When you tell your kids it’s time for bed, they’re going to max out that limit. But why not let the bedtime bouncer enforce your rules by automating your kids’ daily routines with Stringify and your smart lights?
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Stringify is a powerful automation tool that allows you to tie all your smart gadgets and online services together. If you’ve never used it before, check out our tutorial and then come back here to create a Flow.
In our example, we will use Alexa, Philips Hue and Timer Things. Our Flow will be able to start the sleep timer using a voice command in Alexa. The timer will dim your kids’ lights fifteen minutes before bedtime and then turn them off another five minutes before bedtime. When the timer starts, the light will turn off completely.
We will configure this flow to fire only when it is activated. This means you can let your kids sleep in later on certain nights without giving up on the routine. However, if you want to stick to a tight schedule, you can replace the Alexa trigger with a Date & Time trigger and set this flow to always fire at the same time every week.
To get started, open the Stringify app, tap the round plus button at the bottom, and select «Create New Stream» from the pop-up list.
At the top, click «Name your stream» and give it a name.
Then click the plus icon at the bottom of the screen to add your stuff.
From the list, select Alexa (or Google Assistant if you prefer), your child’s smart light, and a timer. After selecting all of them, click «Add» in the upper right corner of the screen.
Return to the grid screen and drag Alex’s Substance onto the grid. Then click on the settings button peeking out from behind the Alexa icon.
There is only one item in the list of triggers: «Ask Alexa to start a thread.» Click on it, then give your stream a unique activation phrase. In our example, we used «sleep time». If you want to activate your stream with a voice command, you will say «Alexa, tell Stringify the time to sleep.» You can set an identical voice command with Google Assistant if you have a Google Home or want to use voice command on your Android phone instead.
Back on the grid screen, drag your Hue (or other) light and Timer actions onto the grid in the column next to Alexa, as shown below. Tap the adjustment mechanism next to the Hue action.
From the list of actions, select Enable Color. Then click «Whites» at the top of the next screen. Choose a color temperature and brightness for your light, then click Save.
Back on the grid screen, tap the adjustment mechanism next to the Timer action.
Below the list of triggers, click the «Start timer» action.
Tap the Countdown box, set the timer to ten minutes, and then tap Save. We’ll start another timer five minutes after that timer ends, and you’ll have a full fifteen minute countdown to sleep. You can set the timers as needed for your routine.
Back to the grid screen, it’s time to start creating your flow. Swipe from the Alexa icon to the timer icon to create a link. Then swipe from the Tint icon to the yellow circle in the first link you just created. The result should look like the second image below. This will cause the Alexa trigger to activate both the light tone and the timer at the same time.
Now it’s time to add a couple more actions. Click the plus button at the bottom, select the bedroom light and timer items as you did before, and then drag them into the grid to arrange them as shown in the image below. Once you’ve added them to your grid, click the setup mechanism for the new Hue light action.
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Select «Enable Color» from the list of actions. Click «White» again and choose a color for your light. However, this time set the brightness to 30%. This will signal to your kids that they should start rolling. Plus, a dim, warm light will help them fall asleep more easily than, say, a bright blue light. When you’re done, click Save.
Back on the grid screen, tap the adjustment mechanism next to the second timer action.
Select the «Start timer» action as before. This time, set the timer to five minutes. Click «Save» when you’re done.
Back on the grid screen, connect the first Timer activity to the second Hue activity by swiping between them. Then swipe from the second Timer activity to the yellow link you just created, as shown by the arrows in the image on the left. The result should look like the image on the right.
To complete all this, we will add another Hue action. Click the plus icon at the bottom and add light to the bedroom as you did before. Drag it to the grid next to the second timer as shown below. Then click on the settings button next to the new Hue light action.
This time, select Turn Lights Off from the list of actions. This should give your kids pretty strong indications that it’s time for bed. On the next screen, click Save.
Back on the grid screen, swipe from the second timer to the last tint action to connect them. The end result should look like the image on the right.
Finally, click «Enable Stream» to turn it all on and finally put your kids to bed.
Now, whenever you want to start sleeping with your kids, just yell «Alexa, tell Stringify time to sleep» and your kids will have fifteen minutes until it goes off.