How to set up and use Alexa smart home groups

One of the main problems with a house stuffed full of smart home kit is having to try and remember what you’ve called everything: was it the lounge light or the living room light that you wanted to turn on? Now, with Alexa in smart home groups, that pain goes away.

Thanks to a recent Alexa app update, you can now group your Alexa devices in with smart home products. For example, you could create a group for your living room that contains an Echo, and all of the lights and thermostats in that location. Then, you can just say, “Alexa, turn on the lights,” and your Echo understands that you mean the lights in the living room, no further clarification needed. That’s a lot easier. Just follow these simple steps to set up Alexa smart home groups and edit them once you have.

Related: Amazon Alexa guide

1. Create a smart home group

Open the Alexa app, tap the burger menu and select Smart Home. Tap the Groups tab at the top of the page and select Add Group. You’ll be given a list of common room names that you can select; you can enter a custom name if you prefer. Tap Next when you’ve chosen.

On the next page, you’ll see a list of your Alexa-enabled devices. Currently, this feature only supports Echo devices, not other products that have Alexa built in, such as a Fire TV device. Select the Echo device that is in that room.

2. Add smart home devices

Next, select the smart home devices that are located in that room. You can select multiple devices in the list, letting you pick everything that is in the room. Don’t worry, you can edit the list later if you want to add or remove anything.

When you’re done, tap the Save button.

3. Control your devices with the app

Back on the Groups page, you’ll see your new group. Note that any groups that have an Echo in them are marked as Alexa-enabled. Tap a group and you’ll see all of your devices in there; you can tap Edit to make changes to the devices.

At the top of a group’s page are large On and Off buttons. Tap these to turn your group devices on or off. Note that this feature only works on devices that have switch-like capabilities, such as smart plugs and smart lights.

Related: Best smart plugs

4. Control your devices with your voice

When you talk to an Echo that’s in a group, you can use simplified commands to control smart devices. Here are a few to get you started:

“Alexa, turn on lights.”
“Alexa, turn off lights.”
“Alexa, set temperature to 19 degrees.”
“Alexa, what is the thermostat temperature?”

This type of command is far easier than remembering device or group names. To control other devices from your grouped Echo, you can use the old style of command, naming the smart home device that you want to control, such as “Alexa, turn on office light.”

 

5. Edit Alexa smart home device groups

Once you have created an Alexa smart home group you can change its settings and rename it. To do this just go to the Smart Home menu in the Alexa app, select Groups and choose the group you want to edit.

You can change the group name by selecting Edit Name, add or remove devices from the group or delete the group entirely by hitting the trash icon.