Voice Control With Alexa

The last step to setting up a starter Smart-Home is voice control. I was given an Echo Dot last year for Christmas. It was the item that stirred my interest in Smart-Home technology. It is also very easy to connect to Home Assistant.


If your budget won’t cover an Echo Dot, there are other options for accessing Alexa. Alexa is available on the Amazon Dash Wand. If neither of those options are in your price range, you can also use the Reverb app on Android, iOS, or Mac. The Dash Wand and Reverb app have some limitations compared to a Dot. Neither of these options will play music and they both require a button push in order to activate Alexa. The Dash wand has some additional limitations, but will ultimately get the job done.

  • You’ll use the “emulated_hue:” component to give Alexa access to your devices.
  • This component makes your devices look like Phillips Hue bulbs to Alexa.
  • This will give you the ability to turn them on and off.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 4.30.22 PM

  • After “emulated_hue:” is added, check your configuration and restart Home Assistant.
  • When the restart is finished, open your Alexa app or webpage and navigate to Smart Home Devices section.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 4.38.25 PM.png

  • Either press “Discover” or say, “Alexa, discover devices.”
  • Don’t worry about what she says about Phillips Hue, this doesn’t affect you.

Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 4.36.26 PM

Now you’re all connected! Try it out!

Voice Control & Roku Express

Since my Roku Express uses an IR remote, I was able to create commands to control my Roku. I hide these from view, but can control them with Alexa. Just these few commands, along with turning the TV on and off verbally, make the entertainment system feel very connected.


Entertainment Commands
Command Effect
Turn on Netflix Opens Netflix
Turn off Netflix Goes to Roku Menu
Turn on Hulu Opens Hulu
Turn off Hulu Goes to Roku Menu
Turn on the show Play/Pause
Turn off the show Play/Pause
Turn on replay
Activates Replay Button

Get creative with your devices and command names. You may be able to control more than you expected.

Now you have a functioning Smart-Home system. This would be a good time to make a backup of your system. At this point, your system can only be reached from your home network. After learning how to make a backup, you will learn how to reach your Smart-Home system remotely.

If these guides have been helpful to you , please share them! If you have any questions, please reach out to me in the comments. Thanks for visiting!


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