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Purpose

This integration allows HomeSeer users to control their devices and device features with simple commands using Amazon's Smart Home skill API. This implementation supports ON, OFF, DIM and THERMOSTAT devices for direct control and users can create Routines to control other devices with custom phrases. Users who wish to also launch events or control other devices should consider enabling our Home Automation Skill as well.

Works With These

HomeSeer Devices and Features For...

  • Switches
  • Door Locks
  • Lights
  • Fans
  • Thermostats
  • Colored Bulbs

HomeSeer Events

  • All Events Enabled for Voice (discovered as Scenes in Alexa)

Voice Command Syntax Samples

  • “Alexa, turn off the kitchen light”
  • “Alexa, set the thermostat to 65 degrees”
  • “Alexa, dim the porch light to 50%”
  • "Alexa, activate Good Morning" (runs a HomeSeer event named "Good Morning")

Requirements

  • HomeSeer HS4 System (HomeTroller or computer running HS4 software)
  • MyHS Remote Access Service
  • Amazon Alexa-powered device(s) (Echo, Fire Tablet or similar)

Initial Setup

You'll need to add a user account to your HS4 system with your MyHS credentials and you'll need to enable Admin and Local permissions for this account. Once that's done, you'll need to enable voice commands for the HomeSeer devices or device features you wish to control with Alexa. Note that if you have multiple HomeSeer systems and a Premium MyHS account, you'll need to create unique MyHS users for each system. Please follow the steps outlined in this doc: Using Alexa with Multiple HS Systems. Then, follow the steps below:

Add MyHS User Account to HS4

Open your HomeSeer system's web interface and navigate to Setup > Users. Add a new user with your MyHS account credentials. Enable Admin and Local permissions.

Enable Voice Commands for HS4 Devices, Features and Events

Devices or features must be manually enabled for voice commands in order to be discovered and controlled by Alexa. In this section, we'll show you how to check the voice settings of your current system and how to edit those settings to yield the best results.

How to Tell Which Devices or Features are Enabled for Voice

Follow the steps below to determine which devices or features are currently enabled for voice in your HS4 system:

  1. Navigate to your Devices page and enable list view by clicking the List View button



  2. Scroll through your list of devices and look for any instance of a microphone icon.
    • If a microphone appears next to the device, the device is enabled for voice.
    • If a microphone appears next to a feature, that feature is enabled for voice.

      In this example, the microphones show us that the device (Dual Lamp Module) is not enabled for voice and the that the features (Candle Lights and Sofa Table Lamp) are enabled for voice.

How to Determine Whether Devices or Features Should be Enabled for Voice

In general, enabling devices is all that will be required for most systems.

However, if you have devices with multiple controllable features, you'll need to enable features for those devices. Such devices include (but are not limited to)...

  • Smart Plug Strips
  • Multi-Relay Devices
  • Dual Lamp or Appliance Modules

Use the guide below to determine which method is best for enabling voice with your system. Then use the steps below to enable voice commands for your devices or for your feature(s).

Enable DevicesEnable FeaturesEnable Device & Features
Use this option for devices that have only one controllable feature or only a controllable device.Use this option for devices that have more than one controllable feature.This duplicates "Enable Devices" option.

If the device is enabled for voice, the discovered device will use the root name and will only control either the device or the first controllable feature. In the example above, the Dimmer will be controlled and it will appear like this in Alexa:If the device is disabled for voice, and the features are enabled, the discovered device(s) will use the feature names and every controllable feature will be controlled. In the example above, the Candle Lights & the Sofa Lights will be controlled they will appear like this in Alexa:If the device and features are checked, the features will be ignored and the discovery will work as if only the device was checked. In the example above, only the Candle Lights will be controlled and it will appear like this in Alexa:

How to Enable Voice Commands for devices or Features

Voice commands can be enabled by editing the settings of of a single device or by using the Bulk Edit feature or HS4.

  • To enable voice commands for a single device,
    1. Navigate to the settings for its device or for its feature(s),
    2. Check the Voice Command Enabled checkbox:



  • To enable voice commands for multiple devices,
    1. Enable bulk editing by clicking the Bulk Edit button.



    2. Check the check boxes next to the devices or features you wish to enable
      Note: If you check the device check box, the feature check boxes will also be checked by default. Be sure to un-check the feature check boxes before enabling voice for these devices.



    3. Open the Bulk Action menu at the top of the devices page and select Enable Voice

How to Enable Voice Commands for Events

If you wish to launch events with Alexa, you'll need to enable events for voice. Follow these steps:

  1. Edit the event you wish to enable for voice and click the Advanced Options button
  2. Check the Voice Command check box and click SAVE

How to Change Voice Command Names for Devices or Features

By default this integration is designed to recognize the Device Name or Feature Name in your spoken commands. However, this may not always be desirable. For example, let's say you have a Floodlight Sensor device with a feature called Switch. Normally, you'd have to speak "Alexa, turn on the Floodlight Sensor Switch". That's pretty wordy and not very intuitive. To improve on this, we've included a Voice Command field that's designed to override the name field. To use it...

  1. Navigate to the settings page of the device or feature you wish to edit
  2. Enter the name you wish to speak into the Voice Command Field
  3. Click the Save button

In the example below, "Flood Lights" are entered into the Voice Command field. The resulting spoken command now becomes: "Alexa, turn on the Flood Lights".

How to Change Voice Command Names for Events

  1. Edit the event you wish to change the Voice Command for and click the first icon in the toolbar to edit name properties

  2. Type you new name into the Voice Command field.

In the example above, you'll now be able to speak "Alexa, Activate Weather Info" instead of "Alexa, Activate Announce Outside temp, humidity and light level"

Smart Home Skill Setup

  1. Open the Alexa app on your mobile device or visit https://alexa.amazon.com from your web browser and sign in to your Amazon account.
  2. Click or tap Skills or Skills & Games and search for HomeSeer.
  3. Select HomeSeer SmartHome Skill and click Enable.
  4. Our MyHS login page will appear. Enter your credentials and click Log In.
  5. Close the login window and click Discover Devices
  6. Alexa will take a moment to find all the voice-enabled devices and will then list them. 

Testing

After device discovery is complete, you should be able to control any discovered device by using any combination of its name and location. For example, if the discovered device is First Floor Living Room Candle Lights, the following commands should work:

  • "Alexa, turn on the Candle Lights"
  • "Alexa, turn on the Living Room Candle Lights"
  • "Alexa, turn on the First Floor Living Room Candle Lights"

Troubleshooting

If for any reason, you can't control your devices after discovery, here are a few things to check:

  • Make sure MyHS is connected to your system. Navigate to myhs.homeseer.com and log into your account. Access your system.
  • Make sure Alexa is working. Talk to your Alexa device to ensure the service is working.
  • Check your Internet connection.

If everything is working but you still can't control devices, open a service desk ticket for help.

Glossary of Terms

  • Device - Refers to a HomeSeer entity that represents either a physical product (like a smart switch) or a non-physical product or status (ie "virtual device"). Devices normally contain settings for a product so can usually be identified with the settings icon. In the example below, the Floodlight Sensor is the device.
  • Feature - Refers to a HomeSeer entity that represents an attribute of a device. In the example below, Motion Sensor, Switch, Temperature and Luminance entities are all features.
  • Controllable Feature - Refers to a feature that can be controlled by HomeSeer. Controllable features typically include buttons, drop down menus, sliders or some other type of control. In the example below, Switch is a controllable feature.




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