Naming lights for Google voice automation

Hello all,

I use Google Home as my main voice control for my SmartThings. One of my first lights I added was my kitchen ceiling lights.- ‘OK Google, turn on the Kitchen lights’- I loved it! Over the years I added sink lights, oven lights and undercabinet lights. I wanted to be able to control all 4 lights at once, but didn’t want to rename the ‘kitchen’ lights since that was used most often. I figured out that if I renamed the room name from ‘Kitchen’ to ‘All the Kitchen’ in my Google Home app I could say ‘OK Google, turn on All the Kitchen lights’ to activate all 4… ‘turn on the Kitchen lights’ still activates just the main ones. -Perfection!

Now the question-- My bedroom lights are named ‘Bedroom lights’ so ‘OK Google turn on the bedroom lights’ activates my lights… but… what about the kid’s bedrooms? My son (Caleb) has lights named ‘Caleb’s lights’ To turn these on you have to say ‘OK Google turn on The Caleb’s Lights’ - Even if you skip the word ‘the’ Google can’t do it. Am I missing something? It would be Ideal if everyone could just say ‘Turn off my lights’ or ‘turn off the lights’ for their room (or any room you’re in for that matter). ‘Turn off the Caleb’s lights’ doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue :^) FWIW I have 5 different rooms with automated lights in the basement and they are all in the same ‘room’ - ‘Basement’ “OK Google, turn off the basement lights” turns them all off…

Thoughts? Suggestions?

good luck - Jim

USA- Minnesota if that matters

Don’t say “The” instead say “Turn off Caleb’s lights or Caleb’s lights off” sometimes Google has a problem with the word “The”

If your Google Home is assigned a room, such as “Caleb’s Room”, and there are devices, such as a light or fan assigned to that same room, then you can simply say “OK Google, turn on lights (or fan)” if you are in that room. If you want to control those devices from a Google Home assigned to a different room, such as Kitchen, then you would have to say “OK Google, turn on/off lights in Calebs Room”.

For my house I have a GH in almost every room. It can be a bit frustrating when the over hear each other. But our practice is to name the devices in SmartThings RoomName and Thing.


Living Room Ceiling Fan


Master Bedroom Lamp.

So we use the “Ok Google turn on Master Bedroom Lamp”.

I don’t have google home. But in alexa you can create groups.
You can create a group called “kitchen” and associate with the lights which are in the kitchen and (crucially) the echo device in the kitchen.
Not when you speak to that echo device and refer to “lights” she knows you mean the lights in the group that that device is in.

So you can say “alexa turn on lights” and it means something different in each room (it’s context sensitive). I only realised this about a month ago, prior to that that i’d been using long winded names.

Of course it may all be totally different for google home, dunno about that.

I’m surprised you find the ‘the’ necessary. If anything being more terse usually helps.

Google Homes are ‘room aware’, so they know ‘the lights’ means the lights in the room they are assigned to, even if they have a different idea which devices the lights are.

Unfortunately they are not ‘home aware’. There is no reason why a Google Home in one home/household should be able to control a device in a different one, and even less why ‘bedroom lights’ should apply to all the rooms called bedroom in any home.

Then there is ‘all lights’. I can’t remember if that turns of all lights in all homes from a Google Home, but I believe it does if you use your mobile instead. I have some sympathy in the latter case.

I find it natural to say ‘turn the bedroom light on’. Google struggles with that. No such problem with ‘turn on the bedroom lights’ though. Right every time. Just a bit annoying when the confirmation comes back as ‘turned the bedroom light on’.

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Thank you,

I have Google Home Minis in all bedrooms. For Caleb (and all others) I created a room and put the Mini and the room devices in the G.H. room. Now- ‘OK Google- turn out the lights’ turns out the lights in that room… much better.

Now I have a new issue- Now I can’t just say 'OK Google- turn out the basement lights since I created individual rooms. I would like to (for example)assign Caleb’s Lights to both his room AND the basement, but the Google app will only allow it to be assigned in one room. Can I have ‘Turn out the lights’ and ‘turn out the basement lights’ both work?

I think that if the individual rooms in the basement were a subset of the ‘Basement’ this would work.

Any thoughts?

good luck- Jim

It’s best to keep Alexa comments to Alexa threads and Google comments to Google threads because each has slightly different features and restrictions, particularly for groups, and it can get really confusing otherwise. :thinking:

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You can make a routine inside the GH and make the when I say “turn out the light” it turns off x,y,z lights. Then make another routine for “turn off the basement lights”

I have made several routines for turning on the holiday lights with multiple when I say commands.


When I say

Turn on holiday lights
Turn on the holiday lights
Holiday lights on

All three commands in the same routine will turn on x,y,z