Boy #1 has a loft bed and so it is awkward for him to adjust his light from bed. With his birthday and Christmas both occurring in December, it seemed a good time to invest in new toys to solve the problem (and provide me with some entertainment).
For his birthday, Boy #1 was pleased to receive an Amazon Echo Dot. The Echo has been a fixture in the kitchen for nearly two years so he understood the capabilities of the gadget. After setting it up and pairing it with his Bluetooth speaker (also a birthday present) the music emanating from his room now sounds better than a slightly tinny cellphone speaker.
For Christmas, Boy #1 received a Phillips Hue starter set (containing a hub and two bulbs). While light bulbs doesn’t sound like the best of presents, he quickly (and without assistance) realized the potential of integrating the Dot with the bulbs and having voice activated lights.
The setup of the Phillips Hue set wasn’t too difficult. The biggest surprise for me was that there was no need to install any Hue app on my phone nor did I need to enable the Hue skill on the Alexa app. After putting in the bulbs and plugging in the Hue hub (to both power and network) I just had to tell Alexa to search for devices and it found the bulbs. Then I used the Alexa app to create a “group” and add the bulbs to the group. After that the lights could be controlled by voice.
The boy seems to like the new setup. Not only can the lights be turned on and off, but also can be dimmed via voice control. Also, if necessary, the dimmer switch can still be used. In this case, I think the Hue worked very well in solving the problem and in part 2 I will describe how I used a different implementation to solve a similar problem.