Set up Alexa to Turn Off Smart Devices Automatically

Amazon Digital Assistant can now control some of your smart devices without any additional requests. But before you start daydreaming about the day Alexa makes coffee for you in the morning and your car is already warming up in the garage before driving to work, know that her options were a little limited on this first round.

First, set up “Hunches” in your Alexa app ( iOS , Android ). Open the app, tap More in the lower right corner, tap Settings and scroll down a bit. Click on Hunches, when you see this, a screen will open that looks like this:

Click on “Set up automatic actions” and you will be presented with a small list of potential actions that Alexa can take on your behalf. I basically have smart lights at home, so I have two to choose from:

When you choose an action, you will receive a short video that tells you a little more about Alexa’s automatic response. You can also click “Learn More” to understand what options might motivate Alexa to act on your behalf. For instance:

When you’re ready to turn on automatic Alexa guidance, click Next . In my case, I need to choose which lights I want Alexa to control, but that’s about it. Then my “guess” is set up, and I can go back to the “ Premonitions” part in my Alexa app to check when Alexa calls it.

To clear the guesswork, simply click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Premonitions screen. Find the section “Automatic actions”, click on any smart device that you see, and you can enable or disable the available automatic action:

Alexa’s automatic actions currently only work for a subset of smart devices, including lights, thermostats, and switches.

When you’re done playing with guesses, you should also check out the new function Alexa «Energy Dashboard», to find out how much energy consume your smart devices throughout the day.

To access it, simply click on ” Devices” at the bottom of the app, and then click on the ” Energy Bar” box at the top. After reading a little about how it works, click on Browse Devices to continue. But that’s all I got; either this feature is still not implemented, or I need to tweak something with the connected lights so Alexa knows to add them to the dashboard.

However, it will be a fun feature to play with. While it won’t be as accurate as, say, the energy readings you can get from the smart switch itself, it will at least provide a decent way to tell if your devices are using more power than you’d like. No one gets a monthly pandemic energy bill.

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