Amazon Echo integrated Ecobee


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #1

I know the ecobee thermostats have been working well with ST for a while, and that there are workarounds for echo + ST + ecobee.

I saw in the Alexa app tonight that ecobee is integrated. It will probably be released in the usual Friday emails tomorrow. At least this time it’s not some lame skill.

So, for those of you already owning both the ecobee and echo, how about some feedback for those of us looking for something new to buy.

I’d line to hear about the new integration with echo? And will ST be needed?, Except for remote monitoring?


(Kurt Sanders) #2

The Ecobee system is top notch in my opinion! Our large home has two main Ecobee consoles and 6 remote temperature/motion detectors that provide remote room status back to the main Ecobee consoles and also back to SmartThings via @yvesracine’s enhanced Ecobee integration application. If you are purchasing an Ecobee, his SmartThings application is well worth the $20 Paypal fee to expose all the API’s in the SmartThings UI and provide high end HA.

The Ecobee website has been rock solid in their service and system reports. It has a wonderful easy to navigate UI, both web based and mobile. I especially like the reports that compare my home efficiency to our region, and to other similar sized homes.

This Amazon-Ecobee-SmartThings integration might just be the thing that gets me to seriously look at purchasing first Amazon Echo.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #3

How is the cloud to cloud integration with ST? I had a couple of the Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostats and hated the flakey cloud to cloud.


(Kurt Sanders) #4

The cloud to cloud integration between SmartThings and Ecobee is robust, revealing all aspects of the Ecobee controls and status. However, the SmartThings erratic scheduler platform has been challenging over the past year for every developer. The API authentication used by Ecobee requires that a security token be acquired and refreshed periodically, and when the ST scheduler hiccups, you might have to re-authenticate within the ST UI. The enhanced Ecobee application developed by @yvesracine will notify you of this issue and you have to re-authenticate. This re-authentication also happens from time to time to my Harmony and SmartThings cloud to cloud integration as well.

This cloud to cloud authentication is not specific to Ecobee, but seems to be related to all cloud to cloud API’s which use the OAuth2 model for security with SmartThings.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #5

Thanks for all of the feedback, I appreciate it.

One more thing…

With all of the remote sensors, how I’d the system regulating to an even temp? What if I want it warmer in one than in the others, do I need the smart vents?

Thanks

Oh, and if it helps any… Don’t buy an Amazon echo. But several of them. I have three in my house and the whole family loves them. There is one on each level and one in the garage. The fire TV stick with voice is in the guest room.

I love just telling the house to do things, and it does.


(Kurt Sanders) #6

You have hit on one challenging aspect of using remote sensors and having the knowledge that one or several rooms in your home have a delta from the main console’s setting. Luckily, the Ecobee’s provide some handling logic for your convenience. The main console for the remotes that it senses can be set to disregard that room it the sensor detects no motion, or start heating the home when that room becomes occupied. Obviously, the “Follow me” setting has a drawback being that other parts of the home might become higher (in the winter of lower in the summer) trying to keep the home’s remote rooms at a level that the main console has been set.

The Ecobee’s also offer room temperature averaging, hence in my home, when I set the main console to 68, and the room temperature remotes that are sensing motion, they will be used to “average” the overall home temperature. When no rooms detect motion, the system goes into AWAY mode and seeks that average new temperature.

The Ecobee’s also can start to heat the home automagically (senses outside temperature and uses past history) to make sure that the home is at the temperature you desire at the time you specify. It knows how long it takes to get to the new temperature setting and starts it’s routine early so you wake up (or come back from vacation) to a perfectly warm/cool house everyday…no more guessing when to start the different mode settings a few hours early.

If you have a home with vent controls, as you mentioned, this would go a long way to divert more heat or cooling to those rooms of the home that need it. I have yet to pursue that avenue, mainly because of the cost of the vents, and our home seems to heat those areas rapidly enough, while not boiling/freezing those areas of the home that receive more air. I guess I have the manual vent dampers set optimally now.

Here are some screen shots of my main floor Ecobee and the remote sensors (at 4am we love a cool home to sleep in).


@bamarayne: I am jealous that you have multiple Echo’s and can just speak your commands. This is a direction I am heading. I guess I was waiting to see if Amazon was going to offer a decent multiple unit purchase discount or announce a new Echo model for linking whole home voice control automation.

So I guess your Amazon Echo and ST experience has been positive?


(Realy Living Dream) #7

I’m not sure what you mean by a new model linking whole home automation. We have 3 Echoes , 2 with the remotes and 1 without ( add another 3 Fire TVs with Alexa if you want as well ) and on the HA side they are all linked in our account and we can control everything from any room. Having multiple units pretty much assures that at least one of them will hear and initiate the command properly. Drawback is that there is a chance that milk will be on your shopping list twice if both the kitchen and living room echoes hear you add it. If you tell the kitchen Echo to turn something on/off, the living room might ask you to repeat the command.


