Using Amazon Echo’s Alexa to control lights and locks


I tried controlling’s lights and locks using an Amazon Echo Dot. The functionality works, but it’s more cumbersome than it should be and misunderstands the commands a lot of times.

I was able to lock (but not unlock, as it’s not supported) door locks (individual ones or all at once) and turn lights off and on. I was also able to ask if my door locks are locked or unlocked, but the recognition is really poor and it took several attempts for it to understand which doors I was talking about.

I was also able to arm stay, but arm away and disarm are not supported.

I don’t have a smart garage door but I’ve seen a demo of it working, so it’s supported.

Since I have a Nest thermostat, and it’s not currently compatible with, I wasn’t able to test that either, but I’ve seen it working.

So, all in all, a good start, because the integration at least has smart home support, but I probably won’t use this.

P.S. It says “U office light” because I named it that way in my system (U for upstairs).

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  1. I'm doing it better with Google now + Tasker + AutoVoice + AutoNotification with Raspberry Pi Z-wave module.
    2 years old early indev prototype:
    (I didn't have a second phone to capture the light itself).

    It was fun to build, today it's blazing fast, and I don't need to say anything. Time to leave notification can trigger garage door, alarm dismiss triggers the curtain, etc.

  2. You can only use Alexa to make you safer. It will not disarm your alarm (only arm), It will not unlock your door (only lock), It will not open your garage door (only shut).

  3. Echo will not unlock doors or disarm your alarm because, in theory, someone could just yell at your front door and gain access to your home via unlocking the locks and disarming your alarm. For fairly good security reasons you can only lock your doors and activate your alarms via Echo and Alexa, not unlock or deactivate. But that said, that office lighting issue you showed was pretty annoying.

  4. Hey Artem! I'm seriously thinking of getting an setup. Right now I have the Echo and a Wink hub and several zigbee light bulbs. However I'm not liking my Wink hub lately and I have this sales rep offering me a lot of Z-Wave devices including door locks, thermostat and several light switches if I sign up for a 2yr agreement with; I'm wondering about the delay, I know the panel will use GSM/Cellular, which is good, but I'm concerned about the delay introduced. If I ask Alexa to ask to turn off the lights, the signal has to leave through comcast and come back down the GSM. Is there a noticeable lag between commands and execution? What about triggers, like if a motion sensor detects movement, and the alarm system is off, can it automatically turn on the lights in that room. If so, what kind of delay?

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