Author Topic: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting  (Read 234 times)

Offline 93130

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Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« on: January 06, 2018, 12:51:46 pm »
I have tried to set up room-aware commands with my Echos so I can say "Alexa, lights on" and it turns on whatever lights I specify as being in the same "room" as each Echo in the Alexa app. All my devices are either GE in-wall non-dimmable switches or GE non-dimmable plugs.

It works only with one in-wall switch. It seems that Vera is reporting this device to the Echos as a "dimmable switch," which causes it to appear in the Alexa app as a light bulb and lets it work with room-aware commands. The rest of the devices appear as plugs in the Alexa app which do not work with room-aware commands. I have set the device category and sub-category for all of these devices to 2 (dimmable light) and either 3 (in wall) or 2 (plugged). For some reason, only one of the in-wall switches is being reported to the Echos as a dimmer rather than a plug.

Has anyone had any luck getting switches to report as lights rather than plugs or otherwise gotten room-aware commands working correctly?

Offline tadr

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Re: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 01:44:29 pm »
I wasn't aware that Alexa began supporting room aware commands for lighting devices -- are you sure it does?  I thought it was only supported for music...

Edit:  Whoops, I see that they rolled this out and I missed it.  Perhaps you could group everything into a scene (if scenes are recognized as lights)? 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 01:58:21 pm by tadr »

Offline 93130

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Re: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 08:49:22 pm »
Thanks for your reply. Two problems, unfortunately: Alexa does not recognize scenes as lights, and even if it did, you have to call scenes by saying "turn on [scene name]." So I would have to say "turn on lights on" or "turn on lights off," because scenes are not stateless and you have to specify precisely what you want them to do (turn something on or off).

Assuming nothing changes with how the Echo works, the problem is getting Vera to accurately report to the Echo what the devices are.

Offline ranneman

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Re: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 12:09:12 pm »
I use a virtual switch as a workaround. Although it is some more work it works great as it can be used in a routine. By using the routine you can define whatever phrase to make something happen.
Vera lite UI7 Europe, Vera Plus, Zwave.me switches/dimmers, Zwave.me plus multi switch, Fibaro switches and multi sensors, Everspring sensors motion, temp., humidity. Honeywell Evohome, Greenwave, Sonos, Brel shades, RFXCOM, MiLights, Alexa.

Offline 93130

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Re: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 12:30:20 pm »
I use a virtual switch as a workaround. Although it is some more work it works great as it can be used in a routine. By using the routine you can define whatever phrase to make something happen.

Thanks. Can this workaround be made room-aware? By that I mean, can I say ?Alexa, lights on? in any room and it turns on only the lights I specify in that room only?

Offline ranneman

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Re: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 03:20:04 pm »
Okay understand the issue now. I noticed that only my dimmers show up and react as expected. My virtual switch and any other switch (in wall or plug) don't. So I checked by creating a virtual dimmer. That dimmer does show up in Alexa and it switches to ON on the "Alexa, lights on" command. Unfortunately it doesn't switch off on the "lights off" command. Must be an issue on my virtual dimmer.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 03:40:37 pm by ranneman »
Vera lite UI7 Europe, Vera Plus, Zwave.me switches/dimmers, Zwave.me plus multi switch, Fibaro switches and multi sensors, Everspring sensors motion, temp., humidity. Honeywell Evohome, Greenwave, Sonos, Brel shades, RFXCOM, MiLights, Alexa.

Offline tadr

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Re: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 11:53:51 am »
For what it's worth, I use the ha-bridge and don't have this issue (I setup room awareness after seeing your post and confirm it works -- yay!).  I've been using the ha-bridge since before the native vera-alexa integration existed, and have not tested the native integration.

ALL of the devices in the HA bridge appears as lights, and you can set a different "on" and "off" scene for each device.

For example, I have a device defined in ha-bridge called "Living room lights".  The "on" command for the "Living room lights" device points to a vera scene that turns on my living room overhead lights, table lamp, and floor lamp.  The "off" command points to a separate scene that turns off each of these lights.

To Alexa, "Living Room Lights" looks like a single hue light and can be turned on and off by associating it in a living room group with my living room echo (with nothing else in the group).

Let me know if that doesn't make sense.  Obviously this would require switching to the ha-bridge for you...

Offline tbully

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Re: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 12:47:04 pm »
I was unaware that Alexa was room aware for HA stuff.   Going to test this soon!  Thanks everyone.

Offline 93130

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Re: Problem with room-aware commands and device type reporting
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 01:29:13 pm »
For what it's worth, I use the ha-bridge and don't have this issue (I setup room awareness after seeing your post and confirm it works -- yay!).  I've been using the ha-bridge since before the native vera-alexa integration existed, and have not tested the native integration.

ALL of the devices in the HA bridge appears as lights, and you can set a different "on" and "off" scene for each device.

For example, I have a device defined in ha-bridge called "Living room lights".  The "on" command for the "Living room lights" device points to a vera scene that turns on my living room overhead lights, table lamp, and floor lamp.  The "off" command points to a separate scene that turns off each of these lights.

To Alexa, "Living Room Lights" looks like a single hue light and can be turned on and off by associating it in a living room group with my living room echo (with nothing else in the group).

Let me know if that doesn't make sense.  Obviously this would require switching to the ha-bridge for you...

This does make sense, thanks. I would love for this to work natively to avoid a proliferation of other devices.

Here is an interesting development. All the wired switches are now reporting to Alexa as being lights and work with native room aware commands. I changed nothing about my setup. They are reporting as dimmers even though they are non-dimmable, but on and off commands work fine. Since there doesn?t seem to be a device category for a non-dimmable wired light, this is definitely a Vera related issue. But it still works.

The GE plug is still not reporting as a light. I have it designated as a plugged dimmable light, so I will try to redesignate it as the same type of device as the wired switch to see what happens. Thanks all.