Best way to integrate devices that work with Alexa into SmartThings?

Bear with me. I’ve been a longtime smarthome and home automation user. Semi-recently added the ability to control most all function through an echo device. Up until this point, most new devices I added I just made sure they were “alexa compatible”. Well recently I expanded into smartthings and added a hub etc. I’ve got smartthings and Alexa linked; however, was disappointed to find that most all devices in smartthigns transfer into Alexa; however, not the other way around (at least not easily). I decided i wanted to add a frontend (decided on actiontiles). I am now looking for a way to control my devices (cheaper chinese switches through the go smart app), and other devices that aren’t natively supported in smartthigns. I’ve added echospeak, and know that I can add a virtual switch in smartthings that will trigger an alexa routine. Is there a more straightforward way to do this? Also, in echospeak, can simulate saying something to alexa (without actually having to say it), that would trigger the normal alexa response? For example, and echo speak have an action that says “alexa, front porch lights on” through the app without actually having to say that? I hope that makes sense.

Also, before someone tells me to “read”…that’s pretty much all I have done for the past week. Since this stuff evolves so fast…a solution that was valid a year ago may not be the best way any more. Sorry for the newb questions.

For questions about Echo Speaks, you’ll get the fastest, best answers by asking in the author’s thread for that code. The author will be automatically notified when new posts are added and other people who are using the same code may also be able to help. :sunglasses:

[Release] Echo Speaks v3 + Actions

The ways that you have discovered are the only ways that you can control Alexa connected devices from ST. You can create Virtual Contact Sensor/Switches in ST, expose them to Alexa and then trigger an Alexa routine to turn the switch on and another to turn it off. However, that means that you will not have feedback to ST of any local change on the device and no confirmation that the change was made.

You mention these are “cheaper chinese switches”. I would recommend investing in something that is natively compatible with ST.

Thanks @Ryan780 . I’ve actually started the process for that very reason. But I have a lot of other devices (about 60 insteon devices <over$ 3k> in my home theater alone (and haven’t found a ST solution for those either…aside from routines from my Harmony Hub. I was just hoping there was another way. In my main house, I have light switches, plugs, Chamberline MYQ, a mini-split that cools my garage etc…that all work wonderfully with Alexa, I can’t change them all out without substantial cost, but still wanted to control them via smartthigns/actiontiles. At least you confirm I was on the right path…unfortunately I didn’t realize I wouldn’t get the feedback via the virtual button/switch…

1 Like

Thanks @JDRoberts. I had actually considered that, but I wasn’t even sure if my question was more about Echo Speaks as much as it was about my problem and the best way to attack it was. I thought Echo speaks may be a solution, but wasn’t sure.

You have 60 Insteon devices worth $3k in just your home theater? Do you have every single light on two dimmers or do you have a home theater for 100 people? I don’t have 60 lights in my whole house. LMAO. And you’re really going to rebuild everything inside of ST? I would be very hesitant to have all of my lighting controls through a cloud based platform like ST. If the ST cloud is down, you have zero lighting control. That would piss the hell outta me if I’d spent $3k on lighting.

Haha, I could link you to my theater build thread on AVS forums if you are really curious…but yes. I have can lights, strip lights, soffit lights, high amperage switches connected to relays for various amplifiers, dimmers, etc. And then I have several routines setup (mostly controlled via my Harmony hub) that control some complex functions (ie. dim the lights to 30 percent when I start routine to play a movie, start the HTPC, the front end, play 1 trailer, completely dim the lights to completely dark, turn on the blacklights for the star ceiling, turn on the led soffit lights, turn on the step lights, blah, blah blah). I was hoping I could add tiles in actiontiles that would contol many of those things that way as well (which I can control the routines via the harmony integration, just not the individual devices)…but it took so long to get the theater working the way I want I had planned to hold off on the ST integration until I got the rest of the house working “right”. I appreciate your quick response @Ryan780.