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I'm thinking about getting some Philips Hue lighting equipment. I'm thinking of something along the lines of this one as a starter kit. I already have an Echo Dot. The marketing buzz is great and both the Hue products highlight that they work with Amazon Echo and the Echo site state that they work with the Hue products.

My question is, however, besides the obvious on and off commands, what range of command capabilities via voice commands would I get when I interface the two systems?

How much of the Hue flexibility is available via voice?

How much comes out of the box and how much do I have to configure?

Where do I find that information - or does anyone have that setup and can speak to the possibilities?

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Alexa supports adding functionality via Skills, which are not unlike mobile apps, but add voice functionality for your Echo device.

The Philips Hue FAQ for Amazon Alexa contains a rather brief description on how to find the commands:

Where can I find example sentences?

In the Skill description you can find some example sentences.

Admittedly, this isn't particularly useful, so I did a bit more research and found the (unofficial) Alexa Skills Store site which helpfully contains the full description for the Hue skill:

  • You can turn devices on/off, for example: "Alexa, turn on my Bedroom lights" or "Alexa, turn off the Kitchen lights"
  • You can change the brightness, for example: "Alexa, brighten Dining Room to 60 percent", or "Alexa, dim the Living Room lights"

You can also set up scenes, which are preset 'environments' with specific colours and ambience. For example, Philips suggest "Alexa, turn on party in the living room" as a possible command that you could use. The Alexa Skills Store page describes how to use scenes:

Default scenes will automatically be created for each room, e.g. Relax, Concentrate, Energize, Arctic Aurora, Dimmed and more. To control scenes, simply tell Alexa to turn on a in the . For example, "Alexa, turn on Relax in the Bedroom"

  • Scene names can be found in the Philips Hue app 'Room' tab after you select a specific room. Feel free to create new scenes that work just for you!
  • After creating or renaming a scene, simply say, "Alexa, discover devices"

More generally, to view the possibilities that each Skill provides, you can open the Alexa app, and go to Skills > Your Skills, which will list your selected skills and relevant details.

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To add to the previous answers, the Echo is not able to set lights to a specific colour, but it can:

"Turn on/off {specific light} or {room} or {Echo group}"

"Set {light} to 50%"

"Turn on {scene} in {room}"

So Alexa understands all the Hue lights and rooms and scenes and also adds its own Groups of lights. As long as you're prepared to do a little setup in the Hue app, the Echo will discover all your lights, rooms and scenes and allow you to control them.

And if you do say "Alexa, turn off bedroom 1" And you get the response "There are several devices with the name bedroom. Which one do you want me to turn off" You can always respond with "Bedroom 1" For a second chance at the command.

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