Amazon Alexa ClareHome Integration Release Notes

Introduction

Alexa is Amazon’s smart assistant product line. The ClareHome Skill for Alexa enables you to interact with user voice commands and control your smart home. The instructions in this document help connect Alexa to your ClareHome project.

To configure your ClareHome Skill with Alexa you must have a pre-existing ClareHome system with devices and services, an Amazon account, the Amazon Alexa app, and an Alexa device.

Notes:

  • You need your Amazon account and Clare project’s sign-in credentials.
  • This integration with Alexa allows you to control Clare Controls supported devices and scenes that appear in the Clare app. (These items must have a UI component in the Clare app.)
  • Images are subject to change based on amazon updates.

Installing the Alexa app

Search for and install the Amazon Alexa app.

To install the app:

  1. Access the App store.
    Select iTunes for iOS, and Google Play for Android.
  2. Search for Amazon Alexa, and then download the app.
  3. Return to your device’s home screen, and then open the Alexa app.

    IMG_0192

    Configuring the Alexa app

    After you have successfully downloaded and opened the Amazon Alexa app, configure it and connect it to your Amazon account. See Amazon’s device setup support documentation for linking the app to your Alexa device, https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201601770. Configure your Alexa app, and then link it to your Clare project.

    To configure the Alexa app:

    Note: You must have an existing Amazon account.

    – or –

    Create an Amazon account to use with Alexa.

    1. Sign in to the Alexa app using your Amazon credentials.
    2. Tap Get Started, and then select your Amazon account.
    3. Follow the on-screen prompts from Amazon to allow or deny services. z
      See the Alexa documentation descriptions of each prompt.
    4. Tap the Menu icon in the top-left corner, and then tap Skills & Games.
    5. Search for, and then select ClareHome.

      ClareHome skill 1
    6. Tap ENABLE TO USE.

      Tap to enable skill 1
    7. You are prompted to link your ClareHome account. Select your ClareHome sign-in method, and then select your account or enter your credentials as prompted.
      Note: You must use the same sign-in method as used with your ClareHome project for Alexa to discover your location.

      skill login method 1
    8. Select your ClareHome location, and then tap Allow.
      Note: If there are multiple home locations associated with your ClareHome account, see “Multiple locations in ClareHome” on page 19.

      Alexa 005
    9. Once Alexa successfully links with Clare Home, tap Done or the X (in the top-right (iOS) or left (Android) corner) to return to the app.
      Discover your devices.

      successfully enabled 1

    Discovering devices

    After the app is configured and linked with the ClareHome account, discover your devices. There are 3 different ways to discover devices. See the below methods.

    Note: Device discovery can take up to 20 seconds.

    To discover your devices after configuring the app:

    1. After returning to the app, a Discover Devices pop-up displays.
    2. Tap Discover Devices.

      discover devices after enable 1
    3. Your device categories display.

      devices

      To discover devices using verbal Alexa commands or when not prompted:

      1. Say the following command, “Alexa, discover my devices.”
        The compatible device services and scenes are discovered.

      Managing devices

      Once devices/scenes are added to Alexa, you can view and remove them.

      To view a list of all services and scenes in Alexa:

      1. Open the Alexa app, and then tap Devices in the bottom-right corner.
      2. Select the desired device category or all devices view.

      To disable devices in Alexa:

      Notes

      • If a device/scene is removed from ClareHome, it must be manually removed from Alexa. The device is not auto removed.
      • If the wrong device/scene is removed, rediscover the devices.
      1. View the list of Devices/Scenes.
      2. Select the device, and then tap the device’s Settings icon.

        get to device settings
      3. Tap the Enabled slider to disable the device.

        device settings

      To delete devices in Alexa:

      Notes

      • If a device/scene is removed from ClareHome, it must be manually removed from Alexa. The device is not auto removed.
      • If the wrong device/scene is removed, rediscover the devices.
      1. View the list of Devices/Scenes.
      2. Select the device, and then tap the device’s Settings icon.

        get to device settings
      3. Tap the Delete icon.

        delete this device
      4. Tap Delete to confirm removal of the device.

