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A tip for using Alexa routines

David Pritchard shared this idea 4 years ago
Under Consideration

Here's a tip that might not have occurred to everyone. Alexa routines trigger devices, typically switches which then trigger rules in the controller. But it's problematic to have a switch just turned "on" or "off", because since the controller will only react to a state change, the switch needs to be in the opposite state for anything to happen. At the beginning I handled this by having the Alexa routine turn the switch "on", and then having the rule turn it back off again. But this is not 100% reliable.


Then I realised there's a much better way: just have the routine turn the switch on, and then off again (and make the rule react to "any" state). One of these state changes is guaranteed to work, and the other is guaranteed *not* to work - so your rule will only be executed once.

Replies (4)

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I have to add one important detail to this: the rule called by the routine must start with "Join", and then "Wait" to give a short delay, of at least one second (I use 2). Otherwise, if the first action in the routine is "on", and the switch is "off", the switch will be turned on, but then may be turned off again immediately by the second action, triggering the rule twice. By adding join and a delay, we ensure the rule is only triggered once.

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Thanks for the tip! Does your Alexa routine trigger a virtual switch which then triggers a zipata rule? I ask, because I've never found a way to trigger a rule with a physical Z-wave switch.

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I've found Alexa routines to be unreliable for performing scenes, such as turning all the house lights off. Alexa usually only manages to turn off 2 or 3 lights then quits. So, having Alexa trigger a rule to turn the lights is much better.

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Yes, I use virtual switches to trigger most of my rules.

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