How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:06 am
siclark offline
Posts: 1234
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

Hi,
I have the lights in many rooms set to come on automatically during the day if the light levels outside are below a threshold and then go off after a certain amount of time. This has worked well for a long time, but now we have babies napping in the living room duruing the day, we want to be able to turn off the lights. If we ask Alexa to turn them off, then they just come back on.

I tried starting a timer when they get turned off whilst its not bright outside, and then not allowing the motion to reactivate them in that time, but that then prevents them working if they have just turned off after no motion. I guess I could try and get clever by cancelling the timer if they are turned off by no motion, but wondered what else people do?

I could ask my wife to ask Alexa to run a separate action to stop automation, ie run the above timer, but thats not going to be met with much enthusiasm. Its better if that is part of the turn off lights command, and ideally that would be a "native" alexa one, ie turn off lights in living room, rather than having to use certain words to run an action group that turns off lights and starts timer to block automation.

I am guessing there is no way to determine what has caused the lights to be turned off?

Thanks

Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:43 am
jalves offline
Posts: 582
Joined: Jun 16, 2013

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

I had a similar issue and dealt with it in a bit of a round about way: We dog sit for some friends on occasion. The dogs sometimes get after the blinds on our sliders so when they are around I don't want those blinds do be lowered all the way to the floor when triggered (by either schedule or sun angle). So I established a variable called "puppies" and a action group called "Puppies" which is published to Alexa and HomeKit. I can tell the device (alexa or seri) to turn on puppies and it sets the puppies variable. Then I added a condition to the normal functioning blind schedules/triggers that.includes a test for puppies being true. If so, the blinds only lower to 75% when triggered rather than 100%. Thinking about it more, I probably don't need the variable since I could just check the state of the virtual device. Hmmm...

Running Indigo 7.4.1 on a 27" iMac (mid-2017), 40G memory, 1T Fusion Drive, OS X 10.15.4
Jeff

Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:13 am
siclark offline
Posts: 1234
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

Thanks. Yes, I could have a naptime variable that we can ask Alexa to turned on, but its not intuitive, and likely to get forgotten. The immediate thought is to turn off the lights, so thats what we ask for. Plus there are times when we dont want them coming on for other reasons, so would be strange action to call.
However, its probably the easiest to implement for now.

Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 9:54 am
siclark offline
Posts: 1234
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

I think this is my solution

viewtopic.php?f=208&t=21549#p169108

Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:09 pm
kwijibo007 offline
Posts: 299
Joined: Sep 27, 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

siclark wrote:
we have babies napping in the living room duruing the day


Twins?

Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:19 pm
siclark offline
Posts: 1234
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

Yes. 7 weeks old. It's why I'm also bugging autolog about the TRV plugin as well

Well, they were 4 weeks early so still really little

Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:39 pm
kwijibo007 offline
Posts: 299
Joined: Sep 27, 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

Congrats mate!

I have have 8 month old twin daughters myself. They came 5 weeks early but are now fit and strong. Hold in there mate, it gets easier every week

I’ve finally sold this automation thing to my wife thanks to autolog’s plugin and Alexa. We’re always holding a baby and voice control has been really useful. Although my wife now makes me say ‘please’ to Alexa as apparently the girls ‘take in everything’

Thanks for the great plugin autolog, a sincere thanks too.. not like when I say it to Alexa...

Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:18 pm
siclark offline
Posts: 1234
Joined: Jun 13, 2017
Location: UK

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

Thanks. These are numbers 2 and 3, we have a 4 year old already. 3 boys, the house is never going to be quiet again! Twins just another level though!

Haha hate to say it but I agree with your wife.

My son uses Alexa all the time, even used it call me upstairs as an intercom.

His mum with him in kitchen "can you go and call daddy and tell him dinner is ready" expecting him to run upstairs, instead "Alexa, drop in to bedroom" . She was stunned, she doesn't even know how to do that!!

However he used to shout at her to turn on lights and then use same tone asking us to do things so we have to start forcing the niceness!! I can see where the tech billionaires are coming from, barring their kids from using technology!!



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Posted on
Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:11 pm
autolog offline
Posts: 3235
Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex, UK [GMT+1 aka UTC+1]

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

kwijibo007 wrote:
... Thanks for the great plugin autolog, a sincere thanks too.. not like when I say it to Alexa...

That's very kind of you to say so but in fairness, it was all Jay's work to start with - I just extended it in the subsequent versions building on his excellent start - so credit, where credit is due. :)

btw I think I can join the club: both of our children (not twins) were born 7 weeks early, both weighed in at 4lb 12oz (in old money) and both started life in an incubator! However, you wouldn't know it look at them now. :)

Posted on
Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:27 am
kwijibo007 offline
Posts: 299
Joined: Sep 27, 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

Well, thanks to Jay and you. :D It's the plugin that gives the most bang in our house. Ironically I needed to ask Alexa to convert pounds to kilos! It's crazy how fast they grow.


siclark wrote:
His mum with him in kitchen "can you go and call daddy and tell him dinner is ready" expecting him to run upstairs, instead "Alexa, drop in to bedroom" . She was stunned, she doesn't even know how to do that!!

Haha! Amazing.

Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:02 am
mundmc offline
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Joined: Sep 14, 2012

Re: How to use Alexa to stop automatic lights

Related to children- my 13-month-old can be anywhere, and if one of us says, “Alexa,” she starts looking everywhere, frantic and excited, yelling, “Ahh- Eh- Ah!? Ahh-Eh-Ah!?”


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