Voice Control in the Automated Home

As a (dumb) newby at the very 1st day of school (HE arrive just few hours ago) i created a virtual switch in HE, installed Alexa app (as I'm in Italy Alexa skill is not available:slight_smile:...). The switch seems to work in HE but cannot be discovered by Alexa as a device. Have you all some suggestion

Did you visit the Echo app (within Hubitat) and select your virtual switch? This should enable the discovery.

Did you tell Alexa to discover new devices?

I'm fully in the Amazon Alexa camp. I have 12 Echo devices (about half are Dots, the rest either Spots or Shows), plus two FireTV cubes, so you can say "Alexa" and hear a response in pretty much every room in my house. However, while I find being able to ask for lights to turn on or off is pretty handy, I also used Lutron switches and dimmers everywhere (with Picos wherever the lights were 3-way or 4-way), so the house can be completely operated with buttons. (If I have to sell the house at some point, I think that will be important.)

I don't believe I could completely "automate" my house either. There are too many combinations that aren't on a "pattern". How would it know to automatically turn all the bedroom lights including the ceiling fan light at full brightness when I'm about to vacuum? I need a way to control my lights, not just let Hubitat do it.

I think the Alexa app is actually pretty good as a control app - almost as good in most ways and better in some than the SmartThings app(s) were. With it you can give "friendly" names to your devices (so you can name them in ways that let you find them in Hubitat), and group them into rooms and areas (which can overlap - "bedroom wing" is the bedroom, bathroom and sitting room together). And if you need more than one name for something, you can create a "group" of 1 device to give it an alias.

My guess is they'll continue to enhance that page of their app so they can be everyone's "phone app" regardless of what hub or hubs (or hubless devices) they have. It would be awesome if they integrated their notifications stuff so we wouldn't need a Hubitat app at all.

BTW - I recently discovered that you can pare down Alexa commands to so few words that "Alexa, nightstand 5" will set my nightstand table lamp to 5%. I haven't experimented with it, but I think that means I'll be able to tweak Stephan Hackett's Hampton Bay fan driver (Hampton Bay Zigbee Fan Controller Driver (with Component Devices)) to let me say "Alexa, fan 2" in my living room, to set it to medium speed.

It seems to me you need to add a Roomba to the mix.

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Done. By voice and by app. Could It be due to the Italian language of my Echo system? Does the Amazon app work for non-english echos?

I have one in the (finished) basement. The upstairs is all hard-wood and rugs so it doesn't work very well there.

I haven't played with that driver in a while but I think it should be as simple as editing the parent driver. Re-enable the Switch Level capability and add a setLevel() method to send the corresponding setSpeed() command.

Thanks. Your code is pretty easy to read, so I got that far already. I've never written anything in Groovy, but it seems easy enough to modify working examples. (I already modified it once to rename the levels low, medium, high, and full.)

The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me …. :roll_eyes:

You might try looking through this thread to see if anything pertains to your setup Alexa Not Finding Your Devices?

Is anyone else having challenges with the Google Home custom routines? (I know this has very little to do with HE, but figured y'all are the smart ones.)

Google Home comes with pre-set routines that can't really be deleted, but they have also managed to "hijack" the most logical trigger words, so I find myself in a bit of a pinch.

For example, Google Home has a "bedtime" routine (Set up & manage Routines - Android - Google Home Help), but it has locked up most of the usual words you'd use. Google support told me: "not use "Hey Google, bedtime for Sammy." and "Hey Google, bedtime for Evan." since the word bedtime is already being used by the ready-made Bedtime Routine. Try synonyms for bedtime (for example, sack time, lights out, sleep time, and slumbertime) for the two Custom Routines, and make sure that the words you're using are not alternative commands for the ready-made Bedtime Routine."

They told me "The routines are working as intended." WTF?

I know my routine works. When I change the trigger phrase to "Alligator" it works fine. But I don't want to tell my kids or my babysitter or my wife that they have to say "OK, Google, Alligator" to turn off the kids light, turn on the night light, and play some music for sleeping.

I'm not shocked that Google doesn't understand how people in the real world operate. No reason for super simple stuff to be this complicated.

I have 2 kids, each have a Google mini in their room. Their main lights and their night lights are all working fine in the Google Home app. All work fine individually by voice. But setting up a routine is killing me.

How have you guys worked around this? Or what would you suggest?

I could suggest Alexa, but you'd be trading one set of "WTF?" stupid design decisions for a completely different set that is probably almost equally bad. It's just amazing how stupid both of them can be.


For $35, I may buy one Echo dot and see how it works. But I'm already 5 Google Minis, a Google Home, 2 Chromecasts, 1 Chromecast Audio and a Pixel 3 committed to the Google ecosystem. (I'm an idiot).


To qualify this, my like was you being an idiot and not anything else you wrote. :wink:

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I've got my big boy pants on. I deserve it. I can take it. (the pixel 3 is a really nice phone, though)

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I have two new model Echo Shows, two old model Shows, a couple Spots, a half dozen Dots, two Fire TV Cubes, an Echo Input, and a couple Fire Tablets (7" and 10") that I'm planning to turn into dash boards. (I'm an idiot too!)

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I have tons of Google stuff and Amazon stuff so I don't know where that puts me.


Download the Hubitat app