        3 - confirm

      To remove all devices from Alexa:

      Notes

      • If a device/scene is removed from ClareHome, it must be manually removed from Alexa. The device is not auto removed.
      • If the wrong device/scene is removed, rediscover the devices.
      • To remove all devices from Alexa, you must access your Alexa device on Amazon’s website.
      • You will need your Amazon account’s credentials.
      1. Open a web browser on your phone, smart devices, or computer, and then browse to Amazon’s
      2. Sign in using your Amazon account’s credentials, and then click the link below.
        https://alexa.amazon.com
        The Alexa home page displays.
      3. Click Smart Home.

        alexa website 1
      4. Click Devices.

        alexa website 2
      5. Click Forget All.

        alexa website 3
        - or –
        Click Forget next to the desired device to only remove a single device.

        forget a single device

      To control a device or scene from the Smart Home menu:

      1. Open the Alexa app, and then tap Devices in the lower-right corner.
      2. Tap the device category or view all devices.
      3. Tap the desired device.

        switch on
      4. Tap the icon to operate it – for example, turning the switch off.

        switch off

      Supported security panels

      The Clare Controls Amazon Alexa skill supports the Clare Secure and Alula Connect+ (Helix) security panels. Security panels are discovered and removed using the same method as other devices.

      When added, the panel is automatically able to be armed and report on status. The disarm feature must be enabled.

      Notes

      • When switching security states using Alexa, the panel must be armed (in stay or away) from a disarmed state. For example, the user cannot switch states from Armed Stay to Armed Away. The user must first disarm the panel, and then set it to Armed Away.
      • See below,  Examples of Alexa smart home commands.

       

      To enable disarm by voice in Alexa:

      1. Access your devices, and then tap Security.

        circled security
      2. Using the slider, enable the Disarm by voice setting. 

        2 - security settings
      3. Confirm disarm by voice by tapping OK.

        3 - confirm
      4. Tap Existing security system PINs.

      Notes

      • PIN creation is done using the Clare app during security configuration.
      • Alexa-specific voice code is not supported.


        4 - voice code

      Naming devices for use with Alexa

      Sometimes a name is not practical, too long, or hard to say, and needs to be changed. Alexa may only hear key words, not understand what the user is saying, or may think you are referencing another device. When selecting a name for use with Alexa, test that the command does what is intended.

      When shortening the name of a device, verify that Alexa understands. For example, a Wi-Fi Aprilaire thermostat is named April in the project. When saying “Alexa, what is the April temperature?” Alexa responds with the weather report for the month of April. Always test the names used with Alexa.

      If a name is not working, change the name of the device or scene using the ClareHome app.

      To change the name of a device/service:

      1. Launch the ClareHome app, and then tap and hold the desired device until it becomes editable.

        IMG_0526 1
      2. Tap the Pencil icon, and then enter a new name for the device.

        IMG_0527 1
      3. Tap Done, and then tap Done in the top-right corner.
      4. Return to your smart device’s home screen, and then open the Alexa app.
      5. Tap the menu in the top-left corner. 
      6. Tap Smart Home, and then select Groups, Devices, or
        Note: It does not matter which category is selected, each has the Discover option.
      7. Tap Add Device.
        Altered names are updated.

      To change the name of a scene:

      1. Launch the ClareHome app, and then tap the menu icon.
      2. Tap Scenes.

        IMG_0368 1
      3. Select the desired scene, and the tap in the name field.
      4. Enter the new scene name.

        IMG_0532 1
      5. Tap Done, or outside of the name field to save the new name.
      6. Return to your smart device’s home screen, and then open the Alexa app.
      7. Tap Devices in the bottom-right corner.
      8. Tap Scenes
      9. Tap Discover Scenes.
        Altered names are updated.

      Multiple locations in ClareHome

      Some users have more than one ClareHome location. For example, a user may have a home in Minnesota and a vacation home in Florida. If each of these locations has an Alexa device that interacts with their ClareHome devices/scenes, the user must have separate Amazon accounts for each location using an Alexa device.

