Alexa hands-free timers are one of the best reasons to get an Echo (or Amazon Tap), but it would be nice if these timers also gave you a visual indicator. Here’s how to set your Philips Hue lights to blink when you turn off the timer.
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To do this, we will use a service called IFTTT (if this, then this). If you haven’t used IFTTT before, check out our getting started guide for information on how to create an account and connect apps. Then come back here to create the required recipe.
To do this, you need to enable Philips Hue and Amazon Alexa channels in IFTTT. We’ll demonstrate on Philips Hue lights, but you can create a similar recipe for other smart lights like the Belkin WeMo or LIFX. For your convenience, we’ve already created an applet using Philips Hue lighting here, or you can follow the steps below to do it for yourself.
To get started, go to the IFTTT homepage and sign in. Then click on your profile picture.
Then click «New Applet».
Click on the word «it» highlighted in blue.
Search for «Amazon Alexa» in the list if you haven’t seen it yet and click on it.
In the list of triggers, select «Your timer will go off.» This will handle countdown timers like «set timer for 30 minutes». You can also use «Your alarm will go off» when you want to use an alarm for a specific time, such as «set your alarm for 8:30 pm».
Next, click on the word «that» highlighted in blue.
Find or search for «Philips Hue» (or your preferred smart light if you’re configuring this applet) in the list and click on it.
In the list of triggers, find «Blink lights» and click on it. Note: The LIFX channel also has a flashing action while Wemo Lighting does not. If you are configuring this applet for WeMo, you may need to replace the dimmer or fade action instead of flashing.
Click on the drop down menu and choose which lights you want to flash when your timer goes off. You can also set all connected lights to blink if you tend to wander between rooms when using the timers.
Finally, give your applet a name, then scroll down and click Finish.
From now on, your lights should flash whenever your Alexa timer goes off. The IFTTT response time is usually very fast, so you should see the light flashing around the same time the timer goes off. However, keep in mind that when using a third-party service and several similar devices, there is always a small chance that the Hue indicators may not work right away. If you’re using a timer to keep track of something important, like food in the oven, you can still keep an eye on Alexa or the clock, regardless.