Multiple Alexa devices?

I was curious of a couple things with Alexa:

  1. If I get a Leviton wall switch with Alexa support can I utilize that for full voice commands thru OpenHAB? Or is it just a subset of Alexa? So if I say “Open the garage door” will Alexa on the switch convey that to OpenHAB?

  2. How does Alexa work if I have multiple devices? So say one wall switch has three Alexa switches in it, plus I have a Sonos with Alexa and also let’s throw in an Alexa desktop unit. What will happen if I go “Alexa, what’s the weather”. Will the wall switches, and sonos, and desktop unit all respond? Will only one respond thru some intelligent method? Does the switches even talk?



  1. Yes you can use any type of switch in openHAB to be exposed to Alexa. If you‘re not creating an empty routine, Alexa may responds with something like „i can‘t find a device named garage door“.
  2. The devices need unique names in the Alexa app. Even when exposed from openHAB to Alexa you‘re able to choose an unique name in the Alexa app. So devices only „answer“ direct calls to their name. Alexa App: When putting light switches in a group with an Echo you‘re able to say „lights on“ without the device name. This will switch on every light in the same group of the Alexa App.

If you have multiple Alexa devices, as far as I know, only one will reply to your call. Usually it’s the nearest. But they’ll all have the same capabilities, as they are tied to the Amazon account they’re configured to use.

Edit: see also

So Michael the way I’m reading your post, do I have to program commands in Alexa AND in OpenHAB? I was hoping other than configuring the Alexa devices initially and I guess tying it to my Amazon account, and linking them to OpenHAB, OpenHAB would manage everything. So am I having to program into Alexa and OpenHAB how to turn off the kitchen light switch?

Which now brings up a slightly different question. If I have a smart light switch that is Wi-Fi enabled but doesn’t support Alexa, will asking Alexa to turn it on work?



Could be that i didn‘t fully understand your initial post :wink:

  1. Devices that are directly Alexa enabled don‘t need to be configured in Alexa and openHAB, as long as you only want to control them with Alexa.
    So an Alexa enabled light can be directly configured and used with Alexa.
  2. If you want to control an device from Alexa and openHAB you need to configure this device in both environments.
    E.g. you want to switch the light with voice commands and in openHAB rules to turn off the lights automatically when you leave yout home (combined with presence detection)
  3. Non Alexa enabled devices are configured in openHAB and exposed to Alexa afterwards. You need to configure this devices (e.g. temperature sensor) in openHAB and let Alexa use this device. For this you need to add this openHAB device to your Alexa account once.
  4. My comment about routines is for complex things you‘re only able to build in openHAB as Alexa doesn‘t have information about this.
    E.g. you added your phone to openHAB and have the address available in an item. Now you want to ask Alexa „where‘s my phone“. This is something Alexa doesn‘t know but openHAB does. So you let openHAB look for this exact command in the Alexa lastVoiceCommand channel (contains the last command you gave Alexa) and answer with the address that is stored in one of your items. Without an empty routine in your Alexa account, Alexa would answer „sorry i can‘t do this at the moment“. An empty routine stops Alexa from reacting to unknown questions.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

Thanks for the clarification. Be nice if you could program EVERYTHING in OpenHAB and Alexa was just transmitting commands. So if I say to Alexa, “Turn Off Lights”, OpenHab would send the request to the devices and Alexa wouldn’t have to know anything about it. I was hoping Alexa could be a dumb transmitter to OpenHAB. Kind of like treating everything as Non Alexa based but not having to “expose” it to Alexa.



It´s possible because you can set rules for the lastVoiceCommand channel in openHAB.
But Alexa would still try to answer.
You can´t make Alexa dumb and let her just transfer the voice to openHAB.
As far as i know you could do this with an DIY Alexa build on an Raspberry Pi.