Smart plugs can now be designated as Lights in the Alexa app

Amazon has made a minor but very useful change to how smart plugs are configured in the Alexa app. You can now specify that certain plugs should be treated as lights. This is especially handy in the context of device groups because it means you can now include a lamp connected to a smart plug in your group as a light. This means you can now have smart plugs turn on when you simply ask “Alexa, turn on the lights,” which was not possible before this change. To configure a smart plug as a light, edit its settings under the smart home section of the Alexa app and look for the new “type” option.

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5 comments
  1. Vince Arcuri says:

    Implicit command don’t work for me. If I say something generic like “Alexa, turn on lights” it will only work if the smartgroup is called “lights”. I can’t have a smartgroups in each room called “lights” since you can’t reuse the name more than once. I’ve watched the Amazon video and can’t make it work with Implicit commands. Any ideas?

    • Ujn Hunter says:

      I don’t know, I usually just make smartgroups called “Bedroom Lights”, “Livingroom Lights” etc… which have always been able to turn on my smart plugs with lights attached to them.

    • AR says:

      did you group your echo devices into the rooms with your smart lights/devices?

      yes this also worked for me already but i am using 433mhz outlets with a broadlink and the RM plugin

      it works with the beneric commands , i can say “alexa,living room lights on” and my table lamp with a hue bulb and a floor lamp plugged into a 433mhs outlet both turn on

      and in the bedroom i can say “alexa , lights on” and all 3 of my lights , a hue bulb an osram BR30 and some old halogen puck lights retrofitted with LEDS hooked up to a cheap chinese quiachip 433 MHZ relay all turn on

      i forget how the RM plugin is supposed to handle devices it is either as hue lights or as outlets

  2. AR says:

    it is funny because i can tell the bedroom dot a generic command like “lights on” and it only turns on the 3 lights in my bedroom group that has the bedroom dot grouped in with them , i have lights named , bedroom floor lamp, bedroom table lamp and bedroom shelf lights

    now since they allowed grouping echo devices into groups with smart devices/lights i can use simpler syntax for the bedroom shelf lights, i can simply says “alexa ,shelf lights on” and it works i do not need to say the full bedroom shelf lights

    but now here is the funny part , if i say to the bedroom dot “alexa, table lamp off” instead of “alexa , bedroom table lamp off” then she says ” there are several devices by that name, which one did you want?”

    same for the bedroom floor lamp , i can’t just say floor lamp on/off
    i need to add bedroom or she will ask me to specify

    now i do have other smart home devices with similar names, living room floor lamp and livingroom table lamp , but they are grouped into a group named living room with the living room echo

    and both the bedroom table lamp and bedroom floor lamps are both only grouped into the bedroom group with the bedroom dot , so she should know that i want to control the bedroom table lamp by default if i ask to turn on/off the table lamp to the bedroom dot which is in the same group

    it knows if i say lights on that i mean all the lights grouped in with the dot i am speaking to only by default , and it also will work with individual lights ,like it works with the bedroom shelf lights if i just say shelf lights instead of bedroom shelf lights

    but if you have devices with similar names it does not work even though one is named living room table lamp and the other is named bedroom table lamp and they are grouped properly it still ask you to define which one rather than controlling the one that is grouped in the same group as the echo your are speaking to by default, i really hope they fix this

    it is not such a big deal for lights but i want to control multiple tv’s with the same commands example “alexa ,turn on ABC” “alexa ,TV on” “alexa, turn on FOX” “alexa mute”

    having to name channel commands to include room names just sounds bad
    “alexa ,turn on livingroom ABC” don’t sound right

    i hope they fix it
    they should also add an option to the routines section where you can select which echo devices will respond to a scene command

    then i could control multiple TV’s with the same generic commands using routines

    create a routine , activation phrase = turn on channel 5
    devices routine responds from , living room dot only

    command = (RM plugin IR macro command sony TV remote 5 – 1 enter )

    repeat the exact same routine for the bedroom only tell it to only respond from bedroom echo dot and use commands for (RM plugin IR macro command panasonic tv remote 5 – 1 enter )

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