Tips and Tricks to Get More Out of Amazon Echo


Get Alexa and Yonomi to Speak the Same Language

Connecting Yonomi to the wonderfully responsive “Alexa” gives you amazing voice control of your smart home. As good of a listener as Alexa is, she can be a little picky when it comes to the names of your Devices and Yonomi Routines and how to run them. We’ve put together a few tips to make sure Alexa always knows what you’re asking.

And if Alexa is having trouble hearing you, you may want to add another Amazon Echo in your home. Buy an Amazon Echo


“Turn  Off” Your Routines

You can now use both the “Turn On” and “Turn Off” commands when running Routines via Alexa.  Previously you could use the “Turn On” command to execute a specific Routine by name, but this got clumsy if you wanted to have a Routine that turn things on and an opposite Routine to turn things off.


How to set up Routines that respond to “Turn On” and “Turn Off”

  1. Create two Routines in Yonomi. First create the “Turn On” Routine, for example “Living Room” (turn on LIFX bulb and play Sonos).

  2. Then create the “Turn Off” Routine by adding the word “Off” at the end of the Routine name, for example “Living Room Off.” This Routine could be setup as the inverse (turn off LIFX bulb and pause Sonos.)

  3. Run discovery on your Amazon Echo, and both of these Routines will be mapped to a single ‘device’ in the Alexa app.

  4. Now you can say more intuitively “Turn On the Living Room” to run the “Living Room” Routine, and “Turn Off the Living Room” to run the “Living Room Off” Routine. Give it a try and let us know what you think.


Make your Routine names Alexa-friendly

  1. Use simple and specific terms for your Routine names such as “Arrive Home” and “Watch TV”

  2. Avoid first-person phrases like “I’m Home” and “I’m Leaving”

  3. Avoid using the word “time” such as “TV Time”, or other words that Alexa may use for her own built-in skills.

  4. Avoid using words that could be confused with a native command such as “On, off, up, down, start, stop”

  5. Avoid using songs, band names, and genres in your Routine names such as “Classic Rock.”

  6. Make sure your Routine names don’t overlap with Device names or Alexa group names. If you have multiple devices/groups/routines that start with the word “Kitchen” you are likely to have problems. Check the list of connected devices under “Your Devices” in the Alexa App Smart Home section. Make sure all of your Yonomi devices, routines, and connected devices from other services are clearly separated and won’t be confused.

  7. Whatever the Routine name, you can include words like “my” and “the” when speaking to Alexa, and the Routine should run properly. For example “Turn on (my or the) Living Room.”


Control Your Devices in More Ways

Beyond simply “Turn on, ” you can use multiple commands with Alexa to control some of your Yonomi connected devices. Here are a few highlights:

Yonomi Amazon Alexa Tips Sonos PLAY-5


  • Pause Music: “Alexa, Turn off my Living Room Sonos”

  • Play Music: “Alexa, Turn on my Living Room Sonos”

  • Adjust Volume: “Alexa, Set my Living Room Sonos to 50”. Note: That value is a percentage, but you should leave out the “percent” after saying the value.

Logitech Harmony Hub:

  • Power off all activities: You can turn off your Harmony activities by directly addressing your Harmony Hub by its proper device name (as found in Yonomi), for example: “Alexa, turn off {Harmony Hub}”. You can always rename your Harmony Hub in the Yonomi app to make things simpler too, for example “TV” or “Television”.

WeMo Link Bulbs (WeMo Link):

  • Turn On: “Alexa, Turn on my Bedroom Lamp”

  • Turn Off: “Alexa, Turn off my Bedroom Lamp”

  • Dim (if supported): “Alexa, set my Bedroom Lamp to 30”. Note: This value is a percentage, but you should leave out “percent” after saying the value.

WeMo Maker:

  • Turn On: “Alexa, Turn on my Sprinklers”, “Alexa, Turn on my Garage”

  • Turn Off: “Alexa, Turn off the Sprinklers”, “Alexa, Turn off the Garage”

  • Turn Off for some time: “Alexa, set the pool pump for 30” (Note: Just say the value in minutes and don’t add the word “minutes”).

WeMo Crockpot:

  • Turn On: “Alexa, Turn on my Crockpot”

  • Turn Off: “Alexa, Turn off my Crockpot”

WeMo Coffeemaker:

  • Brew: “Alexa, Turn on my Coffeemaker”

Quirky Aros:

  • Turn On: “Alexa, Turn on my Aros”

  • Turn Off: “Alexa, Turn off my Aros”

  • Set Temperature: “Alexa, Set my Aros to 75”. Note: Leave out “degrees” or “Fahrenheit”/”Celsius”. Just say the value.

Yonomi Alexa Tips Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Thermostat:

  • Set Mode to Off: “Alexa, Turn off my Living Room Nest”

  • Set Mode to Heat-Cool: “Alexa, Turn on my Living Room Nest”


Create Unique Names For Your Devices

  1. Name each device uniquely such as “Living Room Sonos” and “Bedroom Sonos” or “Upstairs Nest” and “Downstairs Nest.” Make the names intuitive to you.

  2. Alexa may have trouble with device names that contain special characters like the ‘colon’ in “Sonos Play:1”. You can always rename devices in your Yonomi app to simplify names and make it easier for Alexa to understand.

  3. Check the list of connected devices under “Your Devices” in the Alexa App Smart Home section. Make sure all of your Yonomi devices, Routines, and connected devices from other services have unique names.

  4. Device names that contain a partial or full match of another device name within them may cause problems. For example, Alexa may get confused if you have both a “Living Room Lamp” device and a “Living Room Light” device.

  5. You can include words like “my” and “the” when speaking to Alexa about your devices. For example, “Turn on (my or the) Bedroom Lamp.”


Control Your WeMo LED Bulbs and WeMo Link Hub

Yonomi Alexa Tips Wemo LED Bulbs and Hub

Additionally, our Alexa integration now directly supports WeMo LED Bulbs and other bulbs connected via the WeMo Link Hub which isn’t natively supported by Alexa.   If you have a WeMo Link, just re-run discovery on Alexa, and you’ll be able to control any connected bulbs with your voice.  “Turn On” and “Turn Off” commands are supported in addition to the “Set” command to adjust the brightness.  Just say “Alexa, set my kitchen lights to 50” for example (leave off percent) and you’re good to go.


Two Ways to Get Yonomi and Alexa to Play Together

Setting up Alexa through the Alexa App:

Yonomi is now featured directly in the Alexa App! You can find us under the “Smart Home” section, or by searching for us “Skills”.

1. Launch the Alexa app and sign in.
2. Tap on the menu icon and then “Skills.”


3. Search skills for “Yonomi” and tap on “Enable Skill.”


4. Sign into your Yonomi account and tap “Connect with Yonomi.”


5. Then tap “Discover Devices” in the Alexa app, or say “Alexa, Find my Devices”, and Alexa will find your Devices and your Routines.


Are you a developer? Device manufacturer?

Learn how to get out-of-the-box integrations with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant when you build on the Yonomi One Backend as a Service.