HomeAssistant Cloud and Alexa - whats the big deal

I’m just not getting it. It seems like one of the big points for going to the homeassistant cloud is the alexa skill integration. With this you can simply say “Alexa turn on office lights” and it does it. Well it already does it. Just use the hue emulator and it works just like that. I know this has to be something different but from the description, I’m just not getting it.

So, home assisant cloud does not use the emulated hue componet, on the alexa it is acctualy a skill that you can activate and reduces the headaces arround emulated hue, what it is is a router that routes calls from the alexa skill to you home assisant instance with out manually doing it your self(and making a skill)

It also helping pay towards the development of home assisant

Edit: this is covered in the FAQ here and in here

I think the main difference is that using emulated_hue makes Alexa see everything as a light, so if you have an input_boolean exposed that switches on a siren and you say “Alexa, turn on all of the lights” then she’s waking the neighbours, whereas via the cloud she knows what devices are lights, and which aren’t.

I think there’s more to come too.

I have no issue with helping pay towards development. I’m just trying to see if the cloud actually does anything to help me. Since the hue solution is working fine for me, I probably will just subscribe but not actually configure it.

yea for those kinds of things, I just setup an input boolean and have alexa turn it on. That way my HA or AD automations can track that input boolean and do what I really wanted. Having alexa understand what I’m really wanting to do would be nice, maybe I’ll play with it and see what it does. But it’s definitely not a game changer for me. We’ll see where it goes in the future.

And more importantly for me was that you don’t have to have any additional ports open on your router to allow Alexa access to your HA instance. All of the ports are securely controlled by HA.

Before, to use Emulated Hue, I had to have port 8300 open and, because emulated hue was kind of limited on some functionality, I used Haaska (along with the standard external access to HA itself) I also had to open port 443. Now using the cloud component I have no common ports open and I still have external access through the only open high numbered port i use for my VPN. As far as I can tell, the cloud component acts exactly like haaska so I didn’t lose the improved functionality and I’m aguably more secure.

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This is my #1 reason… Well, that and laziness…
My HA is only accessible externally via VPN, and I want to keep it that way.

Hi, not sure if this option has been mentioned anywhere but here is what I do:

“Ok google, it is really dirty in here”

This phrase is set up in ifttt as a trigger. The action is to send “vacuum” to my adafruit feed (or whatever that’s called).
My mosquito instance is bridged to that adafruit server and will mirror that mqtt message locally.
That message is set as trigger for HA to start my vacuum.
All I hear is “you’re right, let me do the cleaning” which is the response that I’ve defined in the IFTTT rule.

And I’ve added quite a few of those silly triggers. Worked for months without a problem and without opening any port, ssl, DNS (the bridge is an outgoing connection to adafruit)


Pretty sure Alexa won’t respond to that :wink:

From memory Emulated Hue uses an older version of the Alexa API, where cloud (and the alexa component) use v3.