Google Home keeps turning on every device in the room!

I use Alexa to control my home when at home, but in the car I have to use Google Home. I have one super annoying issue with Google Home that I am trying to figure out whether it is a configuration issue or a very dumb choice on Google’s part.

My devices generally have room name plus device type in their name therefore the light in the kitchen is called “Kitchen Light”. If I ask Alexa to turn on the Kitchen Light, that single light turns on. If I ask Google, it turns on over a dozen devices. It would appear that it is tirning everything in the Kitchen on, but I suspect it is actually turning on other unrelated devices as well given I found many lights on and Google said something like “turning on 13 lights in kitchen”. Why in the world would they do this?? I jave a couple hundred devices so I can’t use custom names for everything plus with my method I rarely, if ever, forget what to call a device. I guess I will simply delete all rooms in Google but before I do so, it would be nice to know whether I am doing something wrong or Google designed this control around very basic (very few devices in each room) home automation systems.

I only use google home for my smarthome and when i ask it to turn on a particular room light it will only turn that light on. Also if i ask it to turn on a room, all devices will turn on in that given room only.

It could be you may have some scenes or routines in the smartthings app that have a conflicting name e.g. lamps, lights, etc…I had a similar issue once where it turned on all the lamps in the house instead of the living room lamps only, but i managed to solve it when i realised what was wrong.

It"s the room name Kitchen, change the room name in google app to downstairs kitchen or similar to what you need, so now when you say turn off the kitchen light it will see the device and not the group.
to turn off all the lights you would say turn off down stairs kitchen lights, hope this make sense.

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I figured it was due to having a room called Kitchen and a device called Kitchen Light but this still “default behavior” makes no sense to me. In my kitchen area I have 13 lights which are not all meant to be on at the same time. This is the case for most of my rooms. Renaming the rooms to avoid Google’s default behavior will fix the problem but I don’t believe that it should be required. Rather I will just delete the rooms entirely which will ensure I can control the single device I want from my car (at home I exclusively use Alexa).

My GUESS, is you don’t want ‘default behavior’, but need actions for the lights. With a different mix and match of on/off lights for each lighting scenario. I don’t know if you can have a user-specified default.

Have fun figuring it out!

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I’m not sure what’s going on for you. I use Google home and if I say “Turn on the Living room lights” it will turn on a three lights. If I say “Turn on the living room track light” it will turn on that specific light. I believe this is the default behavior.

The good news is that you can modify how google home responds by setting up a routing. You can specify a phrase or phrases and the actions to take. That should resolve your issue. The only downside is you have to set up a routine for On and Off. This doubles up the effort.

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Have you checked in the Activity Log to see what it thinks you said? If it thinks you said Kitchen Lights instead of Kitchen Light then it will indeed try and turn on every light in the kitchen.

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Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately it understood me correctly but it still opted to turn on all 13 devices in the kitchen…

As you can see ST shows abdevice called Kitchen Light however I just noticed that Google doesn’t list that light anywhere and instead it has some sort of group device called Kitchen Lights which would explain the behaviour.

I guess the first step is to figure out how to add the main light back and then how to eliminate (or reduce the devices within) the kitchen lights group.

It used to be the case that the app only displayed the group icon and not the individual lights which was a thundering nuisance as you had to open the group up to do anything.

I’m guessing the Google SmartApp in SmartThings is set to give access to all your lights and not selected ones with one missed? Asking Google to ‘sync my devices’ still sometimes helps.

I find the Google Home does have a habit of doing unexpected things sometimes. The activity log says what it has heard and what it has done but doesn’t tell you the interesting and useful bit which is how it got from one to the other.

It used to have the annoying habit of interpreting what it decided was ‘lights out’ as every light in your location, or indeed every light in all the locations where your account was set up. It stopped doing that in favour of the room the Home was assigned to but every now and again still decides when it didn’t quite catch what you said that you must have meant ‘all’ or ‘every’.

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I see what it is doing now. For every room I have it bundles all lights into a group called [room name + lights]. IMO that is a dumb feature and would really like to turn it off… is there a way to do so? I can’t seem to find a way to do it.

Google Home has long interpreted ‘<room name> lights’ as all the lights in a room and I’m pretty sure that it can’t be turned off. I don’t necessarily find the feature itself dumb, but I do find the idea of imposing it as a one size fits all solution extremely so. Indeed I find the whole home/room/device hierarchy to be ridiculously restrictive. I’d put up with the name ‘rooms’ if rooms could contain other rooms and devices could be be in more than one.

I always thought Google Home was a slightly unwise choice of brand name, especially as it would have applications outside the home. I thought it was even more unwise to combine an app to configure the Chromecast, one to configure the Assistant/Home, and one to configure home automation, and then call it Home so it isn’t clear if it is the app, the Assistant running on the hardware, the hardware itself, or the whole ecosystem that is being referred to. When they belatedly decided to retrofit the concept of locations into the ecosystem, it was getting a bit ridiculous when they decided to call the location a Home, meaning it now had five meanings. Oh hang on, they also decided to call the default Home ‘Home’. So that is six meanings. Now that is just plain dumb.

Many excellent points. I have 10 echos so I am not experienced with Google Home. I mostly want it to work so I can control the house anywhere I don’t have access to Alexa such as my car.

I have the room in room issue with my master suite so I created a group for each room and then another group for the suite as Alexa lets you put the same device in more than one group.

I still believe room name lights to be a corner case unless those using it only have one or two light options (ie: main light and a table lamp) so I agree it should not be imposed.

The problem may be that you use the word “light” in all of the names of your items. I just ran into the same issue with my Google Home. When I took the word “light” out of the name it was able to turn off individual items instead of the whole rooms. I did not have the room name as part of the light name but that may be causing further problems.

If instead of labeling the lights “Kitchen counter light” and “Kitchen sink light” you just name them “Counter” and “Sink” it should work better. At least this fixed the problem for me. Because you are already identifying the type of item it is and the room it’s in in the Google Home app this information in the name is redundant anyway.

@seandmack - I have close to 300 “devices” (some are virtual, C2C, etc but that is what ST’s IDE says I have in the Devices tab) so simple names are just not possible. I don’t need to interact with many of those devices via assistants so the length of the name is only an issue when it gets truncated by some interface (like ST’s app).

In a few cases I have used names that don’t follow the [room name] + [device type] standard I set for my home as I either have more than one (ie >1 table lamp in same room) or the device will always be unique (ie “Water Heater” instead of “Attic Water Heater”). Overall the standard works well and makes it so much easier to work with, and know what to call each device when controlling it by voice instead of memorizing non standardized names for everything.

Turn on “Kitchen” is not natural language so I really don’t like that as a solution, plus too many things would compete for the room’s name in each room. As controlling everything via voice becomes more ubiquitous, I think Home Automation vendors will come up with some standard way to make it easier. The easy solution for this particular issue was to remove all devices from rooms on the Google ecosystem until they realize what a poor decision it was to do what they did. For example, I would love for assistants to understand this format… “turn on ALL [room name] [device type]”. To get this, I created groups in Alexa that are called “Everything in Kitchen” so I can turn on/off everything in [room name] easily. I mostly use these groups to turn things off rather than on, so I only put devices that I may need to turn off when leaving the room in those groups. Outlets, for example, are often always on by default so I di not include them.