Multiple Echos, "rooms" and multiple Harmony hubs

I’m spending some time over the holidays looking to advance my usage of Home Assistant, which currently is very limited. I have other smart home items currently tied in with Amazon Echos that I want to get moved into Hass. I’d like to understand if my use cases are possible using Home Assistant Cloud or other components. The first is because I need to keep the tech as similar as possible for wife/kids, the second would be an improvement on the current state and will prove the value in the effort.

  • When in the master bedroom, I can say “Alexa, turn off the lights” and it turns off just the master bedroom lights, presumably because of how I’ve assigned the lights to groups in the Alexa app. If I were to disable the Hue skill and instead switch to using Hass Cloud, would the same “room” functionality still exist? Is it possible to maintain the room configuration in Hass vs. Alexa app?
  • I have multiple Harmony Hubs in the house. To do this on Alexa requires a second skill which I then have to activating by saying “Alexa, ask Harmony to turn on the TV” when in the bedroom…if I forget “ask Harmony to” then it will turn on the Living Room TV. With Hass, I’d like to not only have control over the two Harmony Hubs I have in Alexa, but also add a third currently not accessible with Alexa. Furthermore, I’d like to have the same “room” functionality, such that if I say “Alexa, turn on the TV” in the bedroom it turns on the bedroom TV. Possible with Haas Cloud? If not, is it possible with…anything?


Joined this forum, just to watch this question unfold… :wink:

In regards to location awareness, currently “Alexa turn on the lights” is the only capability Amazon has released which allows for control over devices in the room with the Echo which picked up the request. There is a feature request here to expand on that capability.

In regards to handling multiple Harmony Hubs, it is possible to utilize Home Assistant to hack in the ability to control different Harmony Hubs without using the invocation phrase, but you still would need globally unique names for each activity. One approach would be to create a “virtual light” named something like “Living Room TV”, along with an automation which will trigger the appropriate Harmony activity when turned on/off.

@luma, interesting. That UserVoice submission doesn’t seem to dial in the ask though, as it mentions turning on the lights (which is a feature currently available, as you mention). I upvoted, however, alongside 5 of my peers :wink:

If Alexa (or underlying api/hub integration/capability) could sort the straddling of multiple Harmony hubs with room/group-centric commands, my main gripe regarding TV control (why the heck can’t I properly control more than one TV in my house with my voice?) would dissolve. To your point, it only works unshackled once it becomes a natural experience. I’d love to not have to subject my family to cryptic methods of approach, although they remain good sports

I couldn’t agree more. My family has zero interest in learning bizarre, rigid incantations to turn on the TV. It has even lead to arguments - why is your TV just “TV” and mine is “office TV” etc.

They took two years for “turn on the lights” to work in a reasonable manner, so I’m not holding my breath…

1 Like