Author Topic: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa  (Read 880 times)

Offline strojki

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Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« on: November 21, 2017, 03:06:56 pm »
I successfully connected my Vera Edge with Alexa. I must admit that this is so far, the most convenient interface for defining scenes and actions. But, I wonder is it possible to change the Vera Mode with Alexa? For example, when I say "Alexa, I am home", automatically to set the Vera mode to  "Home". Or, when, for example, I say "Alexa, I am going to sleep" - to set it to the "Night" mode?

I have no idea is this possible, at all?

Offline fitz2380

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 07:58:44 pm »
I have done this with my Alexa and Vera.  I use the HA bridge for my Alexa device interface and the House Modes plugin to change the vera modes.

When I tell Alexa to turn on 'away' mode, it actually runs a scene that is mapped to the 'away' device name and changes the mode to Away.  Likewise, when I come home I tell Alexa to turn on 'home' and it runs a scene that is mapped to a 'home' device name.  In addition, to changing the mode to home, it also turn on several lights in the house.




Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2017, 08:31:36 pm »
I successfully connected my Vera Edge with Alexa. I must admit that this is so far, the most convenient interface for defining scenes and actions. But, I wonder is it possible to change the Vera Mode with Alexa? For example, when I say "Alexa, I am home", automatically to set the Vera mode to  "Home". Or, when, for example, I say "Alexa, I am going to sleep" - to set it to the "Night" mode?

I have no idea is this possible, at all?

I do not have Alexa (yet) but I do use the iPhone Locator app so it knows when me or my wife is home and sets Vera to Home Mode (or Away Mode when both of us are gone). Similarly, I use PLEG to set Night Mode at 9:30 pm (11 pm on Saturday night), Home Mode at 5:30 am during the week, and 7:00 am on the weekend. And when those modes are set, things like arming cameras, door sensors, and setting thermostat temperature all happen. The only thing I do manually is set Vacation Mode. I guess if I have Alexa, I could tell Alexa I am on Vacation.
Vera 3, 1.7.1017, CT101 t-stat, Everspring motion detector, GE/Jasco switch, Leviton outlet, AeonLabs sensor, NuTone garage door, Blue Iris, Sricam SP011, iPhone locator, APCUPSD, VeraMate, VeraAlerts, PLEG, House Modes, Countdown Timer, DVR, Virtual/Multi Switch, Weatherunderground, LB60Z-1 bulb

Offline Nameless

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 12:11:38 am »
If you're looking for a simple way to have Alexa switch the modes like Home, Away, and Night, here is what I use.
1. Install the Home Modes plugin
2. Create scenes that turn on each mode you plan to use. No need to create a scene that shuts them off.
3. Name your scenes something simple like "home mode".
4. Make these scenes discoverable through the Vera skill.
5. Run Alexa discovery and you can then switch the modes by asking Alexa to turn on whichever mode you want active.

Offline strojki

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 05:33:21 am »
Thank you guys, it helped. My problem was that I didn't know that House Modes Plugin exists, at all... This simplifies a lot of things.

Offline dwillia599

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2017, 06:54:03 pm »
I'm trying to use Alexa to run scene also that changes House Mode to Home or Night. The House Modes plugin seems to only act when the Mode has been changed by my manual changing the Mode. It then acts to perform other actions in response to the change in House Mode. Is that plugin actually able to change the mode itself?

If you're looking for a simple way to have Alexa switch the modes like Home, Away, and Night, here is what I use.
1. Install the Home Modes plugin
2. Create scenes that turn on each mode you plan to use. No need to create a scene that shuts them off.
3. Name your scenes something simple like "home mode".
4. Make these scenes discoverable through the Vera skill.
5. Run Alexa discovery and you can then switch the modes by asking Alexa to turn on whichever mode you want active.

Offline Nameless

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2017, 09:47:17 pm »
I'm trying to use Alexa to run scene also that changes House Mode to Home or Night. The House Modes plugin seems to only act when the Mode has been changed by my manual changing the Mode. It then acts to perform other actions in response to the change in House Mode. Is that plugin actually able to change the mode itself?

