Why You Should Use Alexa Routines

Alexa Routines are a way to make your Echo smart speakers even smarter. They let you combine multiple actions into a single voice command. Instead of having to say, “Alexa, dim lights,” “Alexa, set lights to purple” and “Alexa, play ’80s Party on Spotify,” you could just say, “Alexa, party time,” and have your Philips Hue lights dim and go purple and an ’80s playlist start up.

How to set up an Alexa Routine

You can use Alexa Skills through your Amazon Echo devices or download the Alexa app and use it with your smartphone or tablet. You can also connect many of your smart home devices to Alexa. If the names get confusing, take a look here.

Routines are available on all Echo devices and Alexa-enabled devices, like the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show, though you need to use the Alexa app on your smartphone to set them up. They allow you to automatically trigger anything you could do with a regular voice command. This means you can use Routines to control any of your smart home devices, listen to music or the radio, hear news headlines or activate an Alexa Skill. We’ll explore some of the best ways to use Alexa Routines in a little while, but first, let’s look at how to set them up.

It’s easy to get started

Open the Alexa app on your smartphone, tap the “More” button, then tap “Routines.”

Any new Routine has three parts:

  • A name
  • A trigger
  • A series of actions

The name is for you and Alexa to know what you’re asking for. The trigger gives you several options to kick off the Routine, from a custom voice command, a time of your choosing, tying to a selected smart home device and more. The series of actions, of course, is your goal, and that can include a lot, from controlling your Echo device settings to playing music to controlling your other smart devices.

The big thing about Routines is that you aren’t limited to simply one action. Once you’ve set the first one, you can add more actions, even chain together as many actions as you like.

The best Alexa Routine ideas for your smart home

If all this sounds like it’s going to be a little technical or complex, don’t worry, the app is really easy to use. And if you need inspiration, here are some of the best Alexa routine ideas:

The ultimate Alexa Morning Routine

An Alexa Morning Routine is a great way to start your day. You can have the bedroom smart lights slowly come on and your smart blinds raise to wake you up gently before your favorite radio station starts playing, both in the bedroom to make sure you’re awake and downstairs. If you’ve got a smart coffee maker in your kitchen, you can also have that start as soon as you wake up.

One clever tip is to have a second scheduled Routine that plays an alert five minutes before you have to leave the house, to make sure you’re on time, and also turns off your bedroom lights and radio.

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The ultimate Alexa Bedtime Routine

Going to bed is just as important as getting up—and another great opportunity for an Alexa Routine.

Why not have the lights in your living room gradually dim over the course of an hour to help you slowly wind down? Then when it’s time for bed, automatically turn off all the lights around the house. You could even schedule in a bedtime meditation.

The favorite Alexa Party Routine

Everyone loves a good party, and it’s easy to set Alexa up to help out. You can create a Routine to:

  • Set your lights to change between red, blue, green, purple and other funky colors, or even sync with your music.
  • Turn the volume up on your speakers.
  • Play a fun playlist—whether it’s ’80s, ’90s, ’00s or whatever your go-to is.

The best Alexa Vacation Routine

An Alexa Routine is one of the best ways to keep your home safe when you’re on vacation—because you can make it look like you’ve never left. You can create a few Routines that do things like:

  • Raise your smart blinds at sunrise and lower them at sunset.
  • Have your houselights come on when it gets dark and then turn off around bedtime.
  • Have different lights go on and off at different times, especially bathroom lights, so it looks like people are going about their normal routine.
  • Play the radio loudly at different times of the day, so it sounds like someone is in.
  • Turn on your smart TV in the evenings.
  • And anything else you can think of that mimics your usual habits.

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