If you have Insteon’s SmartHome products, you’ll probably need a way to control them with your voice. You can use Amazon Echo with Insteon devices although it can be a bit confusing.
Alexa Insteon support is limited and only some devices are fully supported. Some may have half support — for example, I have several Insteon ceiling fan controllers that Alexa can only control when the lights are on, but not the fan itself. Other devices may not have Alexa support at all.
Luckily, Insteon recently added an Alexa skill that allows you to control Insteon scenes with your voice. This way, even if an Insteon device doesn’t work with Alexa, you can insert it into a scene that will work. Here’s what you need to do.
This guide assumes that you have already set up devices in the Insteon app and set up Amazon Echo. So if you haven’t, do it now before continuing.
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Step One: Install Insteon Alexa Skill
First you need to install Insteon’s Alexa skill. Open the Alexa app on your phone or tablet and tap the menu in the top left corner. Select «Smart Home» from the list.
Scroll down and click «Get more smart skills at home.»
Find «insteon» in the list and tap it. Click the «Enable» button.
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Now, if you go back to the Smart Home page and tap on Discover Devices under Your Devices, you will see that some of your Insteon devices are discoverable just like any other SmartHome device.
If the desired device appears in the list, you’re done! If not, though (or if your device only has half support, like the aforementioned ceiling fan), skip to step two.
Step two (for some devices): creating the scene
To add Alexa support for devices that don’t have it, you need to create a scene for that device. Open the Insteon app on your phone or tablet and sign in. Click the Scenes button on the toolbar and click the Plus sign to add a new scene.
Give the scene a name and an icon if you like.
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When you name your scene, remember that this is the name you will use to turn the device on and off with your voice, so give it something natural. If you’re controlling a device that has Half-Echo support and is thus already showing up in Alexa’s device list — like my ceiling fan — you might even want to give the device a completely different name in Insteon so that Echo doesn’t get confused between the two.
For example, I named the scene «Living Room Fan» because that’s what I’ll say out loud, but the device is called «Main Ceiling Fan» which I’ll most likely never tell Alexa about.
Then scroll down and select the device you want to include in this scene (slash voice command). In my case it is my «Main Ceiling Fan» so I selected it and selected the fan part of the device. Click Next when you’re done.
On the next screen, you will be asked what you want to do with the selected device. Some of them will have an On/Off switch, others (like my fan) will switch between High/Medium/Low and so on. Choose what you want the device to do when you turn on the scene with Alexa. Then click Done.
Your scene should appear in the list of Alexa devices. If you open the Alexa app again and find new Smart Home devices, it should appear in the list.
Try the command with Alexa and see if it works! (In my case it would be «Alexa, turn on the fan in the living room»). If everything goes well, repeat this process for any other devices and scenes you want to control with your voice. If not, make sure your scene and the device itself have different names from each other — if they’re too similar, Alexa will have trouble knowing which one you want to include.