Best voice control - Alexa or Google Home?

I don’t see that as confusing… seems intuitive to me in fact.

I’ll have to add my tv to the living room group, and see if “Alexa, turn off the tv” is a viable function.
EDIT: never mind that last bit. It currently shows up as a ST ‘switch’.
I’ll have to wait until Sony finally gets around to Alexa-enabling my tv.

Ok, here’s an issue: Alexa does not recognize switches (such as smart outlets) as lights. So “turn (off) the lights” does not trigger them.

I have a light string on a smart outlet and a Himalayan salt lamp on a smart dimming outlet. Guess I’ll have to create simulated lights, and include those in the Alexa groups.

EDIT: made two simulated lights plus a Webcore piston to handle the above scenarios, and it works perfectly.

I’m happy to see that routines are now available. Too bad that took it halfway such as be able to turn on lights and set level but not set color. I’m sure that will come with time but for right now I’ll stick with how I have been doing things.

That’s pretty funny. I have 200 feet of string lights on my patio connected to a GE Outdoor ZWave Outlet. I also have 4 salt lamps (named Rock Lamps in my system) that are all connected via Wemo Smart Plugs (4 different outlets in Movie Room). Additionally 2 large pictures of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe with Neon Highlights accenting them are plugged into 2 of those outlets as well.

I have a Group called Pictures that’s all the Smart Plugs were added to so I just say Alexa, Turn on / off Pictures. Like you, these are switches so they won’t work by adding a Group with one of my Echos and then the 4 Rock Lamps and trying to say “Alexa, turn on/off lights”.

If I could add the Group Pictures to the Movie Room that would be a nice touch then I could at least say Alexa, turn on/off Movie Room and all devices and Groups within that room would turn on or off. Obviously it doesn’t allow for the granular level of lights with those switches, but having the Groups within a Group would an an additional layer which I could include as a whole room activity or still an individual group command.

I’m wondering if there is an equivalent word that Alexa would recognize for the smart plugs / outlets. I actually said Alexa turn off smart plugs and turn off plugs and to both she replied OK. I have no devices, groups, routines or anything with this name but she complied, lol. However this did not result in the actual plugs being turned off. So, Simulated Lights it is.

Here’s a visual for ya:

1 Rock Lamp sitting below Nest Cam and above Alexa

I tried this, and it works: “turn the lights purple”. Turned all the Hue lights in that room purple. Works whether the lights were on already or not.
Works with all the basic colors.

That said, no you cannot set both color and level in one command.

@Glen_King what I meant is that when setting up a routine through the app you only have the option to set the level of the lights and not the color. I know you can change the color by voice for a group. But if I set Alexa start my day I want it to play weather, news flash, turn on the lights to 70% and set them to daylight. It does give me the option for color temp so after saying start my day I still need to tell Alexa to set the color. Maybe color is there and I am missing something, which I hope is the case.

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Ahhh, got it.

To accomplish this, consider that Hue has its own scenes and routines… and the scenes are able to be triggered by Alexa, both by Voice and in alexa’s Routines. So somewhere in that flow, I think you’re able to set the light levels AND colors in a Hue scene. And then call the scene from an alexa routine.

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@Glen_King I hadn’t thought of doing it that way. Right now I don’t have my Hue, LiFx, or any of my devices directly connected to Alexa. Everything is through ST which is the only service I have connected to Alexa. The reason I do this is that I end up with duplicates of each device however I could connect the service and then manually remove the duplicate devices and keep the scenes?? I’ll have to try that when I have some time.

I get why people try to centralize on one single system as the hub of their smart homes.

But while hierarchical systems are easier to visualize and therefore easier to manage, they are not necessarily the most effective path to reach your goals.

My system is decentralized. ST is but one component of many, and certainly not always the best for a particular job within the system. So I see my system as distributed, with three main components carrying roughly equal weight:

  • SmartThings
  • Tasker (with sharptools and joaoapps)
  • Alexa

And a fourth, Hue, just a notch below them. Though that’s changing as Hue develops more capabilities, and I add devices to it. And Webcore is of course part of ST, but it’s developing significant importance on its own as seemingly all my new ST automations - especially those concerning simulated/virtual devices - are relying on it.

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Alexa can now tell you if your August lock is locked or not.

Hi @simonselmer

Don’t know if this is still relevant, but I’m also from Denmark and I had the same thoughts before buying mine. I ultimately ended up choosing Google Home. It seemed to make most sense because I already used google (gmail, calender, and android phones) - and I am really glad I did. It works quite perfect.

Haven’t tried Alexa so I can’t judge which one is better, but all the functions work in Denmark - she will even read out some calendar entries in Danish :slight_smile:

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