Amazon Alexa Echos

Edina has some voice activated automation that turns lights on and off, plays music, sets timers and alarms, tells you the weather or the time, and so on.

The activation word is ECHO. If you are used to using Alexa, we had to change the normal activation word because we discovered that guests could accidentally turn our lights on and off 100 miles away by mistake.

A previous occupant may have disabled the voice activated lights by switching off at the wall socket or the inline switch. So if a voice activated light doesn’t work the first step is to make sure it is plugged in, the socket is switched on, the smart switch itself is on (press the button on the side or top once), and the inline switch is on.

Every so often there is a technical glitch at Amazon or at Vodafone (who supply the broadband) and the commands to operate the lights stop working. You can override by pressing the button on the smart plug. Removing and reinserting the smart plug into the socket may restore the voice recognition. Unplugging the router, plugging it back in and waiting for the Internet to be restored may also work.


If using the Echo devices to play music please don’t raise the volume high enough to disturb the neighbours. To set the volume (1 to 10) say

Echo, volume 5.


Several of the lamps in the house are voice activated. Please do not use the switches on the power leads to turn them on and off. Use a voice command or use the button on the side or top of the smart plug at the socket.

The two lamps in the front room will come on automatically, along with the Dining Room light, 1 hour before sunset and turn off just before midnight. You can override at any point by saying:

Echo, turn on Front Room Lights

Echo, turn off Front Room Lights

Echo, turn on Dining Room Light

Echo, turn off Dining Room Light

One of the bedside lamps in each of the two main bedrooms, and the lamp in the small bedroom are also voice controlled from the front room or the bedroom.

Echo, turn on Bed 1 Light

Echo, turn off Bed 1 Light

Echo, turn on Bed 2 Light

Echo, turn off Bed 2 Light

Echo, turn on Bed 3 Light

Echo, turn on Bed 3 Light


To play music simply state your preference:

Echo, play (name the song and artist)

Echo, play Frank Sinatra

Echo, play summer music

Echo Stop (for when it plays something entirely different to your request).

Other Functions

The devices can do quite a lot of other things too.

Echo, set timer 20 minutes and Echo, how much longer (once set)

Echo, set alarm for 07:30 a.m.

Echo, cancel alarm for 07:30 a.m.

Echo, play Radio 5 Live

Echo, what is the weather today (or tomorrow or this week)

Echo, what is the meaning of life

Echo, fart

Ask it a question, see what she says.