(Kevin) #8

I just enabled it… did a discovery and it found the thermostat.
I did rename it after because I have other devices with Bedroom in the name. Did a re-discovery and it found it. I called it upstairs.
I did “Alexa, set upstairs to 66” and it set it to 66 and Holding.
Can’t figure out yet how to ask what the temp is currently on it yet… no help on this yet or announcement.

Kevin


(Rick Pittser) #9

This is great! I literally last night was just looking at Alexa Helper to set this up, now it looks like I won’t have to.


(Kevin) #10

I use Alexa helper for non-Ecobee thermostats… I’ll use Alexa for Ecobee… :slight_smile:


(Kurt Sanders) #11

I was thinking that the next generation might allow one to issue voice commands through a bluetooth connected phone and to make and receive phone calls from the Echo. Another feature that would be nice would be that the Echo could be charged and last up to a week on that charge as, in this version, it must be plugged in at all times. I suspect that the 1st generation CPU processor will be improved along with the onboard memory/firmware. It’s always a cat & dog game with technology and price.

Although, I could be persuaded to purchase early if they offer me a steep discount like they did during one period ($99).


(Realy Living Dream) #12

We got 2 during the beta rollout for $99, then succumbed to temptation and grabbed one for kitchen during the $149 sale. Bluetooth is there and can be used for phone audio. I don’t know why they choose not to unlock the mics to enable it to be used as a speakerphone. A battery that lasts a week would at least double the size with current batteries.
You can get a fire stick with voice remote right now for $39 if you just want to play with HA side and don’t mind having to talk into a remote or your phone/tablet.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #13

There is a pass through website from my kitchen to the living room. Our first echo found her home there. She can hear us anywhere on the first floor. It’s a very open for plan.

Her twin found a home upstairs in the master bedroom. She didn’t work out that well there because she doesn’t like the fans. Apparently when they are on she plays deaf. She now lives in the master bath and serenades me while I’m in the shower.

One day not too long ago an orphan showed up on my door step, and that little girl looked just like my twins! But this one couldn’t sing and refused to do the dishes. But she loves my motorcycle. So, she stands guard over the garage.

I came home from work one day and one of those girls had gone out and allowed a little dog to follow her home. Silly girl named her fire stick.

The dog lives in the guest room and all four of them can hear you from anywhere in the house.


(James Kidd) #14

I just set up the Echo-Ecobee integration and must say it is flawless. I was just getting ready to try the Alexa Helper app also but this works fine for my needs.


(Dale C) #15

@jkidd2698 I just setup the Amazon Echo-Ecobee and I totally agree! Don’t miss out by not setting up Alexa Helper by @MichaelS That app provides great integration for all the other possibilities of SmartThings above and beyond just your thermostat. Amazon I am sure will continue to add and improve SmartThings integration but until then Alexa Helper is the way to go. My wife/family acceptance factor of SmartThings went viral AFTER I implemented Alexa Helper.


(Micheal ) #16

Good to know this integration is working ok for some folks…for others (and those that have non-ecobee devices), Alexa Helper is here to help :wink:

I actually go see the folks at Amazon on Monday to show them my Alexa Helper app…hopefully it motivates them to integrate some additional ST features into their app (or hire me to help with that :)).


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #17

This app was a life saver for me when I first started ST. I will be honest and say I don’t use it anymore. I used it mainly for my garage door but since have made some changes and it’s no longer needed. I have direct control over the door via the device handler and ST/echo.

But, it is a great app and a lot of folk thank you.


(Micheal ) #18

Jason,

That is fine…I know everyone here believes I get something from having more and more people use my app. However, with it being open source (and not a source of income), the only thing I get when more people use it is a lot more e-mails with questions. To be clear, I don’t mind that, but my goal in creating this was to fill a need. Nothing would make me more happy than Amazon having all of these things native to their device and the need for my app to go away.

I use this app daily, and while it has a lot of functions, I use it to set my mode at night and to control my Sonos…the other functions were the result of others having specific needs as well.

Either way, I am glad you did get use out of it at one time, and glad Amazon is evolving the device constantly.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #19

Michael,
I understand you do it cause you care.
I say thank you, because not enough appreciation is shown to those who care


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #20

Can someone confirm for me please…

With the new integration, is there a good night command for the ecobee that you can use Alexa to control the thermostat?

Such as, Alexa turn on good night.

Since the integration I have not been able to command Alexa to turn on good night (my sleep routine). She states that either 1) that device is not found out 2) that command is not available for that device.

It would be nice if Amazon would release a list of unusable key words.