Among its many talents and skills, the Amazon Echo Dot device allows you to voice-control a number of smart home systems, notably, Philips Hue.
But we already have X10 home automation devices, which are not supported by the Echo. (See the X10 section of the TTM aStore.)
There is a way to get Alexa (Amazon’s virtual personal assistant, who inhabits the Echo Dot) to accept X10 voice commands to turn lights, fans, and coffee makers on and off. I’ve done it.
See the 35-second video at bottom of page; read more below.
HA-Bridge is free software that emulates the Philips Hue light system.
When HA-Bridge is installed on a computer, it tricks Alexa into thinking she is “seeing” and controlling a Philips Hue light that is actually a different brand of device, such as X10.
The computer also needs a CM15A USB Transceiver Module (or the like) to communicate with X10 devices. (I already had a CM15A plugged into a Windows 10 PC so we could use the X10 Commander app on our smartphones.)
I could have installed HA-Bridge on one of my Linux-based Raspberry Pi computers (see Corey’s Write for a procedure), but I preferred not to disturb the existing arrangement on our Win 10 computer.
Luck was with me. Just last month, Tuicemen wrote a Windows-based program, Alex10, that uses HA-Bridge (included) to talk with Alexa. It is also more user-friendly than HA-Bridge. So Alex10 was the way to go. (Tuicemen deserves a PayPal tip for his good work if you use it.)
I won’t go into further technical detail about how to do it, but here are the resources I used:
Yesterday was our first sci-fi Saturday with voice-controlled lights.
When I say “Computer: turn on Movie Time”, our assorted decorative and house lights come on. (I selected the name “Movie Time” and the lights to be activated in the Alexa Android app.)
Then, when I say “Computer: turn off theater lights,” the house lights go down, and the show can begin.
When I say “Computer: make it so” in my best Jean-Luc Picard voice, Alexa (renamed “Computer” last week) is pre-programmed to respond “Aye, aye, Captain.”
See it in action in our house: