Best way of naming automations and automations for Alexa

I have two scenes I created for my mom:

  • Everything On
  • Everything Off

I set these in case of emergency to turn lights on quickly and to turn off all the lights with one command. The issue is that Alexa cannot understand the directive

“Alexa turn on everything on”
“Alexa turn on everything off”

Has anyone come up with a good way of naming scenes or automations that makes the phraseology with Alexa make sense?


Why don’t you just put all the lights in one group called “all lights”. Then you can say “echo, turn all lights on” and “echo, turn all lights off.” That’s what we do at our house but with a twist – – we have an entry light which is used as a night light and we left it out of the “all lights” group so it always stays on.

The point being if you use a group instead of a scene, you can include any lights that you want, and still use natural language to control the group. :sunglasses:

Instructions for creating a group in the echo app:

1 Like

I took a totally different approach. I used the SmartApp called Trend Setter. It’s basically a grouping app. It creates a virtual switch that actually tells you things like offish, half on, mostly on, etc…

I simply named the Switch “All Lights”

I then enable this switch in the Alexa App.

Alexa, “Tuff off all lights”…

Plus side, you can also use this switch in other routines/rules.

If this happens then turn on switch “All Lights”…

1 Like

JD’s idea is good, but I did exactly as you did and it does work for me (named the same).

Alexa now has scenes, so far I just use one, but there is a lot of options, including the ability to add a voice line. example, tune off all the lights them " I turned off all the lights Fred".

1 Like

Yep, there are many different ways to do this. But I think the main thing is to understand that a “scene” whether it is in echo, in SmartThings, in Phillips hue, or in most home automation systems is not something that you turn on and off. That’s why the language gets so awkward in a case like this. A scene is a moment in time capturing the settings for various devices. Then you activate that scene when needed.

But for this specific use case, something that you can, in fact, turn on and off, whether it’s a group or a proxy switch, will probably feel more natural. :sunglasses:


Thanks everyone. Yes many different ways of getting the same thing done. I like to keep as much code for my mom’s house native in SmartThings vs. having to change things across various products. I am going to give the smartapp Trend Setter a shot first. If not then off to JD’s approach with Alexa groups.