Use IFTTT to control the lights with your voice

TL:DR – the ability to turn lights on or off using the power of your voice can be yours, provided you own an Amazon Echo, a WeMo smart switch, and are willing to do a bit of IFTTT custom calibration.

Your Setup To-Do List

Right out of the box, the WeMo smart switch has a ton of recipes on IFTTT1 that you can use to make your home smarter.

For this article we're going to focus on simply turning your lights on and off by pairing your smart switch to your Amazon Echo.

For this integration you will need four things:

  • An Amazon Echo: $179.99

  • A WeMo smart switch: $39.98

  • An If This Then That account

  • A lamp that plugs into a wall receptacle

Step 1: Connect your WeMo to your Echo

The WeMo smart switch plugs directly into a wall outlet, so the only part of installing it that requires any effort is connecting to your WiFi.

The WeMo smart phone app makes this process a breeze, as the instructions are direct and easy to follow. Just download the app to your phone or tablet and follow the steps.

Worth noting: Make sure your smartphone or tablet is up to date with the latest version of its operating system. If you are running an old version the app may crash on you without warning as you enter the wi-fi password into it.

Some smart devices require you to enable a new "skill" for your Echo to be able to work with them. The WeMo, however, comes out of the box ready to connect to the Amazon Echo. Simply speak the command: "Alexa, discover devices".

Echo will scan for the WeMo and then connect to it. This should take less than 30 seconds.

Step 2. Pair the Echo and WeMo to IFTTT

While logged into your IFTTT account and on the Amazon Alexa page, click the big blue connect button.

A pop-up will appear prompting you to login to your Amazon account, and once you do that you'll be directed back to the IFTTT page. Click the authorize button, and Alexa should be IFTTT ready.

The WeMo integration is the reverse of the Amazon process in that it can only be done within the WeMo smartphone app. There is a menu item in the WeMo app's navigation that is labeled "Connect to IFTTT." Click that menu item, then click the green connect button and the app will prompt you to log into your IFTTT account. Once you login, click connect and provided your credentials were entered properly, you should be all set.

Step 3. Calibrate the IFTTT recipes

Plug a light into your Wemo and then look up the recipe on how to turn on a light in a WeMo Switch using the Echo2.

Then, choose which plug you want this recipe to control via the dropdown, click the big blue add button and voila, when you speak the command: "Alexa, turn the lights on".

Alexa and WeMo will combine forces to give you the gift of light! Now, to turn them off.

Find the separate recipe that will turn off the lights with the Echo, repeat the steps above, click the big blue add button and when you speak the command: "Alexa, turn the lights off".

The lights will, again, like magic, turn off. Isn't smart technology wonderful sometimes?