Washing machine cycle notification via Alexa (SmartLife energy monitoring plug)

Hi All,
this thing is driving me crazy… I just want an annoucement from Alexa for when the washing machine has finished it’s cycle but can’t seem to create it.

I have tried the following:

  1. setup an automation in SmartLife so that when my smartplug has an energy usage of < xx Watts it will turn off
  2. created a virtual switch in ST
  3. Linked the automation in the smart life upp above with the virtual switch in IFTTT

I can now trigger the automation in smart life by turning on/off the virtual swtich in ST but not the otherway round. The reason being that in IFTTT I cannot use any smart life devices in the ‘IF’ section of the applet, when I try to select all options are greyed out. I can seelct the devices once I’m in the ‘THEN’ section of the applet and selecting the scene but that is only half the job done.

Any help would be appriciated

Do you have a SmartThings hub? In that case you’d be able to create a virtual device able to trigger Alexa routines and I guess you would not need IFTTT.

Alexa is quite limited when it comes to triggers, with Google Home it would be easier since even the standard virtual switch can trigger routines.

Edit: Maybe I didn’t understand the question, Alexa no longer integrates with IFTTT so what’s the purpose of IFTTT at all? (OK, so it’s possible with voice monkey, that feels quite convoluted!)

Only if the Smartplug is visible in ST and it’s energy values flow to ST from SL? Am I missing something here?

No need for the energy values, it just checks if the plug is off. In fact it looks like he already does that.

His problem seems to be making Alexa announce something because it’s quite restrictive when it comes to triggers.

Edit: Or maybe he doesn’t, I believe somewhere in the text there’s a mention of Smart Life which should be Smart Things and completely misled me.

Then he needs to create a virtual alexa switch with a child contact rather than just a virtual switch.

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Yeah, that’s why I asked if he had a SmartThings hub, otherwise he can’t create it.

The fact that he said he has a virtual switch in ST means that he has an ST hub right?

No, you can create virtual switches in the app and in the website without hub.

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Got it and know what you mean as I remember seeing an option in the app to create virtual switches but since I have been using TA Austin’s driver, I assumed he was using this driver to create the VS…

Most Tuya/SmartLife plugs and switches can trigger an Alexa Routine. So you should be able to do this without SmartThings being involved.

If SmarLife plugs turns off Alexa says wash is done. See sample Alexa routine below.

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Less restrictive than it used to be. Among other things, you can use a virtual lock to trigger an Alexa routine, and you can create a simple virtual lock without having a SmartThings/Aeotec hub. So that’s the option that many people without a SmartThings hub use.

See option 2 in the community FAQ:

FAQ: Creating Virtual Devices with the new architecture (Without the IDE) (2023)

Also, as @Paul_Oliver notes, in the last few months Amazon has added a bunch of smart plugs and some switches as candidates for the “if” in Alexa routines, but it’s definitely on a model by model basis. Still, that creates some additional options. :sunglasses:

Also, I may be mistaken, but my reading of the original post is that the writer is using both the SmartLife platform and the SmartThings platform (as many community members do), and that the smart plug Their washer is plugged into is an energy reporting device on the SmartLife platform. So their idea was to bring it into SmartThings in someway and then use SmartThings to Change state on something that could trigger an Alexa announcement.

@Paul_Oliver (Who is one of those community members who uses both Smart Life and SmartThings) was pointing out that you don’t need SmartThings or IFTTT for this, with the recent changes you can now use the Smart Life plug directly as an Alexa routine trigger. Good news if the only thing you needed was an Alexa announcement. :tada:

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Interesting, didn’t know that! I created one with the advanced website and it indeed appears as a routine starter. Guess it will come in handy for some devices that only expose functions to Alexa.

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yes I do have an actual ST Hub and I was under the impresion I had to use IFTTT to link the smart plug in smart life to the virtual switch in ST - is tht not the case? :confused:

I have the following:

  1. A virtual switch in ST
  2. The device setup in smart life with an automation that turns off the plug when the energy usage falls below a pre determined set level - great so it turns off correctly in Smart Life but then how do I get Alexa to see this and trigger announcement - I’m confused

yes I have a ST HUB

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Clearly I didn’t understand the issue. Still would find it quite convoluted. If Tuya devices are so problematic to integrate in SmartThings that require virtual switches and IFTTT I would just get a smart plug that integrates better or a sensor, especially if you have the hub.

Just choose that SmartLife Plug as your trigger in Alexa.

You will need to activate the SmartLife skill in Alexa if you have not already done that.

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Ah okay I do have a driver which I downloaded to the hub - I belive it was created by a user (Austin or someone like that - sorry) and it has the option to create an Alexa swtich but then how do I create the child contact part you mention? And when I do how will ST know te smart plug has turned off?

John,

The Tuya/SmartLife and SmartThings integration is mostly one way. SmartThings can easily trigger a some SmartLife devices and all SmartLife “Tap-to-Run” automations. Unfortunately for the most part SmartLife can NOT trigger anything directly in SmartThings.

You can use both Alexa and Google Home in many cases as a go-between and that will allow SmartLife to trigger things in SmartThings using Alexa or Google Home routines.

I do NOT use IFTTT for anything related to Tuya/SmartLife. Very few Tuya/SmartLife devices have IFTTT integrations and those that do are NOT reliable. Plus I won’t pay for a service that is not reliable.

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As Paul mentioned, you need to integrate SmartLife with Alexa and then use your smart plug that you added in SmartLife as a trigger (IF Condition) in Alexa and get it to do or say something (Then condition).