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AI / Alexa / Amazon

Alexa Tip: Using Routines to Making Sure Lights are Turned Off at Night

One of the cooler features that has been released for Alexa devices recently is the Routines functionality. Routines is like a scripting language for Alexa devices, though its pretty simple in its initial form. However, we use Routines here to make sure that the lights that are controlled by the ZigBee hub integrated into the Echo Plus are all off at night. Even with the initial Routines capability, this works extremely well.

Here’s how to do it yourself… (tap or click each image to view it larger)

In the Alexa app, go to Settings – Routines, and then tap the plus (+) sign to begin to create a new Routine.

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On the next screen you have two options that are required steps. You must configure the “When this happens” option, and then the “Add action” option.

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Routines currently does not work with smart home groups, so you have to setup each device in each Routine. For example, I have two Routines setup. One that checks our garage lights at midnight and shuts them off – the other checks our basement lights to ensure they are also turned off. Our kids can forget to shut these lights off.

We have two lights in the garage. Both of these lights are setup separately in the “garage” routine. We have four lights in the basement, and all four have to be added to the “basement” routine separately.

Routines are a great way to string to together Alexa capabilities and automate several functions at once.



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A community professional, keynoter, and evangelist who has driven social media and marketing strategies, editorial successes, delivered customer successes and built some of the largest and longest-running online communities. Rod has created, managed and grown small, medium, and mega-sized conferences; run entire editorial teams to deliver record traffic and market leadership; as product manager, directed the success of hundreds of product releases; supported sales and marketing to ensure customer success; developed, run and sold businesses; written thousands of technical articles, white papers, case studies, and technical documentation; hosted and delivered hundreds of attendance shattering webinars and virtual tradeshows; and delivered keynote speeches and sessions at a wide variety of events including conferences, webinars, events, and user groups.

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