15 Alexa Routines for Complete Home Automation

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Building an automated smart home has never
been easier! In fact you can use Amazon routines to automate
most things around your house. I have 15 automations that are simple to set
up, but are really useful. And make sure to stick around, because at
the end I’ll show you a really easy way to add these ideas to your home. Also I’m going to say Amazon instead of…
Alexa, so I don’t trigger your echos. (Are you kidding me! On the side of our house we have a fenced
off section for our dog Luna to do her business. The problem is, she doesn’t like going out
at night because it’s dark. So I replaced the light switch with a smart
switch, and added a motion sensor to the doggy door. That’s right, inside the doggy door is a
motion sensor that turns on the light for her! I just put a magnet on the back of the sensor
and one on the top part of the door with 3M tape. That way it’s easy to remove to swap out
the battery.

This Sonoff motion sensor can connect to the
new Echo 4th Gen that has a Zigbee hub inside. The Amazon Routine turns on the light when
it senses motion and then turns off the light after a delay. Since she is only out there for a few minutes. Now what if your dog is NOT scared of the
dark like Luna, but is just lazy? Yeah my dog’s definitely…not lazy. To make sure she’s not going to have an
accident from holding it too long, I can make another routine. Repurposing that motion sensor, we can get
an announcement if she hasn’t been out in so many hours. Luna go potty you lazy ball of fur! Woah watch your language Luna! Kids watch these videos. A relatively new feature for Amazon routines
is custom actions. They are very useful because you can type
in any long voice command and you can automate it, or make it more user friendly. For example, I have this Tempest weather station
in my backyard that works really well. The problem is the voice command is “Ask
WeatherFlow, what is the temperature?” I’m not going to remember that, and neither
will anyone else in my family.

So I made a routine. Now if I just say “outdoor temperature”
it will use that long voice command as a custom action. Then it will respond with the temperature
from the weather station in my backyard. The air temperature at home weather is 88.7
degrees fahrenheit. It works great! There’s a lot you can do with these custom
actions. I’ve used the Ring alarm for a while now,
and I really like it. But one of my main complaints was not being
able to auto-arm it at night. That has now been fixed with…you guessed
it, an Amazon routine. I scheduled it to run every night at the same
time so I don’t accidentally forget to arm it. Now we use our alarm way more than we used
to.

You can not have it automatically disarm in
the morning unfortunately. Probably for security reasons, but it’s
not a big deal. Mine technically is automated, because I don’t
have to do it. Being able to schedule routines is very helpful,
especially when using sunrise and sunset. I have my front room blinds automated with
an Amazon Routine using this blind wand from Sunsa.

They open in the morning at sunrise so this
front room isn’t so dark. I want these blinds to be open as much as
possible, but when it’s dark outside I don’t want people to see inside from the street. So instead of closing it right at sunset when
it’s already dark, I have them close 45 minutes BEFORE sunset, which has been perfect. I’ve been able to set it and forget it. If you want to see more about the smart blinds
in my house, I’ll link to a video I made recently in the description. Another way to automate routines is with contact
sensors. I put some inexpensive sensors on the bottom
of this media cabinet to turn on light strips when the door opens.

It’s been really helpful since it’s usually
dark in the room. It also turns the light off when it’s closed,
but I had to make two routines for this. One for when the contact sensor opens, and
another for when it closes. It’s so easy, a baby could use this routine,
over and over again. Please stop, this is cruel. You are a two year old monster. I will never play baby shark for you again. If you have a Ring alarm, you can also use
those sensors for Amazon Routines as well, not just for security.

I have my back patio lights turn on when the
doors open. Then at night they are used for the alarm. Can you imagine how I used to walk all the
way over to hit the light switch! My grandchildren will probably never believe
it. Also you can buy extra Ring sensors and use
them JUST for automations. But make sure to change the settings so it
doesn’t trigger the alarm.

A new way to trigger Amazon Routines is with
sounds. This is still in beta, but it can definitely
be useful. Let me give you some examples. In our kids room, we have an Echo Dot listening
for a crying baby. So when our toddler cries, it can send us
a notification from a routine, and even play lullabies right away. If you watch TV late at night, you could have
the TV automatically turn off when you fall asleep.

