Google Assistant Finally Lets You Schedule Lights on and Off

Google’s first smart speaker, Google Home, debuted in 2016, and it took Google four years to add a single feature to its digital assistant that I find indispensable for anyone looking to control their smart home, in particular their lighting.

While it is true that you can tell your Google Assistant to turn the lights on and off immediately, as soon as you connect the said digital assistant to whatever service you use for lighting, it will be as difficult as you could ever get. Well, if you don’t count the slightly more subtle “sleep me” or “wake me up” commands, which allow you to schedule the brightness or brightness of the light 24 hours in advance.

But you couldn’t tell Google to turn the lights on or off at a specific time – at least not until now. Turning them on and off gradually added annoying and unnecessary delays, but now if your Google speakers or smartphone apps have the latest update to enable this feature, you can tell the speaker to turn the lights on and off at specific times.

The time does not have to be accurate. If you want the lights to turn off that day at 8 p.m., tell Google Assistant to turn them off at that time, just like telling Google Assistant that you want the lights to turn off after five minutes. You can also have your Google Assistant only turn on the lights for a specified period of time, say ten minutes. Or, if you still like the ability to dim and turn your lights on, you can give Google a fade time: for example, “Make my light 30 minutes brighter.” (You can’t go out in less than five minutes.)

Likewise, Google Assistant can also turn lights on and off at sunset and sunrise using voice commands, and you can schedule all these new smart home activities seven days in advance. Google Assistant should also be able to undo scheduled activities: tell it to either “cancel my scheduled activities” en masse , or ask it to “delete my schedule [device name]”.

I say “should be,” although reports show that the cancellation process is not quite working yet. Also, although you might think it would be easy to replicate this process for devices that don’t light up, such as a smart plug, that doesn’t seem to work yet.

Despite these quirks, Google’s implementation is perfect. Finally, I can tell the bathroom lights to turn on and off for as long as I’m likely to be there, instead of fiddling with the awkward dimming or pushing a physical button that I always remember to turn on but sometimes forget to turn off.

[ Android Police ]

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