      This is required because once a location is selected to link to the Amazon account, all Alexa devices on that account control and have access to that ClareHome location and only that location. So, when selecting the Florida location, all Alexa devices on the Amazon account are now interacting with only the Florida location. When in Minnesota, and speaking to an Alexa device, it will not interact with the home in Minnesota. It connects to the devices in the Florida home.

      Examples of Alexa smart home commands

      When speaking to Alexa, use certain words to guarantee the desired results. It is best to keep the commands short and succinct.

      The following example show the same comment, one longer and one shorter. Try both with your devices and find what works best for you.

      Long command: “Alexa, increase the Office light by 5 percent.”

      Short command: “Alexa, increase Office by 5 percent.”

      Notes

      • When addressing Alexa, if you have more than one device with the same name-you must specify which device gets the command. For example, you have an office switch, office dimmer, and office thermostat. You say, “Alexa, turn on office.” Alexa does not know which device you are referring to. You must specify, “Alexa, turn on the office switch.”
      • Device/Scene names do not need to be exact as long as the name is unique. If you have an office switch and an office dimmer, you can say, “Alexa, turn on switch.” Because there is only one device with switch in the name, it knows which device to use.
      • The following commands are examples, more phrases can be used. Use Alexa and find out which phrases work for you.

      Device discovery

      • “Alexa, discover my smart home devices.”
      • “Alexa, discover my devices.”
      • “Alexa, discover devices.”

      On/Off

      • "Alexa, turn on my office switch "
      • "Alexa, turn off my office switch. "

      Dimmer

      • “Alexa, turn on the den dimmer.”
      • “Alexa, increase/decrease den dimmer by 20
      • “Alexa, brighten/dim den dimmer by 20
      • "Alexa, set my den dimmer to 50"
      • "Alexa, set my bedroom to 10"

      Door locks

      • “Alexa, is my casa door locked/unlocked?”
      • “Alexa, lock the casa door.”

      Note: For safety, Alexa will not unlock your door.

      Wi-Fi thermostats

      • "Alexa, set my Lyric to 72"
      • “Alexa, what is Lyric set to?”
      • "Alexa, increase the temperature by 5"
      • “Alexa, decrease the temperature by 3
      • “Alexa, cool down/heat up the Lyric.”
      • “Alexa, what is the temperature inside?”
      • “Alexa, what is the thermostat temperature?”

      Notes

      • When not specifying the degree change for the thermostat, Alexa automatically selects 2° F, or 1° C of the current setpoint. This does not take the current temperature into effect, it adjusts the setpoints.
      • Alexa does not support humidistat features.
      • Alexa does not allow a user to change the thermostat mode.

      Garage door

      • "Alexa, lock my garage door."
      • "Alexa, unlock my garage door."

      Note: Alexa sees the garage door as a lock. It uses the commands lock (closes the garage door) and unlock (opens the garage door).

      Inquiries

      • "Alexa, is my garage door locked?"
      • Alexa, is my garage door unlocked?"

      Scenes

      • "Alexa, turn on my goodnight scene."

      Security

      • "Alexa, arm my home (name of security panel) in away mode.”
      • “Alexa, arm my home.” (Defaults to arm stay.)
      • “Alexa, disarm my home.”
      • “Alexa, is my home armed/disarmed?”

      Supported devices

      The Alexa ClareHome integration currently supports all door locks, lighting devices (except for keypads), Wi-Fi thermostats, scenes, and the Alula (Helix) security panel. These items are limited to devices and scenes that have a UI component in the ClareHome app (can be seen on the ClareHome app and added to the base page as an icon) and are listed as Clare Controls supported devices.

      Note: Timed scenes/actions or services created without a UI component are not discoverable in the ClareHome Alexa Skill.

      See the Fusion Library Product Bulletin (DOC ID 361) available on the Clare Controls knowledge base.

       

      Full PDF - Amazon Alexa ClareHome Integration Release Notes (DOC ID 1597)