Alexa thinks my smartthings fan is a light

alexa
amazon'alexa'echo
echo
amazon

(Darren Van Soye) #1

Hi,
I really like the new groups feature that Amazon has enabled in the Alexa app. Groups is a tab that’s found in under the Alexa app under the Smart Home menu item.

I was able to group an Amazon Echo, a light and a fan that I have and name it “Master Bedroom”. But, when I walk into a dark room and say “Alexa, turn on the light” it turns on both the light and the fan.

When I look at the device in the Alexa app (Smart Home > Devices > Master Bedroom Fan > Edit) it says that it is Connect Via SmartThings, that it is a SmartThings Light (dimmable) and that it’s Type is Light. Sure, GE makes a Fan Controller. But, I like the ability to set the Master Bedroom Fan to 63% The Fan Controller only has three speeds.

I checked for a way to set the device type in the SmartThings app, but I didn’t see a way to do so. If I could, perhaps Alexa would know that my fan is a fan and not a light.

Any thoughts?


(Ron Talley) #2

The Fan Controller is seen by ST as a dimmer. This is why it is seen by Alexa as a dimmable light. This is a known limitation thus far.

As time goes on, I will imaging that there will be more definable parameters in the Alexa App.


(Mark) #3

Couple things.

ST treats the GE fan switch as a dimmer, it only works at the three preset speeds though. That’s independent of Alexa.

Also, if you group a bunch of things in the alexa app, then it’s doing what you asked when you turn on the group, isn’t it?


(Ron Talley) #4

Umm No.

Putting things in the new Alexa Group should allow you to turn on/off things in that group without having to say the actual device names:

Bedroom Group has Bedroom Echo, Bedroom Fan, Bedroom TV, Bedroom Radio, whatever…If I say Alexa, turn on the lights, she shouldn’t then turn on my freaking radio.

Alexa, turn on fan
Alexa, turn on lights
Alexa, turn on TV

All of these devices have Bedroom in front of them but the grouping feature should be smart enough to know that if the “Bedroom TV” is in the Bedroom Group then you shouldn’t have to say, “Bedroom TV”. You should just be able to say TV.

This is the way it is with grouping your Harmony with the Fire TV. No need to say, turn up the Volume on Bedroom Fire TV…You simply say, turn up the volume.


(Mark) #5

Ah, new group, I missed that in the OP. I guess I’m still using the “old” grouping feature? I need to take another look in the Alexa app, it’s been a while.


#6

Hopefully they will change it eventually and give us more choices and the ability to change the device type.

For now, the easiest thing is just to leave the fan out of the group that has the echo device in it.


(Dave) #7

I too have this issue and I hope it’s corrected soon. I guess it’s just a wait and see thing. For now, I’ve submitted feedback to Amazon. They seem very quick to incorporate new features.


(Scott O'bryan) #8

This is an issue specific to the Alexa/Smart things integration. When I had my divorces in wink it worked as intended.

That said, it would be nice if Alexa allowed you to modify the settings, but this should be workable from either side. I may try to see of I can create a handler for it that reports this as a fan or outlet rather than a light.


#9

So how did that work; “Alexa; get rid of first wife”? :slight_smile:

I’m using a Wink Hub 2 and it also sees the GE Fan Controller as a dimmer. I’ve submitted a couple of support tickets over a 12 month or so period and they still haven’t worked this out. Kinda stinks having to exclude the fan from the Alexa group.


(Jimmy) #10

You can now change the device type on the Alexa side. So “Alexa turn off the lights” won’t turn off fans, appliances, etc.