If you're looking for a simple way to have Alexa switch the modes like Home, Away, and Night, here is what I use.
1. Install the Home Modes plugin
2. Create scenes that turn on each mode you plan to use. No need to create a scene that shuts them off.
3. Name your scenes something simple like "home mode".
4. Make these scenes discoverable through the Vera skill.
5. Run Alexa discovery and you can then switch the modes by asking Alexa to turn on whichever mode you want active.

Yes, the plugin will change the mode just like a switch. Create your scenes to update the mode through the plugin, set those as visible to Alexa, run the discovery through the Alexa app and you should be able to use the modes by voice. You'll need a scene created for each mode you want to use.

Offline dwillia599

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 01:05:07 pm »



Yes, the plugin will change the mode just like a switch. Create your scenes to update the mode through the plugin, set those as visible to Alexa, run the discovery through the Alexa app and you should be able to use the modes by voice. You'll need a scene created for each mode you want to use.

Perhaps it is my inexperience. I would appreciate your help Nameless. This is what I see when I start creating a scene, and use the House Mode Plugin. It assumes the mode has changed, such as me changing it with my pc or cellphone app. Can you direct me to how to change the mode? Again, I am trying to be able to ask Alexa to change the mode from Home to Away or Night and back as I choose. I am able to use the House Mode Plugin to link actions with lights to the changing of modes, once the mode has changed.

Offline Nameless

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2017, 01:42:41 pm »



Yes, the plugin will change the mode just like a switch. Create your scenes to update the mode through the plugin, set those as visible to Alexa, run the discovery through the Alexa app and you should be able to use the modes by voice. You'll need a scene created for each mode you want to use.

You're on the right path. You select the mode button you wish to use there. Select Home as an example. Then you'll need to add a device in which you want to control in the next step. Select the Home Modes plugin again and click on the actual mode you wish to use. Click on the Home button here and this means when you select home it will put it on Home Mode. Don't select any other devices. Seems redundant, but this allows Alexa to see the scene when you run that discovery.

Perhaps it is my inexperience. I would appreciate your help Nameless. This is what I see when I start creating a scene, and use the House Mode Plugin. It assumes the mode has changed, such as me changing it with my pc or cellphone app. Can you direct me to how to change the mode? Again, I am trying to be able to ask Alexa to change the mode from Home to Away or Night and back as I choose. I am able to use the House Mode Plugin to link actions with lights to the changing of modes, once the mode has changed.

Offline dwillia599

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 04:23:42 pm »



You're on the right path. You select the mode button you wish to use there. Select Home as an example. Then you'll need to add a device in which you want to control in the next step. Select the Home Modes plugin again and click on the actual mode you wish to use. Click on the Home button here and this means when you select home it will put it on Home Mode. Don't select any other devices. Seems redundant, but this allows Alexa to see the scene when you run that discovery.


Thank you for the response, but it wouldn't allow me to select the House Modes Plugin twice in a row as the trigger set to Home. Is that what you meant? I apologize for my misunderstanding. I am not a programmer by background, but a ,mechanical engineer and teacher.

Offline Nameless

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2017, 10:55:49 pm »
Sorry for any confusion. You'll select the mode in the dropdown menu first and then move to the next step of the scene build. In the next step, the Modes switch should be a selectable option. You'll scroll to the bottom of the page to continue. From there, you'll be able to choose which Mode this controls.

Give it a try and if that doesn't work let us know. I'm not at a computer now, but might be able to upload some screen captures tomorrow if needed.

Offline dwillia599

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Re: Changing the Vera Modes with Alexa
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2017, 09:08:33 am »
Sorry for any confusion. You'll select the mode in the dropdown menu first and then move to the next step of the scene build. In the next step, the Modes switch should be a selectable option. You'll scroll to the bottom of the page to continue. From there, you'll be able to choose which Mode this controls.

Give it a try and if that doesn't work let us know. I'm not at a computer now, but might be able to upload some screen captures tomorrow if needed.

Outstanding!!! Thank you for your help.