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Echo Dot Diary: Alexa Routines that simplify my life each day

Back when I initially covered Alexa routines, the interface was a little different. I’m very happy with its recent facelift, but one feature that got better even before this was the setup process for routines. Folks with lots of automations are now able to assign a name to each routine, and the list can even be sorted and filtered. This has renewed my enthusiasm for Alexa routines, as it used to be a nightmare to thumb through a huge list of automations that were assigned meaningless, uneditable names. In this Echo Dot Diary, I will share recent additions to my ever-growing list of home automation.

It’s daytime or nighttime

As you may have guessed, these Alexa routines serve as an expansion to common “Good Morning” or “Good Night” automations seen across most platforms. When I wake up in the morning, I tend to only want a few lights on and brightness to be kept to a minimum using versatile Lutron light switches. When I go to bed I want every single light to be turned off.

This is where saying “Alexa, it’s daytime,” or “Alexa, it’s nighttime,” comes in. By setting up these routines, I have an easy-to-remember way for my family to turn all lights on and to toggle most bulbs off when winding down for the evening.

Front porch lights

Having moved to the city from the country, I’ve decided to dimly turn on my front porch lights in the evening and turn them off during the day. This is achieved by simply scheduling my light switch to brighten at sunset. Going this route ensures that it’s not too bright for neighbors while also providing ambience when enjoying our glider late at night.

Power cycle Echo devices

While I absolutely love each of my Echo Dots, there’s no question that they can get a little bit buggy sometimes. For this reason I have each one routed through a smart plug. This allows me to use Alexa routines to power each device off at 4 a.m., wait 15 seconds, then toggle back on.

Reset volume of devices

Sometimes it’s nice to have Alexa blaring music, and other times it’s nice to have it playing quietly in the background. This means that quite often I will ask for the time or weather forecast to have Alexa either shout at me or speak at an incredibly low volume. This has led me to create Alexa routines for each of my Echo devices that readjusts volume to 30%. It’s scheduled to occur at 5 a.m., which is well before I wake up each day.

As you can see, Alexa routines have proven to be quite useful in my household. While none of these automations are over-the-top or very complex, this doesn’t mean they aren’t helpful. If you have yet to dive into Alexa routines, I highly recommend perusing capabilities to ensure you’re able to come up with ways to simplify daily life using Amazon’s handy assistant.

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