Controlling Alexa devices with Smartthings

I don’t know why this question is so hard to find the answer to. I’m trying to figure out if in 2023 there is some way to control devices connected to Alexa from Smartthings. I mean natively, without the use of virtual triggers.

This page makes it sound like you definitely can, but I can’t find anything to confirm: Connect devices connected to other services (Google Home, Alexa) to the SmartThings App | Samsung LEVANT

It says “SmartThings works with certified Alexa devices and can be used to control light bulbs, on/off switches, dimmer switches, thermostats, locks, and Scenes configured with SmartThings.” This is ST working with Alexa devices, not Alexa working with ST devices. So it sounds like it’s possible to control devices on Alexa. But when I search for confirmation all I find is older info saying it is impossible because Alexa-ST integration is one-way only. So if you want to control an Alexa device you need a virtual device to trigger an Alexa routine that will do what you want.

What is it? Can you natively control Alexa devices without virtual triggers?


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That’s just a poorly written article.

SmartThings works with certified Alexa devices and can be used to control light bulbs, on/off switches, dimmer switches, thermostats, locks, and Scenes configured with SmartThings.

See the “configured with” part of the sentence that I’ve put in bold?

That means that once the device shows up in the smartthings app and you have linked smartthings and Alexa, then you can tell Alexa to turn the device which is connected to smartthings on or off, or change the dim level, and it will work.

It does not mean you can take an Alexa device like the Amazon basics smart plug and use it in the SmartThings app. You can’t.

As you noted, what you can do is create a virtual device on the smartthings side, use that as a proxy for the Alexa brand device, and then control the device from SmartThings by using an Alexa routine (not a SmartThings routine as an intermediary.

You can Even use the Alexa routine method to control some features of an echo device, such as having echo speak a specific announcement.

But you can’t control an amazon brand device directly through smartthings at this time.

In the future, if Amazon ever releases any Amazon brand devices with the matter logo, it will be a different story. But we aren’t there yet.


BTW, the proxy method is quite simple, and is very popular in the community for getting control of devices that do not have a smartthings integration, but do have an Alexa integration. And you don’t need to have a Smartthings/Aeotec Hub to use it. So you might want to give that a try.

Here’s the community FAQ with the details:

FAQ: Can I trigger an Echo Action without Speaking to It?


Thanks for clarifying. I don’t love this answer. I already have so many Alexa devices and routines that the app has become unbearably laggy. And it causes problems because it results in unwanted taps (i.e. to delete something) and the Alexa app doesn’t usually ask for confirmation before making radical changes, which can be catastrophic.

To control things with ST I’d have to add two more elements (virtual device + routine) for every automation. How well does ST play with IFTTT?

As for Matter, I have no hope that Amazon will allow devices connected to their hubs to be controlled by other hubs. They astonishingly have both of these quotes on the same page.

“With Alexa, Matter-enabled devices work seamlessly alongside other devices you already own—no need to reconfigure devices that are already setup. You can feel confident that all your smart home devices will work together, regardless of the brand. Plus, Alexa Routines and Alexa Hunches can add extra convenience by automatically taking actions for you, like adjusting the thermostat when you leave, or turning off the lights when you go to bed.”

That sounds great! But then they say…

“The Matter standard does not provide a mechanism to connect two smart home systems to one another or to allow Matter hubs to communicate with each other. Matter is designed to allow Matter-supporting devices to connect to any Matter hub.”

And that last bit negates what they say about everything working together. I suspect it is possible for ST and Alexa to communicate with each other in Matter (even though Amazon says there is “no mechanism” for it) but Amazon clearly isn’t planning to allow other ecosystems to have control. Big shocker.

There definitely is a mechanism: “Matter bridges.” They don’t connect two platforms together, but they do allow the same device to be used with two different platforms at the same time. It’s basically the same architecture as the pre-matter hue bridge. You can have a hue bridge connected to Alexa, smartthings, HomeKit, and multiple other home automation platforms all at the same time, and the bridge will bring along a number of its attached devices, although not all models or all features. Matter bridges work pretty much the same way.

For example, you can connect aqara devices to their own Aqara M2 hub and then connect that hub to smartthings as a “matter bridge“ and it brings along some of the devices. You can then create rules, either in the SmartThings app, or in the aqara app, whichever works better for you. ( that said, smartthings has already said that it does not plan to make any of its hubs, a “Matter bridge“ so it is only supporting matter one way in, but not out.)

But I was referring to whether an individual device like a smart plug would be individually certified for Wi-Fi over matter or thread over matter. That’s when the individual device can display the matter logo. If it’s done that way, instead of via a matter bridge, you’ll definitely be able to add the individual device to smartthings. That’s the definition of the logo.

Like this plug:

See the following:

FAQ: What do I need to add a Matter device to the SmartThings app? Do I need a bridge router device?

Pretty well. My concern is only that Ifttt seems to be on a failing trajectory. I don’t have any confidence that it will still be in business in a year, so I wouldn’t want to base my whole set up on it at this point.

Beyond that, it doesn’t fit the use case you described. Alexa recently dropped its own Ifttt integration, and in any case, there isn’t any way to use a device connected to Alexa in an IFTTT recipe unless the device manufacturer already has its own Ifttt service. Alexa is irrelevant to that. So you could definitely use it to, say, connect smartthings to a Levoit air purifier. With a two-way integration. But again that wouldn’t have anything to do with Alexa. :thinking: