Trouble Understand Alexa

I guess the title is a little tongue-in-cheek but I really don't understand what is happening with Hubitat and Alexa.

I just recently installed the Alexa skill on Hubitat and Alexa, joined them and all works well.

However in doing so I found an odd "failure mode".

I never installed the Alexa app so I know it is not in the picture.

As I was setting Alexa - Hubitat up I, on occasion would command Alexa to turn on some lights for which there was no Hubitat entity (virtual switch, device etc). The result was troubling:

Alexa would respond "OK" but no lights would go on, however she would create a device in Hubitat with the misspoken name and it would be of type "Group Bulb Dimmer"

So how can I make Alexa respond with a negative it the command does not exist on Hubitat?
What is a "Group Bulb Dimmer" ? It seems to have no way to and any other devices to it.


A Group Bulb Dimmer is created by the Group app, when you group a bunch of lights together. It's a virtual device, and can be used with Alexa. However, it is not possible for the Alexa skill to create such a device.

Do you have any Groups installed?

Yes I have one group, however something else created this device. I know I didn't (see attached).
However I have it all sorted out and working, Alexa now reports ".... can't find device..." when I try to control a non-existing device.

So I guess it is a moot point, still I found it weird.


That device was created by the Group app. The device network id is the one used by the group app, namely, "Alexa_" followed by the device name. So at one point you must have had a group called Exterior Lights.

Likely, I'll admit I had the group names and virtual switch names messed up. But how did the (or why did the) group app use Alexa....?

So lets say I did have a group named "Exterior Lights" And I told Alexa to turn that group ON/OFF, why would the group app create the Alexa device?

It was the Alexa Groups app before it became just the Groups app, so it's a bit of leftover history. I'm wondering if that part can't be removed. It does cause a bit of confusion among users that were not on the platform at that time.

No, Group Bulb Dimmer is new. It used to be called Alexa Dimmer. But that was confusing to people, so the name changed when we added color bulbs and color temperature bulbs. The app never was called Alexa Groups. It's always been called Groups, with a child called a Group.

1 Like

The Group App creates a child device so that Alexa or other automations can control the group. That's the whole point of a Group, for something to control them as a group. For that you need something to control, namely, the child device that is created that has the name of the Group.

Thanks for the explanation. I'll have to do more testing to fully understand.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.