SmartThings Community

Amazon Echo Question

(Micheal ) #31

I would normally refer you to the manual, but you have some very interesting problems I could address here.

1 Alexa Helper can’t do anything with a switch that is NOT seen by Alexa. The thing I don’t understand it WHY it won’t discover it. The questions I would have on that would be:

-Did you add the switch in the Alexa App from the Play/Apple Store?
-Do other switches/dimmers work properly?

2 You refer to the switch by its SmartThings name. So, if you want to run the ST routine called “good night”, you would do the following:

-Create momentary switch called something like Night Mode. You can’t use "good night’ as that is a reserved word by Alexa
-Discover the switch via the Alexa App
-In Alexa Helper, create a control scenario and use the Night Mode switch as your trigger. In the routine area you would put in the routine.

You would say “Alexa, turn on Night Mode” and that should work.

Let me know if that works…


(Yustos) #32

Thanks Michael. I downloaded the app as it shows

I then created a similated garage opener virtual switch, but under its “SmartApps” it says “No installed SmartApps”

And when I ask Alexa to discover new devises, it does not see the new similated switch. I must be doing something wrong. Any thoughts?

Thanks for your input :smile:


(Greg) #33

There are two steps to authorizing. 1) In the ST Echo App then 2) in the Echo discovery process.


(Yustos) #34

Thanks @greg, I am only aware of the Echo discovery process. What is involved in the ST Echo App, please? I am new to this so appreciate any details



(Micheal ) #35

Please note there is an Amazon SmartApp within SmartThings that you must add the switch to first, THEN discover it…I may update the Wiki to reflect this as it isn’t sometimes clear.

1 Like

(Yustos) #36

OK Thanks @MichaelS, My smartthings Echo app does not see the virtual garage opener that I created. Do you have any insight into what could I have done wrong ? did I miss a step in creating the virtual switch? is there another step I am missing? Thanks!


(Micheal ) #37

Unless you are using a momentary button tile or a simulated switch as the device type ( ) the Echo will not be able to use it.


(Yustos) #38

Ok I’ll try creating a new one. I assume that I can use a similated garage opener like that.

Thanks @MichaelS


(Micheal ) #39

Right now, no…not directly…the next version of the Alexa helper MAY include that functionality. Right now, a simulated switch is either on or off, and a momentary button tile is always off, but toggles to on, then off like a door bell. Depending on your use case, I would almost recommend creating a simulated switch, then (when the next version of Alexa Helper is out), you can configure the ‘On’ position of the button to open, then the “Off” position to closed. Because of the Echo’s limitations, you have to use non logical syntax (i.e. Alexa, turn on the Garage Door). However, if you are good with that, it WILL function.

You can do this with a routine as those already allow for opening or closing of the garage. You would simply assign a routine to the simulated switch within Alexa Helper, remembering the syntax of on or off.

I plan for a release of the new version within the month. If you feel like making a donation I can put that feature to the top of the list. Instructions are here for donating:


(Yustos) #40

OK Thanks @MichaelS Michael. I appreciate your taking the time to help. So you mean chose “similated garage opener” from the drop down menu? or what is the best option to chose from the drop down menu when creating a virtual switch in ST?


P.S. I will check out the donation link


(Micheal ) #41

No…Simulate switch or Momentary Button tile are the only virtual switches I recommend…Others may NOT be seen by the Echo.


(Yustos) #42

OK thanks again @MichaelS :smile:


(Micheal ) #43

Not a problem…glad I could help…let me know how it all works out.


(Yustos) #44

OK so now I have a Virtual Garage Opener that Alexa can see and operate!

I created a routine in ST to “Open Garage” but while I was doing that it did not give me an option to chose the virtual switch. It just said open Garage.

What is the next step after Alexa is seeing the virtual garage opener? what I would like to see is to say to Alexa “Open garage door” or something like that and it performs that routine. Thanks :smile:


(Micheal ) #45

Excellent,you are making progress…

You now have a switch and a routine. Alexa Helper will now be the glue to make them work together.

Go to Alexa helper, create a Control Scenario (Routines, Modes, devices…)
Assign the virtual switch in the scenario to the ON position
Assign the routine to your garage door routine.

Save and you should be able to say “Alexa, turn on < virtual switch name >”

More detailed setup instructions are here:


(Yustos) #46

Thank you so much @MichaelS! I will complete set up now, but will have to wait till I go home at 5 pm to see how it works. I will keep you posted!


(Yustos) #47

Thank you very much @MichaelS for all your help. Everything worked perfectly! I love Alexa helper and will be making a donation soon (after recovering from Christmas expenses :smile:)



(Micheal ) #48

Excellent…good to hear you got it working…


(Yustos) #49

Many thanks @MichaelS for your excellent product and your patient assistence :smile:
I will be making a paypal contribution next paycheck :smile:


(Micheal ) #50

That is really appreciated! I have a new version coming out at the end of the month…be sure to follow the official thread: [RELEASE] Alexa Helper