ISY Portal Amazon Echo Integration V3: Difference between revisions

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* '''Mute''' : "Alexa, <mute|unmute> on <device>"
* '''Mute''' : "Alexa, <mute|unmute> on <device>"
* '''Playback''' : "Alexa, <play|pause|stop|fast forward|rewind|next|previous|start over> on <device>"
* '''Playback''' : "Alexa, <play|pause|stop|fast forward|rewind|next|previous|start over> on <device>"
* '''Change input''' : "Alexas, change input to <input name> on <device>"

===Open/Close Devices ===
===Open/Close Devices ===

Revision as of 20:34, 29 July 2020

Please follow the instructions here to setup Echo to work with your ISY:

Changes in ISY Optimized for Smart Home V3

  1. Proactive state update; this will allow to see the state of your devices on the echo mobile app in real-time.
  2. A/V Support through State Variables and Network Resources
  3. Color bulb support (Aeotec, Fibaro) - REQUIRES FIRMWARE 5.0.11+
  4. Slow devices like lock will no longer return an error, unless it's very long.
  5. Locks will tell you if the lock is Jammed, or if the battery is low.
  6. NOTES:
    1. Thermostat behavior in Auto mode is completely different (see below)
    2. You may no longer be able to use multiple ISYs with one Echo Account

Proactive State Update

  • This will require the live update to be active. This is done automatically since 11/25/2018. If you have any problems, please unlink/relink your ISY Skill.

Thermostat Auto mode behavior

  • When in Auto mode and requesting a specific temp, the V2 skill attempted to change the appropriate setpoint. Now, the V3 skill will change BOTH setpoints, one below the requested temp, one above the requested temp.
  • If in Fahrenheit, the deadband is 5 degrees, with heat being -2 and cool +3 from the requested setpoint (Amazon's recommended numbers).
  • Asking Alexa to increase or decrease temp by [##] degrees will increase or decrease both setpoints (just like in V2).

Instructions for Accessing ISY Portal

Please make sure you have ISY Portal Installed and Configured first.

Instructions for New Users

Instructions for Existing Users

Instructions to configure Alexa devices in ISY Portal

  1. Make sure you have followed all the steps in ISY Portal Installed and Configured first.
  2. Log into ISY Portal
  3. Click on My Profile at the top right corner, choose your ISY from Preferred ISY drop down
  4. Under Select Tool, choose Connectivity | Amazon Echo
  5. Click on Add Device, Scene, Program, Variable or A/V to add a new Alexa device
  6. Choose your ISY device/scene/program/state variable
  7. Enter a Spoken (This is the name Alexa will use to recognize this device), then save. NOTE : Rooms are optional and useful only for categorization in ISY Portal
  8. Using Color bulbs :
    1. When choosing your ISY device, please use the Z-Wave device ending with _186
    2. The skill has been tested with Aeotec and Fibaro color bulbs
  9. Using A/V Devices :
    1. Those are virtual devices for which you can map as many functions as you need to network resources, state variables or programs
    2. Create as many virtual A/V devices as you have physical A/V devices. Example; one for the TV, one for the Home theater, etc.
    3. All fields are optional
    4. Under Basic, use either Set Channel To, or Channel Up/Channel Down, not both.
    5. Under Volume, you can use Set Volume To, Volume Up/Volume Down, or both. If you use both, use the same State Variable.
    6. When entering a State Variable value, you can specify an absolute value, or a delta by entering + or - before the number. This can be especially useful for the Volume Up/Volume Down
    7. When you hover on a field label, you get an example of how to use it
  10. Using Open / Close syntax :
    1. In the Alexa Category, choose Device with Open/Close syntax
  11. Using Set / Lower / Raise syntax :
    1. In the Alexa Category, choose Device with Set/Lower/Raise syntax
    2. Please note that this Alexa category is available for devices and state variables only. In the case of variables, when setting up your spoken, it is recommended to use a turn off value of 0, and turn on value of 100.
  12. Fans :
    1. In the Alexa Category, choose the "Fan" option
  13. If the Smart Home Skill is already enabled on your Echo, you can send your devices to your Echo by saying : “Alexa, discover my devices”.
  14. If the Smart Home Skill has not been enabled on your Echo yet, please continue with the instructions below.

