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How To: Setup Light Groups with Amazon Alexa

Alexa Light Group

Control multiple lights with one voice command with Alexa!

Group light bulbs in one lamp or group all the lights in a room. The smart home groups feature in the Alexa App is perfect for making your voice lighting control even better.Use this guide to easily create your Alexa light group. 

Why Should I Create an Alexa Light Group?

In short, confusing smart light names. Do you have several smart light bulbs with names such as this?

  • Family Room Light 1, Family Room Light 2, Family Room Light 3
  • Lamp 1, Lamp 2
  • Right Side Lamp, Left Side Lamp
  • Susan’s Lamp, Jason’s Lamp

These names make perfect sense to identify and group the lights together. However, these names are horrible for controlling the lights by voice with your Amazon Echo. Most of the time, you want to control the group of lights instead of each light individually. That is exactly why you need to create light groups in the Alexa app.

You can easily combine lights such as ‘Lamp 1’ and ‘Lamp 2’ into a group called ‘Lamps’ to control both lights with one voice command.

You can easily combine lights such as ‘Lamp 1’ and ‘Lamp 2’ into a group called ‘Lamps’ to control both lights with one voice command. Once you create the group, you can turn the lights on or off, set the dim level, or change the color of the entire group of lights. 

Alexa Light Groups: What do You Need?

This is a simple project that only requires two products:

1. Amazon Echo Device – There are several Amazon Echo devices to choose from. Learn how you can use the Amazon Echo in your smart home or check the price on Amazon below.

2. Smart light switch or smart light bulbs

If you have an Amazon Echo device but not the lights, then I suggest that you check out the Philips Hue Hub. Voice control over your lights is one of the greatest conveniences of your smart home. The Philips Hue product line contains multiple size light bulbs that you can quickly set up and control with your voice. I use these products and I recommend them for your smart home too.

Once you have your Hue and Alexa products setup and connected, you are ready to create and control your Alexa light group.

Let’s get started!

Create a Light Group in the Amazon Alexa App

Follow the simple steps below to create an Alexa Light Group in your home.

Step 1: Navigate to the ‘Smart Home’ section in the Alexa menu

Select ‘Devices’ in the bottom right corner of the Alexa app. This will open the ‘Smart Home’ section in the Alexa App menu.

Echo Smart Home Devices
Alexa Devices

Step 2: Select the ‘Plus’ (+) sign and click ‘Add Group’

Add a new group that will contain your lights.

Select Plus Sign for Menu
Plus
Select Add Group
Add Group

Step 3: Create a Smart Home Group with a Custom Name

The Alexa App has a list of common names for rooms. In this case, we are creating a custom Alexa light group that is not related to a room. Choose a name that is natural to speak. This is the name that you will use to control the lights with Alexa.

Create Custom Alexa Light Group Name
Custom Name

Step 4: Choose the lights to add to your group

Scroll down to the Alexa devices and choose as many lights as you want in your light group and click save. There is a blue check mark next to each light you select for the group.

Select Group Lights
Choose Lights

Step 5: Review and Edit Your Alexa Smart Home Group

You will see your newly created Alexa light group in the ‘Groups’ area within the smart home ‘Devices’ section of the app. You can click on the group name to see the lights within the group. Additionally, the app allows you to control the lights in the group. Click ‘Edit’ in the upper corner if you want to change the devices in the group.

Select Alexa Light Group
Group
View or Edit the Alexa Light Group
Group Detail

Controlling Alexa Light Groups

Now that the group is created, you can control the group of lights with the same voice commands as any individual light. 

Alexa. Turn on the Fireplace Lights.
Alexa. Set Fireplace Lights to green.
Alexa. Set Fireplace Lights to 50%.

How I Use Light Groups in My Smart Home

There are three primary ways I use Alexa light groups in my home. 

