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Voice Commands Not Working? Echo and Homekit Quirks.

More things to keep in mind- sequence of events and which platform to keep at the top when controlling your Smart Home.  I found this out the hard way. And I’m going to share this experience with everyone.

If you’re going to control your house with voice but also want to control it with a smartphone or remote control, then you want to make sure to reverse engineer your setup. You want to make sure that you work backwards to your main control. What I mean by this is- inside of my home automation system exists the end-of-the-chain device. Let’s say light bulbs and smart switches in this scenario. And then I have a hub controlling the lights. Sometimes, depending on your setup- it is common to have different hubs for different devices if you have a hub with limited Integrations or if the light bulbs have a proprietary Wireless language. A good example would be Lutron caseta and clear connect.  But, in this case, I’m going to use Philips Hue bulbs and the Philips Hue Bridge. However I’m going to make this more complicated because I’m also using a different set of controllers (Logitech Harmony) that controls the Philips Hue bridge that controls the Philips Hue Lights. I will add pictures or elaborate on the examples later on this week within this post. So let’s work our way back. My Amazon Echo is my primary controller with voice controlled activation  which I have synced to my Logitech Harmony, and my Logitech Harmony is synced to my  Philips Hue Bridge…

So you begin to see here there’s a lot of relationships that exist between these products and hubs. The reason why I bring this up, is because the sequence of events is relative two the devices that are connected below the superseding controllers (hue bridge, harmony hub, and finally the echo at the top) in the chain.. I found that rather than running Echo direct to the Logitech that I could run both my Logitech Harmony hub and my Philips Hue bridge direct to the echo. This makes a little bit easier of an integration with less complications and server calls from Cloud to Cloud but also you still have to sync or manipulate all of the above no matter how you have it set up if you make a change on the end device…

So the premise here is that- any changes you make will either need to be synced or updated on any other controllers that have some kind of relationship with that device in the chain of events.
I’m going to explain my problem that I had and I’m hoping you will avoid. When you change settings on your Philips Hue Bridge or change names of devices or scenes- then the way that light bulb works, is now changed forever. But if your Logitech Harmony is controlling your Philips Hue Bridge then you have to change the name as well on your Logitech Harmony and following as well on your Echo. This is important because these devices link together similar to how your email links to some kind of 3rd party program. When you change the password to your email for some reason you can’t login anymore. The same problem exists when you change your Apple ID you’re trying to get into the iTunes Store and cannot. It’s because you’ve changed your credentials and Authentication. If you were to change your username on Xbox you would find that you wouldn’t be able to log in anymore because it would not identify your username with the password…

Conflicts start occurring, and more so when you change things that are all interconnected together in the chain of events.

The more complexities and variables your system has can result in a lot of conflicts if you do not set things up correctly or modify them correctly. So in this case when you change the name to your light bulb and on your Philips Hue system, then you want to also either resync or change the names on the Logitech Harmony and any other controlling hubs. I found this out when I was telling things to turn on and off later on to find out that devices or commands weren’t working because I had changed things up and not resynced everything again.

Hence, the reverse engineering and working your way backwards in the chain of events of your home system. The more controllers hubs, and bridges you add- then the more complex as well as vulnerability to give room for error whenever you make changes. That’s the paradox- is that you can have unlimited possibilities but at the same time unlimited potential for conflicts. I will be discussing this more thoroughly but for now I wanted to share a brief overview of one of the major conflicts that isn’t discussed about or is very rarely discussed about online today with Smart Home Integrations…


Morevoer, a company is not going to tell you about the quirks and problems because any chance to lose a sale doesn’t make sense to a retailer. Although some have broken down the processes between how their products work with others, but very few lay it all out for yo
u…

So, that being said- make sure you get products that are easily integratable as well as modified for your current smart home system.

Categories: Blog
" The SmartHome Ninja : Owner, creator, imagineer, smart home enthusiast, tester, practical applicator extraordinaire.."

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