Amazon’s Alexa app can now set light colors and control thermostats

A few months ago, Amazon revamped the smart home section of their Alexa app and, in the process, made it possible to control lights directly from the app. This turned the app into a central hub where various lights, regardless of manufacturer, could be controlled from a single interface. Amazon has since expanded the app’s capabilities by adding control for lights and temperature control for connected thermostats.

Left: Alexa app light control when first redesigned. Right: Alexa app with new color option for lights.

When the Alexa app first gained the ability to control lights, it was limited to only controlling the power and brightness of lights. If you had lights that could vary their temperature from cool to warm or lights that could be set to a color other than white, you had to use the manufacturer’s app to change the color if you didn’t want to speak the request to Alexa.

The Alexa app now has a button for each light or group of lights where the light’s color can be changed. At the top of the list of colors are five shades of white from a yellow-ish warm white to a blue-ish cool white. Below the white options are fifteen colors that can also be selected if your bulb supports non-white colors. There is no color wheel, like found in many apps from bulb manufacturers, for granular color selections.

Left: Alexa app thermostat options when first redesigned. Right: Alexa app with new controls for thermostat temperature.

In addition to now being able to set a light bulb’s color, Amazon has added the ability to set the temperature of your smart thermostat from within the Alexa app. When the smart home section of the Alexa app was first revamped, selecting a thermostat from your list of smart home devices only brought up its configuration options. Now, you can see the current room temperature, the current temperature setting, and can change the temperature setting directly from within the Alexa app.

These new improvements to the Alexa app bring it closer to being a one-stop place to control all the various smart home devices in your house. There are still devices that appear in the Alexa app that can’t be controlled, like cameras, but perhaps those will be added in the near future.

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8 comments
  1. Al Ventnor says:

    Since the Amazon Alexa app can now be a hub, can you set lighting schedules through the Alexa app or must it remain with the manufactures app? I looked at the Alexa app but did to see the ability to set schedules through Alexa. Thank you

  2. AR says:

    so does this at all affect the voice control of changing colors?

    for example i have a gen 1 HUE bridge , with it i could not tell alexa to set a color , then i got a gen 1 ST hub , hue bulbs are still paired to the hue bridge but i switched to the ST skill from the HUE skill ,now i can ask alexa to set colors , but the ST hub /skill only allows something 12 or 18 colors(not sure the exact number) where as the gen 2 HUE bridge and i think you need to use the hue skill with it too , allows a lot more like over 100 colors to be set by voice

    so will this up my color palette for voice control? or does this depend only on the ST skill?

    also this is nice but i really wish they would add a nite mode like the GH has , set volume to lower itself at night

  3. JR says:

    I cannot see a way to add the ecobee4 to be controlled by the Alexa app. Does any one know or has successfully added it to their Alexa app smart home section? I can find very little info on the web about adding it. Thanks!

  4. John says:

    I see only the ability to dim my hue lights but not change color. I have echo plus as well as other echo products. what gives?

  5. Ray says:

    Hmmm, I can see the Set Color button to control the color of my Hue lights, but I don’t see any way to adjust the temperature on the readout of my Nest thermostat. And I have the latest version of the Alexa app installed.

    Odd that we see different features in this app.

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