Instructions for Migrating to V3

  1. Review the ISY Optimized for Smart Home V3 Changes
  2. To use V3, you first need to uninstall V2 :
    1. Login to the Echo App
    2. Click on the Smart Home menu item on the left navigation bar
    3. Click on Skills
    4. Click on "Your skills" on the top right, then "Enabled skills".
    5. If you see "ISY Optimized for Smart Home", click on it, then click "Disable".
    6. If you see "ISY Optimized for Smart Home V2", click on it, then click "Disable".
      • NOTE: If the "ISY Optimized for Smart Home V2" is not there, but you still suspect it's enabled, click on this link to access it ISY Optimized for Smart Home V2
  3. Then you need to forget your existing devices:
    1. In the echo app, click on the Smart Home menu item on the left navigation bar
    2. Click on Devices
    3. Scroll to the bottom and click Forget All, then Forget. NOTES
      1. The "Forget all" option is not available on the mobile app. You need to use the browser based Echo app
      2. Your devices will be rediscovered by the V3 skill
      3. If you use Echo Groups, they will be lost, so you will have to recreate them. A good alternative to Echo groups is to use ISY scenes or programs. If you ever need to forget devices again, they will always be recreated by the discovery process.
      4. If you use Echo Routines, they will be lost. You will have to recreate them.
      5. Using Forget All is mandatory, otherwise you will end up with duplicated devices once V3 is enabled.
  4. Continue with Instructions to Enable the V3 skill in the echo app below

Instructions to Enable the V3 Skill in the Echo App

  1. Make sure you have followed all the steps in ISY Portal Installed and Configured first.
  2. Login to the Echo App
  3. Click on Skills menu item on the left navigation bar
  4. Search for ISY
  5. Click on ISY Optimized for Smart Home V3 and then Enable
  6. On the ISY Portal Authorization page, enter your ISY Portal user name and password
  7. Then click Discover Devices
  8. The devices you have configured in ISY Portal will be imported in the Alexa App. Click on Smart Home then Devices to see them

NOTE : Please note that the ISY Optimized for Smart Home V3 skill is presently restricted to US and Canada.

Supported Commands


  • Turn On: “Alexa, turn on the kitchen light”
  • Turn Off: “Alexa, turn off the kitchen light”
  • Brighten: “Alexa, brighten the kitchen light”
  • Dim: “Alexa, dim the kitchen light”
  • Set: “Alexa, set the kitchen light to 50%”


  • Set [device] temperature to [##] degrees: "Alexa, set bedroom to 75 degrees"
  • Increase the [device] temperature: "Alexa, increase the bedroom temperature"
  • Decrease the [device] temperature: "Alexa, decrease the family room temperature"
  • Turn off [device]: "Alexa, turn off kitchen"
  • Status
    • "Alexa, what is the temperature of kitchen thermostat?"
    • "Alexa, what is the kitchen thermostat set to?"

Door locks

  • Is Locked: "Alexa, is front door locked?"
  • Is Unlocked: "Alexa, is front door unlocked?"
  • Lock: "Alexa, lock the front door"
  • Please note that, for security reasons, Unlock is not supported
  • Status
    • Alexa, is <device-name> closed?
    • Alexa, is <device-name> opened?


  • Turn On: “Alexa, turn on the kitchen light”
  • Turn Off: “Alexa, turn off the kitchen light”
  • Brighten: “Alexa, brighten the kitchen light” -- will issue brighten command 3 times
  • Dim: “Alexa, dim the kitchen light” -- will issue dim command 3 times


  • Turn On: “Alexa, turn on the kitchen light” - runs Then
  • Turn Off: “Alexa, turn off the kitchen light” - runs Else

State Variables

  • Turn On: “Alexa, turn on X” - Sets the variable X to the <turn on> value (defined in the portal)
  • Turn On: “Alexa, turn on X to Y percent” - Sets the variable X to Y
  • Turn Off: “Alexa, turn off X” - Sets the variable X to the <turn off> value (defined in the portal)
  • Brighten: “Alexa, brighten X” - Increments variable X by 1
  • Brighten: “Alexa, brighten X by Y percent” - Increments variable X by Y
  • Dim: “Alexa, dim X” - Decrements variable X by 1
  • Dim: “Alexa, dim X by Y percent” - Decrements variable X by Y
  • Contrary to regular devices, you can use the same state variables multiple times. This allows you to have 2 different spokens for the same var, but with different turn on values
  • The word "percent" is optional but recommended. Depending on your spoken and how well you pronounce, the word "percent" may be skipped. But it does facilitate proper recognition if you use it
  • You can use "increase" and "decrease" instead of brighten and dim. But depending on your spoken and how well you pronounce, increase is often misunderstood as a volume adjustment
  • You can assign turn on / turn off values with very high values. However, when you set it to a percentage, or use brighten/dim, the value can only be 0-100. For Alexa, it's a percentage after all

Color Devices

  • Set Color: "Alexa, set <device> to <color>" e.g:
    • Alexa, set living room to green
    • Alexa, set kitchen to warm white
  • Set Color Temperature : "Alexa, make <device> cooler"

