Well, it is Sunday, after all… so, while I would never actually rely on Alexa or other personal assistant to control my home or office, precisely because of their reliance on the cloud, there is no getting away from the simple fact that they can make life easy for techies like me who are bone idle at heart.
Are you an Alexa or Google Home fan? Having installed Alexa in every room, I find it useful and even occasionally amusing to use Alexa not only to control devices around the house but also to issue directives to my equally bone-idle cat. Simba.
I’ve used Alexa and Tasmota rules and groups (as described elsewhere in this blog) to make my various lighting and enrironmental systems work together and I can now issue commands such as:
Alexa! Livingroom, ON.
This treats several standard LED lights in the living room as one for easy use, turning them on and off by voice as needed while generally following a schedule (Tasmota or Node-Red plus BigTimer) .
Alexa! Kitchen, Lime Green.
The above is rather handy for the group of six ZemiSmart GU10 RGBWW lights discussed elsewhere in the blog, selecting the desired colour, brilliance and warmth (for white) with the minimum of effort.
Alexa! My Bed, ON.
The above command turns on a bed heater (which thanks to Tasmota has a 15 minute timeout) and my bedside lamp (again thanks to Tasmota, though it could be done in Alexa itself) comes on for 30 minutes in dim orange so as not to wake up my wife.
Typically I use an Alexa command (if I come to bed at 1am) which is simply:
Alexa! Good Night.
That command turns off all the lights including my office, the kitchen, the living room and others while setting the bedroom as described above.
Meanwhile, during the day I often come into the house to find that Simba has stolen my seat.
"Alexa, Simba, Chair!
This results in Alexa issuing a verbal command in the living room only:
"Simba - get of your master's chair, you good-for-nothing cat" followed by a series of dog howls.
Unfortunately to date he doesn’t take too much notice but maybe with a bit more work…
My latest gimmick is:
Alexa, Kettle, ON.
This puts the kettle power on for up to 2 minutes and before that expires, I’ve filled my cuppa with boiling water, coffee and milk, all that remains is to top up the kettle and leave it primed, ready for the next time it is needed.