New SmartThings Alexa skill (2020)

There’s def something going on here. All of my groups/rooms were working fine with telling echo to “turn off lights”. I accidentally upgraded my Alexa skill to the new one bc I added some Samsung appliances. Now the lights do not function correctly. I’ve even removed and added them back to groups. There’s something breaking with the call to smartthings from alexa.


Probably the first rule of home automation: “The model number matters.” :wink:

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Can you try deleting the group and recreating it? Please note that the SmartThings skill has nothing to do with the groups defined in Alexa. It is up to Alexa to interpret when that group is used and send SmartThings individual commands for each device in that group.

The only thing SmartThings could fail to do is to report the wrong category of the device, e.g. report a light as a switch, so Alexa would fail to recognize it as a light and ignore it when you use the generic phrase “Turn off the lights”.

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Can you elaborate on that so we can adjust our docs if needed?

That could be whats going on then. I can tell you that there are also issue with trying to control some of the lights that are recognized as connected inside the Alexa app. It seems that some of lights are intermittently losing connection through the skill.

I just deleted and recreated one of my group that has 2 lights. Only one of the lights will respond to the “echo, turn off the lights command”. The other light can be controlled fine inside the Alexa app but I’ve never had any issues with any groups/lights until this new skill took over. Also, these are categorized as lights and not switches inside Alexa. Something isn’t making the call right.


Just had an idea. Not all of my devices in the Alexa app show as “new device”. I’m suspecting that the new skill did not properly replace all lights and so some are possibly tied to the old skill. I’m going to try and manually delete them inside alexa.

I just learned that duplicate devices do not always show up in Alexa mobile app, but if you check via web browser you might see them there. The devices from the new skill will show description “SmartThings” while the old devices would show something like “SmartThings White Color Bulb”.

@jody.albritton @Lars Has SmartThings decided to change the security model on the platform, or is this just something that was changed for this new Alexa integration? The choice of what external systems have access to which devices seems to me to be a basic security practice and something SmartThings has generally handled well… until this.


I think this is my issue. No duplicates showing in the mobile app, but a whole bunch of them on the website.

Hello, I’m also having the same problem mentioned above with the Fibaro but with Qubino Flush Relay 2. i.e. the new ST skill is unable to recognise child devices. Is there a solution to this yet?

This skill is dead to me until we can choose what Alexa sees to avoid a duplicate device/duplicate name nightmare - I do not want my Hue bulbs included via Smartthings, they are already included via the Alexa skill, same for Hunter Douglas blinds, Ring cameras, Harmony Activities and my TP-Link plugs to name but a few…

@Lars @jody.albritton please tell me that there are plans to implement this as part of the skill sometime soon?


I’ll just stick with the classic skill. There’s no reason for me to move to the new one.


Only if you ever have to disable and re-enable the skill, you will lose the old one and be given the new one. No choice about it. This is what happened to one of my friends. :disappointed_relieved:


ok, i got my Alexa skill straightened out with Lars’ help. A couple things to try if you’re having trouble:

  1. check the Alexa website for duplicates, not the app. I thought I only had ~5 duplicates out of ~190 devices based on the Alexa App. But the website showed many more duplicates in the Smart Home section. As Lars mentioned above, go down the list and any SmartThings devices that shows its connected through a service longer than plain “SmartThings” is from the Classic skill and you should click Remove on it. (hint: sort by oldest to bring devices from the Classic skill closer to the top). The new skill is shown below and should be left alone.

  2. Once all your duplicates from the Classic skill are removed, go to Skills > Your Skills and find the SmartThings skill. Click Remove. (this will not remove the existing devices connected through the new skill). Then Add the SmartThings skill back and discover devices. Without doing this, all of my switch and dimmer devices showed disconnected in Alexa after the duplicates were removed.

That should get everything synced back up. The bad news is you will probably have to re-do all of your Groups/Rooms in Alexa to get things organized. But now routines, lights and groups are working correctly. Only my Powerbot vacuum isn’t working through the new skill, so i’m leaving it on the old Samsung skill for now.


Glad you got it fixed, but, wow, that’s a lot of work! :scream:


Exactly. Why not just let people have a choice?Classic skill or the new skill. Maintaining this platform is becoming more like a job than a hobby, we should just be able to leave things as they are if everything works.

Yes I know you can just keep using the old skill, but I have often had to disable/enable for various reasons and I can no longer do that. Plus you know as well as I do that we’ll eventually be forced to make this switch… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Maybe it’s just a placebo affect now that things are working, but Alexa commands seem to execute faster with the new skill. I tried turning on/off an Alexa group earlier that has 3 zigbee bulbs connected to smartthings and there was very little popcorn affect.

Amazon has confirmed they are working on a fix for the duplicates.


I am glad to hear that, it should be faster according to our benchmarks.


Some users have reported issues with simulated devices with the new skill. A lot of the simulated devices will not populate state when they are created. If there is no state Alexa will show an error and it will not work in routines until after it has been actuated once.

Some ways you can set the state is:
-Use SmartThings Classic app (since new app does not show all simulated devices properly)
-Create a simple groovy smartapp that just calls on() for example for a device and run the smartapp “simualted” via web IDE
-Actuate device via a scene if it is a switch