  1. Light Pairs – For example, lamps on the left and right side of the bed. Lamps on each side of the couch. Recessed lights that are specific to an area such as over the fireplace.
  2. Lights with Multiple Bulbs – For example, lamps or ceiling lights that contain multiple light bulbs. If you use smart bulbs then you will want to create a group for them.
  3. Rooms or Locations – All the lights in a certain room or location. For example, all the lights outside.

The common theme is that these are lights you want to control in a group. You always have the option to control each light or light bulb individually, but in most cases you will want to control the devices together.

Alexa Smart Plug Controls

Are you having issues controlling a smart plug in your light group? If so, then one of your smart plugs might be classified as a “Plug” in the Alexa app instead of a “Light”. 

You can check or change the device type here:

  1. Click the gear settings icon in the upper right corner of the device screen for each of your plugs
  2. Click Type in the middle of the screen
  3. Make sure the smart plug is classified as a Light

Changing the Smart Plug to a light in the Alexa app will allow you to control them by simply saying “turn on the lights”.

What else can I do with Alexa Lights?

The Amazon Echo devices give you a lot of options to control your smart home lights with your voice. Here are some other guides on controlling lights by voice with Alexa:

  1. Create Context Aware Lights – Just say “turn on lights” and Alexa knows which lights you want to turn on (THIS IS A MUST).
  2. Create Custom Routines – Your own custom voice commands to control lights with Alexa routines.

Alexa is also great for music. Check out the best speakers for your Echo Dot.

P.S. Please leave a comment below to ask a question, help someone else or share your experiences. Thanks!

8 thoughts on “How To: Setup Light Groups with Amazon Alexa”

  1. f anyone could help me solve this it would be AMAZING!

    I just bought 8 Philips Hue G10 spot bulbs for my kitchen. All installed, connected and controllable via the Hue app. Great start.

    Alexa is our virtual assistant of choice so fired up the Alexa app and created a Group called “Kitchen” and added all 8 of the spots.

    Tested with “Alexa, turn the kitchen lights off”. Off they went.

    “Alexa, turn the kitchen lights on”. On they went.

    “Alexa, dim the kitchen lights”. Alexa responds “Kitchen lights doesn’t support that”. That’s weird!

    I have another Group “All Hue lights” with, you guessed it, all of my Hue lights in including the new kitchen lights.

    “Alexa, dim all the lights” All of the lights, including the ones in the kitchen, dim!

    I’ve tried renaming the kitchen group to something random but same result. It’s really annoying!

    Any suggestions would be thankfully received.

    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan,

      I have experimented and tried a few things, but I can’t replicate this issue exactly. You said the group is named “Kitchen”. Will it work if you simply say “dim Kitchen” instead of “dim kitchen lights”?

    1. Hi Tanya,

      You need two smart light bulbs (color or not) unless you use a smart switch on the wall. There are a lot of wifi based smart switches that work with Alexa. With a smart switch you can use any light bulbs (smart or not).

      Jason

  2. Destini Millington

    Hello,
    I have followed all your steps perfectly, yet my Alexa only turns the one light on in the kitchen, when it says there is two kitchen lights grouped together. How do I fix this?

    1. Hi Destini,

      Check that each light works individually first. If you are using a plug to control one of the lights then make sure the plug type is switched to “Light” in the settings. Otherwise it won’t follow the command to turn on the lights.

      Jason

  3. Thank you for this post. I am, however, still a little confused on one aspect (says more about me I appreciate!). I have 6 lamps in my room and would like to be able to command them from Alexa in one go. I would prefer, however, not to have the cost and hassle of a hub. I was hoping to simply buy 6 smart bulbs, insert them and pair to Alexa; I presume individually initially and then by creating a Light Group. I would then look to do the same thing for the two bedrooms. Is that possible if I buy some of the many smart bulbs (colour/dimmable) that I see advertised on Amazon? Many thanks and sorry for my ignorance!

    1. Hi Steve,

      What you want to do will work. There are several smart light bulbs that connect with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth that don’t need a hub. Just make sure you buy lights that are compatible with Alexa. Once the lights are discovered by Alexa, you can group them together so they all turn on/off with a single command to Alexa.

      Jason

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