Controlling Insteon Scenes with Amazon Alexa

It is now possible to control Insteon scenes with your voice via Amazon Alexa. If you already have Insteon scenes created, they will automatically become available to Alexa. Before you start issuing those voice commands we recommend taking a moment and reading the below information. If you're new to Insteon scenes, we'll also cover why you'll be so thrilled to start using scenes. So, here we go...

Why Use Insteon Scenes Instead of Alexa Groups

Until now Alexa could only control multiple Insteon devices via a single voice command if you placed them in a group within the Alexa app. While this is a quick way to group devices, the devices activate one after another rather than all-at-once. This is particularly important when controlling a large number of devices. Here's an example video clip showing the difference between Insteon scenes and Amazon Alexa/Echo group control.

Another important difference is that Insteon scenes allow you to have each device within the scene respond in different ways (Living room light 50%, Ceiling light 25%, Dining room off, etc). This is something not currently available with Amazon Alexa/Echo groups. 

To learn how to create Insteon scenes, please see the following support articles:

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Insteon Scenes

  • If you already have scenes created, there is no need to do anything to start controlling them with Alexa
  • If a new scene is created you will have to re-run discovery within the Amazon Alexa app, just as you do when adding new devices. Pro Tip: Amazon Alexa does a discovery automatically once an hour or so.
  • Supported voice control commands: On and Off only. Dim, Bright and Set to % are not supported
  • Unsupported devices: all access control/security devices (I/O, lock controller, garage control) are automatically suppressed. So if you have scenes that contain actions for any of these types of devices, you will not be able to control the scene with Alexa.
  • Previously unsupported devices like our ceiling fan controller or the on/off outlet receptacle are now controllable via scenes. If you are an iOS user and have Sonos integrated, you can now activate scenes containing Sonos speakers.
  • Naming conventions may become an issue. If a scene and device are named the same or are similar, Alexa will have difficulty knowing which one you want to control. The obvious fix is to give scenes and devices unique names.

Isaac Sanz

16542 Millikan Ave, Irvine, CA, 92606, United States