A/V Devices

  • Turn on|off : "Alexa turn <on|off> <device>"
  • Set channel : "Alexa, set channel to <number> on <device>"
  • Change channel : "Alexa, channel <up|down> on <device>"
  • Set volume : "Alexa, set volume to <number> on <device>"
  • Change volume : "Alexa, volume <up|down> on <device>"
  • Mute : "Alexa, <mute|unmute> on <device>"
  • Playback : "Alexa, <play|pause|stop|fast forward|rewind|next|previous|start over> on <device>"
  • Change input : "Alexas, change input to <input name> on <device>"

Open/Close Devices

  • Open : "Alexa, open <device>"
  • Close : "Alexa, close <device>"

Set/Lower/Raise Devices

  • Range : "Alexa, set <device> to <close | low | medium | high | maximum | open>"
  • Number: "Alexa, set <device> to <any number from 1 to 100>"
  • Raise: "Alexa, raise <device>"
  • Raise: "Alexa, raise <device> by <number>"
  • Lower: "Alexa, lower <device>"
  • Lower: "Alexa, lower <device> by <number>"


  • State: "Alexa, Set <device> to {Off | Low | Medium | High | Max}"
  • On/Off: "Alexa, Turn {on | off} <device>"
  • Raise: "Alexa, Raise <device>"
  • Lower: "Alexa, Lower <device>"

ISY Can Talk To You! (Alexa Routines)

Alexa allows you to create Alexa Routines' to automate voice-related tasks. This capability is found in the Alexa mobile app, under Routines.

Amazon has enhanced this by releasing new smart home capabilities to support motion sensors and contact sensors. The main benefit of this is to use them as triggers to an Alexa routine.

ISY Portal now supports these new motions sensors & contact sensors capabilities. In ISY Portal, under the Connectivity | Amazon Echo dialog, You can choose any ISY linked device/node, and expose it to Alexa as a motion sensor or a contact sensor. That can be a real motion or contact sensor, but that could also be an IOLinc or a plain regular light. To configure a device as a sensor, just set the Alexa category to Motion sensor or Contact sensor.

If you are the owner of an ELM M1 Alarm system, and have it integrated with your ISY, you can use it too! You can expose any of the zones as a motion or contact sensor.

In addition to ISY nodes and ELK zones, you can also expose a state variable as a motion sensor. When configuring this, you need to specify a "Motion detected value". Whenever the state variable will be set to that value, the motion sensor status will be set to "Detected". Any other value will set the motion sensor to "Not detected".

But why would someone want to expose a state variable as a motion sensor? The whole purpose is to trigger Alexa routines programmatically.

One of the simple but nice features of an Alexa routine is to say something you decide, whenever the routine is triggered. Therefore, using Variables exposed as motion sensors allows you to create programs that tells Alexa to say something. Now your ISY can talk!

What Alexa says is configured within the routine, and therefore static. But you can create as many routines as you want, and you can do so using a single variable. When you create the spoken in ISY Portal, you can reuse the same variable multiple times, expose it as a sensor, but use a different Motion detected value.

This allows you to have Alexa say something when value=1, something else if it value = 2, etc...

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Whenever you make changes to your spokens, please remember to have Alexa discover the devices. You can just ask "Alexa, discover my devices".
  • If you delete or rename spokens, remember to go to the Alexa app and delete those obsolete devices. Otherwise, they will just stay there as "offline", but it will still be recognized by Alexa and give you an error message.
  • If you delete or rename programs, use a browser to go to Alexa app | Smart Home | Devices and then select Forget All
  • If you change the type of a device, let's say from motion sensor to contact sensor, and you have used it in a routine, you will have to remove it from the routine, and re-add it.

FAQ and Troubleshooting tips can be found here here.

More information on Alexa Routines are found here.

Instructions for using Multiple ISYs with one Echo Account

  • This may no longer work with V3 since proactive state updates may prevent Alexa from talking to devices that are offline

Instructions for using Multiple Echos Smart Home

To support multiple Echos with different Smart Home devices, you need multiple ISY Portal sub-accounts with each their own user profile.

  1. Have your Echos tied to different amazon accounts
  2. In ISY Portal, configure a sub-account and user profile per echo:
    1. Login to your main ISY Portal account
    2. Create a sub-account
    3. Add your ISY to this sub-account, and approve access to it in the admin console
    4. Create a new user profile In that sub-account
    5. Logout of your main account
    6. Login using the newly created user-profile
    7. Click on My Profile, and set My Preferred ISY to your ISY.
    8. Enter your spokens

You can update your spokens by using your main account. But before doing so, please make sure to switch to the correct sub-account first.

If your account selector is set to [All], you will see all of your ISYs, no matter which account/sub-account they belong to. When an ISY is in several account/sub-accounts, you will see it only once. When you edit your spokens, without explicitly choosing the account, you can't be sure of the context of which account you are working on. You should switch to the intended account first.

NOTE: It is perfectly ok to use the main account for one of your Echos.