How to tag items for Alexa?

OH 2.5.10 stable

Need some help for setting up Alexa Smart Home Skill I want to control my OH items via Alexa.

  1. Do I mandatorily need to install the Openhab cloud connector and setup an user on
    or can I somehow use my already existent VPN connection instead?

  2. I feel stupid for asking but I don´t understand tagging the items, does it mean I add a label to the items or is it something different, that´s not clear for me?
    Here two item entries, can someone tell me how to add a tag please, to a group and to an item
    Group:Switch:OR(ON,OFF) gLED
    Switch Garage {channel=“mqtt:homeassistant_012669:583ffe5b:012669:012669_5FRL_5F2#switch”}

  3. When successfully able to discover my OH items with Alexa, can I select the items I want to control and unselect which not?

  1. Yes unless you are willing and able to set up a developer account and follow the instructions at

  2., though I believe the Alexa integration switched to using metadata:

  3. I don’t quite understand the question. You can choose which Items that Alexa can see by applying the alexa Item metadata. You can then command those Items from Alexa. Items without the metadata Alexa cannot see.

Are you going to use the Alexa Binding or the Hue Emulation Service?

This is killing me … :slight_smile:

  1. How to get this New Alexa v3 is it the standard skill and is it the standard OH functionality or Beta?
  2. Pffff Metadata … For a single switch I think it´s clear in my example:

Switch Garage {channel=“mqtt:homeassistant_012669:583ffe5b:012669:012669_5FRL_5F2#switch”}

I just will need to add at the end of the item definition

“Garage” {alexa=“PowerController.powerState”}

whereby “Garage” is the name I can ask Alexa to switch.
BTW: Can I also ask “open” instead of “switch” cause this switch is a garage door opener or is there a different definition required?

What I don´t understand is how to deal with a “normal” group not a single item as a Thermostat with multiple functions defined as a group. I just do have a group of switches for some LED.

Group:Switch:OR(ON,OFF) gLED

I think I need to add the name like “Group LED” and something like {alexa=“Endpoint.???”}
but what is correct here?

Group:Switch:OR(ON,OFF) gLED “Group LED” {alexa=“Endpoint.???”}

Hi, I am going to use the Alexa Binding and currently preparing the requirements and trying to understand how to

I use the Hue Emulation service, which tagging is fairly straightforward…

Switch RtGarageDr "Right Garage Door" [ "Switchable" ] { channel="zwave:device:xxxxxxxxxxx:node6:switch_binary",expire="1s,command=OFF",autoupdate="false" } 

[ “Switchable” ] is the tag for Alexa Control

What you describe sounds right. I don’t use this binding so I can’t answer any of your specific questions. But the metadata does go inside the { } as you surmise. I think the docs for the Alexa control binding has a list of the supported endpoints.

If the Item is a Switch, it’s unlikely to respond to an OPEN command. But I do know some people use a Rollershutter to represent their garage doors and that does support an OPEN command.

But why are you using the Hue Emulation service, is this a skill or is it a binding?
I don´t use any Hue devices therefore I don´t think this is the right skill for me?
Or do I understand something wrong?

All I wanted from Alexa was to control devices on and off…I did not have the need for any of the extras features of the Alexa Binding, plus I did not wan to need to hook up to an additional third party server (myopenhab)

The Hue Emulation service acts like a hue hub which allows you to control OpenHab items that are tagged correctly. I own 0 Hue devices, yet I use the emulation to control lights, Christmas trees, Garage Doors, Driveway Gates, Pool Pumps, Waterslides, etc via Alexa and the Hue Emulation.

You can install in PaperUI under Addons -> Misc

Oh, that sounds interesting. no need to open the door for any third party server
And in Alexa I do need to install a Hue skill?
And what about the item definition for a group as mentioned above, is that possible too?

The group is defined as
Group:Switch:OR(ON,OFF) gLED

Something a bit offset, but I do have three separate Echos in my house using three different Amazon accounts. All Echos are in one mesh (same SSID) as OH as well.
Can I get them all connected to the one OH installation with this Hue emulation?

None that I can remember…double check the docs.

I have a group called “Everything” and have a switch configured as yours tagged as “Switchable” that turns everything off.

All of my echos are on the same account, I’m not familiar with using multiple accounts or knowing if that configuration will work.

Here is the documentation to the Hue Emulation Service:

Reading the documentation it is stating that it must be put in pairing mode - How to perform this, is it like the ZWAVE pairing function?

And in your example you are using [ “Switchable” ] and in the documentation it says this is specifically for OSRAM SMART, “Lighting” would define a switch, are you using an OSRAM SMART here?

Further you are using the follwing instructions for your item example


can you please explain these instructions?

In PaperUI go to Configuration -> Services -> Hue Emulation -> Configure

And turn in Device Paring…then you ask Alexa to discover new devices…I think you can do this via the CLI…look in the docs.

Yes, this works for anything that just needs to turn off and on…I am controlling many Zwave devices this way, including my garage door, pool pump, and front gate.

One last thing for this group usage, I can´t find this in the documentation, could you maybe add the definition as you set it up, or maybe edit my group definition?

Group:Switch:OR(ON,OFF) gLED

Thanks a lot

Group:Switch:OR(ON,OFF) ghouse "Everything" [ "Switchable" ] {autoupdate="false"}

OK Thank you

Not that I want to steer you away from your effort to use the Hue Emulator over the Alexa skill. You can use the door metadata label to do exactly what you asked.


Switch Garage "Garage Door" {channel="mqtt:homeassistant_012669:583ffe5b:012669:012669_5FRL_5F2#switch", alexa="Door"}


Alexa, open garage door
Alexa, close garage door

Group items with a defined item type are actually considered as single endpoint. So you would model them the same way, you would for a standard light item for example.

Group:Switch:OR(ON,OFF) gLED "Group LED" {alexa="Lighting"}

You would never ask Alexa to “Switch”, you would ask to “turn on” or "“turn off”

With the Hue Emulation you can create an ALEXA ROUTINE with whatever words you want to use…them pick the action of the discovered Emulated Hue Device.

Cool, does this mean I don´t need the Hue emulation for that - but what else?
You aren´t using the [“Switchable”) command but adding the alexa command within the { } what logic is that now, what metadata is possible?

Sorry I missed that link in your post, so this is the Alexa Smart Home Binding what requires the user, right?
Do you prefer the Alexa Binding over the Hue Emulation?

Correct. My example sets the alexa metadata parameter over the tag. This is why I remove it since it’s not parsed once the metadata parameter is configured.

To control your OH items via Alexa, there is actually no Alexa binding as per say currently. There is an official Alexa skill that requires the use of cloud connector or, as @KidSquid mentioned, the Hue Emulator binding that allows local control without the need to have your OH server accessible over the Internet.

The latter give you more granular customization to control your OH items via Alexa. The learning curve to take full advantage of this customization may take a bit time. While the former pretty much only give on/off capability and may be sufficient to your need.

So in the end, it comes to what you want to achieve.