything fancy or a panel for that.

In regards to voice automation, for me, there are two major features missing from both Alexa and Google Home that make it hard to adopt them 100% over a UI.

  1. The ability to distinguish between device types and configure how you control them. For example, I want to control a Light differently from a Fan or a Washing Machine differently from a TV. Alexa and Google Home support a wide range of device types so I think this is more of and integration issue. I just posted a question about this in the community.

  2. How do you reference a device when you don't remember or know it's name? I can hear my wife from another room becoming quite frustrated with poor Alexa, which by the way from now on I'm going to have to refer to as "becoming Ozzy". One feature that would help would be having the ability to reference devices associates with a room you are in by their "short name". For example, you should not have to say "Alexa, turn off the Family Room Lamp" if you're in the Family Room. For me, this is the one feature that is so significant and easy to implement yet both Amazon and Google have yet to implement it. Today, Google Home handles this much better than Alexa but still has a ways to go.

When you have a physical UI such as a wall switch or digital panel, you don't need to remember its name or how to control it. I believe when it comes to true automation and voice control we shouldn't be "thinking" about individual devices but configuring so our guests can say "It's a bit to cold" or "I'm going to read a book". A voice would come back with, "OK, I'll lower the fan and raise the room temperature in the Family Room to 71 degrees" or "okay, I'll turn off the TV and adjust the lights for reading". Having said that, sometimes you just want to turn off the lamp.

Thanks Again! Glenn


Google does this now. If I say 'Hey Google, turn off the lights' and I'm in the Living Room...Only the Living Room lights turn off. If you have the Hubs, Homes and/or mini's set up correctly in the Google app, then they know what room they are in and will only control the devices in that room if not specified in your voice command.

Nest already does this too. :slightly_smiling_face: "Hey Google, I'm cold"... OK, I'm turning the Nest up 3 degrees

Again, very easy to do with Google Assistant using Routines or by using Rule Machine.
This is one of my Rules in RM...
"Hey Google, Watch TV On" ... Turns on my TV, Stereo, Cable box, LED Lighting behind my TV and the LED strip under by fireplace mantel.
and if I say 'Watch TV Off' ... then everything turns off.


Alexa can do this, to some extent. Create a group in the Alexa app that includes the lights in a room as well as the Alexa device in that room. Then when you tell that Alexa device to turn on or off the lights, it’ll act only on the lights in the room.

Unfortunately that’s an all or nothing thing, it still can’t distinguish between your ceiling light and table lamp this way.

Also possible with an Alexa routine, with some limitations.


That's a huge improvement but when I say, "hey Google, turn on the Lights" it turns on the Lights, Lamps, Fans and Outlets in the room.


You are right about that one. I don't remember it doing that in ST but I have no way of testing that now. Would be interesting to hear from someone that is still running both systems.


Alexa allows you to collectively reference all the lights in a room without having to reference the room name when you are speaking to the Echo device associated with that room. This was a great improvement. Unfortunately, you can't refer to individual devices in a room without referring to their full name. Moreover, the HE integration with both Alexa and Google Home doesn't enable seem to distinguish device types so when you say, "Alexa, turn on the Lights", she turns on the Lights, Lamps, Fan and Outlets.


I this an HE thing or an Alexa device setting thing? Currently a device discovered by Alexa can be set as a "light" or a "switch". If they're all set as lights, it stands to reason that "Alexa, turn on the Lights" would turn everything in that group on. Setting outlets as switches should prevent that from happening. If it doesn't it's an HE integration issue.


Well first off my stuff is all Alexa. I don't know that much about Google Home.

Secondly, I agree that room (or alexa device) context would be awesome. If it's the bedroom alexa it should know that when you say, "turn on the lights" it knows you mean bedroom lights based on context. AFAIK that doesn't work on alexa yet.

As for short names and such, I tend to leverage two alexa features for this- groups and routines. If you have a device named "Bedroom Lamp", you can create an alexa "group" named "corner lamp" with 1 item of "bedroom lamp" and this effectively becomes an alias for "bedroom lamp". You can do as many of these as you wish for all of the names your wife might call that lamp.

You can do something similar with alexa routines, but in that case with whole phrases. So you could implement the, "Alexa, I'm cold" feature that way. In my case, my thermostat vendor provides their own alexa skill so I'm using that directly not doing it through hubitat,


As has been said, you can do that now. It's a variation of your alias. Create a group, add an Alexa device and at least one light. Call it whatever you'd like, but if you then tell that specific Alexa to turn on/off the light, it works. The downside is that what you put in that group with the specific Alexa all go on/off.


no kidding? That's kind of cool but I have 9 echos and that sounds like a bit of a nightmare to manage.


9 echos = 9 more groups. If you already have a dozen for aliasing "bedroom lamp" how much harder to manage? When I hear "manage" I hear repeated tweeking.

I can't see how that would be needing any more managing than keeping up with your wife's name for that lamp. :slight_smile:

I personally don't think I'll be managing MY echo groups for at least 6 months :slight_smile:


Oh I see why I was missing this. It's not available from the alexa web interface only the app. That is, you can't add echo devices to a group from the web interface. You can't create routines from the web interface either.

Yeah this isn't that bad. You can just add the local alexa to that room's device group.

That said, if I'm in the room where a particular echo can hear me, the lights ought to have already come on due to motion, so I'm not sure how much I'm going to use this.


Question, how did you get weatherwidget io forecast to show on your dashboard?


I don't always want to use my voice and automation is only for specific situations. My dash is like a universal remote for the house.


I’m afraid I’m with @bill on this one.
If I walk into a room in the evening (when it’s dark enough) and the lights don’t come on,
I haven’t configured it correctly.
Although I have an alexa in almost every room, they are rarely used for automation, with the exception of “I’m cold” or "I’m hot” the point of HE for me is automation.
I have not created any dashboards and if I did, I would be the only one using them! :slight_smile:



I'm in the same camp.

The echo units are great for setting timers, letting everyone in the house know when someone is at the door... but for automation, they're mostly party tricks and one-off routines for my use.


For me too
One thing I DO use though is a 'goodnight' routine.
This turns everything off etc before I go to bed


I haven't implemented that, yet---how's it work? With SmartThings, I remember clunkily saying 'Turn on Goodnight', which felt strange...

I have a Remotec 90 that has a button assigned to my 'Good Night' mode. That's my dashboard, these days :cowboy_hat_face: