Alexa and Scenes

I use Alexa quite a bit but it is mostly for individual items. Using Alexa for scenes is great having a sequence is great but, If you turned on several items with an Alexa controlled scene, how do you turn those items off with the same or similar voice command? I’m trying to avoid having to say “evening lights off… on” to make it happen with another scene.

In which of the following ways are you employing Alexa to control Vera-connected devices?

[A] Alexa controls Vera devices directly through Smart Home skill.
[B] Alexa runs Vera scenes through Smart Home skill.
[C] Alexa turns on/off virtual switches in Vera which in turn perform other actions (e.g. Reactor routine).
[D] Trigger Alexa Routines to perform a sequence of actions.

I find that it matters a lot which approach one takes, since each comes with benefits and limitations. Myself, I’m trying hard to move away from [A] and [C] toward [D] these days (since Alexa Routines can do so much now, and are getting stronger).

Ultimately, my goal would be to use:

[E] ezlo VOI to trigger Alexa Routines and/or control devices that are not Vera-connected (e.g. Tuya, LG, etc.) and external services like IFTTT.

Just curious which direction you’re coming from.

You can create a scene that turns the evening lights on and create a routine on Alexa called ‘Turn the evening lights on’ and have that routine run the evening lights on scene. Then you can create another scene that turns the evening lights off from Vera. Then Create another Alexa routine called ‘Turn Evening Lights Off’ and have that routine run the evening lights off scene from Vera.

1 Like

Agreed with Pabla’s approach, as that synthesizes the best of both worlds. However, I recall Alexa more than once forgetting important Routines (or omitting steps related to devices that - for whatever reason - had been refreshed in her list of known “Devices”, such as when I moved some Tuya plugs to a different location/room/account).

So don’t freak out if down the road you need to revisit your Routine definitions!

To expand on this, I have my 3 exterior lights controlled by a Virtual Switch (VS). So Reactor turns on/off the VS, or I can manually turn on/off the VS, and the 3 lights go on/off. Reactors is looking at sunset/sunrise and sky conditions to turn on/off the VS. And a separate Reactor only reacts to the VS state. This way I can turn on/off the lights literally with the flick of a “virtual” switch. And Alexa can control that VS so I have many ways to control those 3 lights as one unit.


Pabla
Regular

15h

“You can create a scene that turns the evening lights on and create a routine on Alexa called ‘Turn the evening lights on’ and have that routine run the evening lights on scene. Then you can create another scene that turns the evening lights off from Vera. Then Create another Alexa routine called ‘Turn Evening Lights Off’ and have that routine run the evening lights off scene from Vera.”

I have tried this, but find that the scene names must se different wording or Alexa gets confused with names that are too similar. That takes you down the rabbit hole off having allot of different commands for basically the same function or repeating commands over and over hoping she gets it right.

1 Like

8h

“To expand on this, I have my 3 exterior lights controlled by a Virtual Switch (VS). So Reactor turns on/off the VS, or I can manually turn on/off the VS, and the 3 lights go on/off. Reactors is looking at sunset/sunrise and sky conditions to turn on/off the VS. And a separate Reactor only reacts to the VS state. This way I can turn on/off the lights literally with the flick of a “virtual” switch. And Alexa can control that VS so I have many ways to control those 3 lights as one unit”.

I have to look into this. I have several reactors but have not tried using VSs yet. Groups are another workaround that I haven’t really looked into yet.

Another example - I have a VS called mood lighting. When I tell Alexa to turn on mood lighting, it turns the switch on. Then in Reactor, it reactors to the switch and executes one of 4 Hue scenes. The 4 scenes are similar, they turn on 2 Hue bulbs on dim, in 1 of 4 colors. Each color gets assigned to a week.

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