On a recent Internet of Things Podcast we took a voicemail question on our podcast hotline regarding Alexa. Our caller wants to know how to have multiple devices do something at a specific time, or at sunrise or sunset. Although the process isn’t as intuitive as it should be, this can be done. Here’s how to automate many devices at a given time with Alexa.
To start, open the Alexa mobile app on your phone or tablet. Once you have the app open, follow these steps:
- Tap the “More” button at the bottom right of the Alexa app home screen. This button’s icon is three horizontal lines.
- Choose the “Routines” option.
- On the next screen tap the “+”, or plus, button which is you how add a new routine.
- Enter a name for your new routine. It might be something like “Lights on a sunset”, for example.
- Next, tap the “When something happens” option. You’re choosing this because you want the automation to trigger at a certain time.
- From the next options, choose “Schedule” and then “At time”. Here you can decide if you want to have the automation repeat on certain, or all, days, depending on your specific needs.
- Now that the trigger event for your automation is configured, it’s time to tell Alexa what you want to happen. Select the “Add Action” option in the app.
- You’ll see many options available but the one you want is “Smart home”; tap that and then choose “All Devices”. This will let you choose from all of your Alexa-supported devices for the automation.
- With the list of your devices, select one that you want to do something at the time you specified earlier. Doing so will give you options for that device, such as turning it on or off. Once you’ve completed this part, click “Next” and “Save.”
- You’ll repeat step 9 for each device associated with this specific time-based automation. You can save some time however by choosing a set of grouped devices, provided you’ve previously grouped them. I have all of my family room lights in a group called “Family Room”, for example.
Although this question and answer was specific to lights, you can follow this process with any type of supported smart home device. Maybe you want a smart outlet to turn on or off, for example. Or perhaps you want all of your smart locks to be locked at dusk. The choice is yours!
To hear this question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the Internet of Things podcast below: