If you have Alexa-compatible smart lights and live in the U.S., you’ve got some new features that will be rolling out this week. With the new Alexa lighting features, you can set up wake-up lights or sleep timers and create new Alexa Routines to dim or brighten over a certain stretch of time, giving you a huge amount of control over how your home is lighted. Here’s how the new features work.
One new feature is called Wake-up Lighting. This feature basically makes your smart lights mimic the sun rising in your home, but on your schedule. For example, you can make it so your bedside lamp turns on and gradually gets brighter when it’s time to wake up. To set up Wake-up Lighting say something like, “Alexa, set an alarm for (time) with my bedside lamp.” If you want your light to do this every day, you’ll need to set up a recurring alarm by saying something like, “Alexa, set up an alarm for every morning at (time) with my bedside lamp.” If you have a lighting group set up you can say, “Alexa, wake me up at (time) with lights.”
Sleep Lighting Timer
Another new feature is called Sleep Lighting Timer. You can use it to set up the perfect sleep routine by creating an Alexa sleep timer that gradually dims your lights before turning off at night to get you in the mood to sleep. It can turn off music playing on your Echo device, too. To get the Sleep Lighting Timer set up say, “Alexa, set a 30-minute sleep timer with bedside lamp.” If you have a lighting group set up say, “Alexa set a 30-minute sleep timer with lights.”
Light Dimming/Brightening Routines
The last new feature is called Light Dimming/Brightening Routines. It allows you to set up morning and/or night routines that can brighten or dim your lights over a stretch of time that’s between 5 and 59 minutes. “For example, you can schedule your lights to brighten to your desired brightness before you wake up, independent of Alexa alarms. Or you can have your lights gradually dim down and turn off when you have a voice triggered routine like ‘Alexa, good night,'” said an Amazon representative in a press release.
To set these routines up, open the Alexa app and go to the settings menu. Next, select Routines, choose your routine, and then select Add action > Control Device. Choose your dimmable light from the list and select the brightness using the slider bar. Then, select Ramp to Brightness and add the length of time you want the light to take to brighten or dim to finish.
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