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Just turn off the Fire TV from the sound of
snoring. You could also calm your dog if you were gone
at work and they were barking. Playing comfort my dog
This routine for calming my dog is automatically starting a skill, or you could just play classical
music. But there are thousands of skills that you
can use, and it really opens the door for what you can do. For example, you could have the 7 minute workout
skill automatically get started as part of your morning routine.

I did it and it was the longest 7 minutes
of my life. In our theater room we have a lot of smart
devices. Shades, curtains, lots of lights, projector,
amplifier, and an XBox. It would take a while to turn all these on
and off individually every time I wanted to watch something. So a routine makes it so much faster. What’s really helpful now is that you can
finally have multiple voice commands trigger the same routine. Something Google Assistant has had for years. And this makes it so much easier to get the
command right. Just make it work! I thought you might say that. Wait what? I did not expect that. All right. With the new Echo Show 2nd gen, there’s
a really cool feature where you can trigger a routine with the built-in camera. That way when you walk into the room, it could
do something like turn on some lights. If you want to take it up a notch, you can
create multiple routines for different times of the day.

To do this, change when the routine will run,
like during the day, or at night. Then set the white color and brightness depending
on what time of day it is. If you have Hue lights you can run Amazon
Routines with their Hue motion sensor, which is one of my favorites. Having lights not only turn on automatically,
but change to the perfect color temperature for that time of day… yeah, I love it. If you ever wanted your TV to show you who’s
at your doorbell, it’s easy to set up. You just need a doorbell that’s compatible
with Amazon and a Fire TV. And I’m using a Fire Stick 4K. Create a routine with the doorbell press as
the trigger and a custom command for the action. You can use this phrase but swap out the name
for your doorbell and the name of your Fire TV. Now I can see who’s at the door from my
kitchen! And if you want this to also show up on other
screens at the same time, just make multiple routines for different displays.

You can only have one custom command per routine,
so that’s why you need this workaround. You can also use your Echos to announce when
someone is at the door. Someone is at the front door. I actually prefer this over a doorbell chime,
because I can hear it no matter where I am in my house. This isn’t ideal during nap time though,
so I have a routine that runs everyday and temporarily puts my echos in do not disturb
mode. Any kind of announcements are muted, and it’s
been a life saver. We still get notifications on our phone, so
I don’t miss my only friends that come over to visit. If you have ever thought “hey Reed kind
of seems like a bad parent” then hold your breath… because it gets even better. In a recent automation video, I recreated
a toddler remote using just Amazon Routines.

Each of these buttons can trigger a routine
and it starts playing a children’s show on Netflix. I just hand my daughter the remote and everyone
in my family is happy. You do need a small, inexpensive Broadlink
hub for these buttons to work. Even with that, using buttons to trigger Amazon
Routines is really useful. If you don’t have a button, you could use
a Fire Tablet in dashboard mode to quickly run routines. I have one that starts playing a shuffled
Spotify playlist on all my echo devices. It’s so much more convenient to run a routine
with a quick tap, than to remember the voice command. The dashboards on the new Fire Tablets are
very easy to set up and use.

You just press this little button on the bottom
left. Then you can pin your favorite routines for
quick access. If you want to add these routines to your
home, there’s a new feature to help you. You can share routines, which creates a link
you can import. This is great, because I can easily share
these routines with you! Head to the article below, and you can click
the link for whatever automations you liked in this video. You’ll still have to select which of your
devices you want to use for the routine, but at least this will give you a headstart. If you found this video helpful, please consider
subscribing to see more videos like this! First person in space? Well, Jeffrey Bezos just went to space.

There is nothing he cannot do. Did I answer your question? Ok got it! Alexa, Harry Potter author? Jeffrey Bezos has the largest bookstore in
the world. He basically wrote that book and all of history. Wait no, don’t write that down! Ok thanks. CEO entrepreneur, born in 1964, Jeffrey…Jeffrey
Bezos. All right thanks, got all that!.

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