(UK) Newbie help needed with dimmer switch, Aurora, and EchoSpeaks alternatives

Hi all, I am very new to Smarttings and automation so apologies in advance if these questions have been asked previously. To be honest, there are some much information on here its hard to know where to start so any help would be great.

Firstly, I want to be able to use Alexa voice commands to trigger a ST automation. I find the Alexa routine too basic (famous last words) and think ST/Sharptools maybe better to get where I need to be. From reading the forums, Echo Speak looked the way to go but after installing on my apps, it looks like Echo speak is not currently supported by ST so cannot be installed/used. From this are there any alternatives to allow voice commands in Alexa to trigger a routine in ST?

I tried to install an Aurora Inline dimmer to control a bank of lights but found out that this cannot be used in conjunction with a normal uk switch. I want a unit to allow me to switch and dim a number of lights either through ST and/or a switch, please note, I would prefer to do this in the ceiling at the first light and not at the switch. What is the best unit to allow me to do this, FIBARO Dimmer 2?

Lastly, are there any essential apps that I need to integrate, I have added the ST Community Installer and Sharptools ( I was amazed that it worked) but are there any others I need.

Again thank you for any guidance/help


BTW, this is a very busy forum and because smartthings is so versatile, people have many different configurations and devices.

You will generally get the most responses if you use a very specific topic title. That way people who have a similar configuration are most likely to respond. many people just skip general threads like “help needed“ or “ran into a problem.“

Also, it’s a good idea to put ”(UK)” In the thread title as there are some regional differences and otherwise you are likely to get a lot of responses from Americans that won’t necessarily apply to your issue. :wink:

Hi JDRoberts, thanks for the advice

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You don’t need Echo Speaks for this. You can create a Virtual Switch (ex: Night) in SmartThings, and a rule in SharpTools to be triggered by this Virtual Switch. So you can tell Alexa to turn “Night” on to trigger the rule.

  • Trigger: Virtual Switch(Night) is changed to “on”
  • Flow: Turn Virtual Switch (night) to off ( so it can be triggered next time), and then do the condition/actions you need from there.

(Echo Speaks was deprecated by SmartThigns last month, but the author (community developer) is working on publishing the Echo Speaks Lite. )

These dimmers are usually connected to Line wire before the physical switch so the dimmer module is constantly powered. Do you have a specific reason why you want to install it near the light, not the switch?

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See if this helps:

FAQ: How to Run Scenes and Automations (New V3 App) (2020)

The Fibaro Dimmer 2 is an excellent choice for us UK users as it fits behind a standard UK switch and works without a neutral. The only snag can be if the back box is too shallow, in which case you can either use a spacer or fit the module behind the ceiling rose. Also, if load is under 25w you might need the Fibaro bypass module. Also, the new Alexa skill controls the Dimmer 2 just fine.

What automation are you looking to achieve?

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Thanks people this really helps also shows me l’ve got lots to learn.