SmartThings Community

Alexa commands based on Echo location

Maybe it’s easy but it’s not obvious to me.If i ask Alexa “turn on the fan”, can I turn on a specific device based on the room where the Echo device is? People have trouble remembering specific device names. Thanks!

Yes, you can! You have specify the room that the Echo is in via the app, and, as long as the name is unique, it should work.

Thanks do you mean assign a group in the Alexa app? That is the only thing I could find

Yes. You have to add to the Alexa group the Smarthome devices and the echo device you want to speak.

Problem is you can’t have 2 groups named fan. Still have to remember what room is named what.

I think proper initial setup is very very crucial, even I had some problems initially but after going through the manual it proved to be very helpful in the end.

Yes. Ideally, I would like to say “turn on fan” or “turn on lights” and have it make a decision based on what room the voice device is in. It doesn’t look easily possible.

Amazon has an official feature that will do this for lights and switches. Nothing to do with SmartThings. :sunglasses: Note that it doesn’t make any difference what you call the group. Once you have a control group that includes an echo device and some lights or switches, then whenever you are physically near that echo and you say “Alexa, lights on,” Then the lights in that control group will come on.

Here is one of ours. It has one echo show and two lights in the group.

We name ours “control group” just so we can remember what that group is for, but you could call it anything you want. You could call it “gorilla whistles“ or “banana split.“ :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It doesn’t matter what you call the name of the control group, because you are never going to say that name out loud. All you were going to say is the generic instruction: “Alexa, turn the lights off.” And if you were standing in my family room, then the family room show would know it was physically closest to you and it would turn off the Deer lamp and the Hunter Light.

Note that each echo device can only belong to one control group. That’s important.

Here’s another of our groups, the one for the living room. Note that it has some lights and some switches. We have an open plan house, so the hallway, the dining room, and living room all run together. But if you are standing in my living room and you say “Alexa, Lights on,” then all of the devices we have put into this control group would come on. But the lights in the Family room would not come on.

Amazon support can help you with setting these up if you are confused.

But I don’t think you can put a fan into one of these control groups. Which is why I didn’t post in this thread before.

What you could do is create a virtual switch and add it to the control group. But then either you are using up your one and only control group for that echo device just for the fan, or the lights will always come on when the fan comes on if you add lights to the group. So that didn’t really feel like a practical solution to me.

You can open the Alexa app and send a suggestion to them that they have a way of having fans for the control groups. Otherwise, the people in your household are just going to have to learn the name of each room, and then you can call the fan in each room by that name plus “fan“, so “family room fan,“ “back porch fan,“ etc. I agree, it would be much easier to just say “fan on” but that feature just isn’t available yet.

Thanks for the clarification. Yes " turn lights on" works but alas “turn fan on” does not. We will have to wait for that.

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@bamarayne is this something EchoSistant can handle? ( “turn fan on in here”? )

Yes, but not using that terminology. In EchoSistant you create your room, “Living room” and you would select you fan in that room. You would say, “Alexa, turn on the fan in the Living Room”

Another way to do this is to create a group in the Alexa app. I have several like this. The group name would would be “Bedroom Fans”. I then select the devices I want in the group, as long as they are switches, which the fans are plugged in to, and I say, “Alexa, turn on the Bedroom Fans”