It’s finally ready. I’ve been working on a Node-RED node to act on Amazon Alexa Home Skill directives since November last year. The skill was approved some time very early this morning and now should be available in the UK, US and Germany.

I’ll be mailing all the folks that have already signed up some time later today to let them know they can finally start using the skill, but for the rest of you here is a brief introduction (full details in earlier post).

Alexa Home Skill’s allow you to say the much more natural “Alexa, turn on the kitchen light” rather than “Alexa, ask Jeeves to turn on the kitchen light”, where “Jeeves” is the name of skill you have to remember. Some of the basic commands are:

  • Turn On/Off
  • Dim/Brighten
  • Set/Get Temperature
  • Lock/Unlock

With this node and service you can wire those commands to nearly anything you can control via Node-RED.

Node-RED - Alexa Smart Home Skill

You can install the node with the following commands:

cd ~/.node-red
npm install node-red-contrib-alexa-home-skill

Or via the Manage Palette option in the Node-RED editor.

If you have already installed this module please make sure you update to the latest version (0.1.13) to get the best support for all the voice commands.

There are detailed instructions on how to set everything up here.

Here is an example flow using the node. This turns a light on then automatically turns it off after 5mins. It uses the switch node to detect if it’s a request to turn the light on or off. When following the On branch it uses a trigger node to first send a payload of true then, 5 minutes later it sends false to the WeMo node.

On then Auto Off flow

This sort of flow would be great for a set of outside lights or maybe an electric heater. I also have some updates to the node-red-nodes-wemo package to make dimming/brightening by specific amounts easier, I’ll try and get them out by the weekend.

If you have problems with this node please do not post comments here, it really isn’t the best place to work issues. Open a issue on github here then it can be properly tracked, or ask question in #alexa on the Node-RED Slack Team.

26 thoughts on “node-red-contrib-alexa-home-skill”

  1. Hi! First i just want to say thank you for the alexa skill. it works great! will it in future releases be possible to react to a specific phrase like “alexa, switch channel to xy”?

    1. The list of available commands is entirely in Amazon’s control. The only other command I have heard mentioned as possibly being added is a open/close action for things like blinds/curtains

  2. Hi Ben, thanks for your work…. is it possible to add a PIN requirement on to the commands (I think it has been suggested that certain security based tasks can have a PIN associated with them – such as opening door lock)????



    1. I’ve started to look at it, but it will probably have to wait until I’ve finished the Google Home version

  3. I have installed it and it works great! I use it to control several devices in my home and am working on an Alexa controlled thermostat.

    How can I tell which version I have and what is the command to upgrade/update to the latest version?

  4. There seems to be a discrepancy between your documentation ( and the message object currently being output by an alexa-home node for a SetPercentageRequest command. Your documents say the payload field should be the requested percentage as a number, but it is actually an object, having a value field which holds the number. The same applies for percentage increase & decrease commands – however the corresponding temperature commands do use a numeric payload.

    Is this a documentation error, a bug, or just something Amazon have changed?

    I have finally found the time to get my Echo Dot set up & play with it: currently I’m looking at what it would take to modify my rfx-lights-out node to understand alexa-home output messages without an intervening translation node. It already works with simple on/off commands, but not dimming.

    1. Probably a doc bug, please raise issues against github project so they can be tracked properly rather than as blog comments

  5. Hi Ben
    That’s an excellent piece of work – I’d previously used the Philips Hue bridge emulator which was ok, but with your skill exposing all of the data that Alexa sends it’s so much more configurable (I can now have a single device for my TV which is on/off and turn up-and-downable).
    Couple of questions though:
    1) is there a paypal “buy you a beer” button I can click somewhere, and
    2) would multiple beers encourage you to take a look at the media control API that Amazon apparently now expose? Mythtv is just dying to be Alexa controlled… 🙂

    1. Bob,

      Thanks for the kind words, if you feel you must, you can always use

      The new AV support is on the list to look at some time soon, but I have to move the backend over to AWS from where it is currently hosted first. That’s nearly done so I may get round to the AV bits shortly (not promising, other things may mean it has to be a Christmas project). I also need to look at adding scene support, but that should just be a small tweak to on/off devices.

      I also need to have another look at writing a Google Home version…. too many projects.

  6. Hey,
    Great work and thanks a lot for deploying it.
    But when will it be available for Asia ?
    I’ve been waiting a lot for this but it says the skill is only supported for us, UK and Germany. Any plans to deploy it to Asia ?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi, the skill is deployed in all regions supported by Amazon for Alexa (US, UK & Germany). There is no way for me to deploy it anywhere else.

      1. hey,
        finally the node red skill is now available in india. was checking out the alexa home response but it doesn’t seem to respond to my any request.

        This is what i have done on my node red
        so on my alexa home directly sends true or false to my mqtt bulb switch.

        and i have connected a incoming mqtt topic which sends the state of the switch as true or false to alexa home response. but it isn’t working it just says “sorry, your device is not responding”

        i check all the blogs and posts of yours but not able to fix this
        thanks in advance

        1. As VERY CLEARLY stated at the end of this post, this is not the right place to work problems

  7. Hi Ben,
    Thank you for the skill you have created, is marvelous.
    I use it now successfully together with AlexaPi and Alexa app on Android. Until now I have successfully create a light, a thermostat and camera switch (with motioneye and LGTV skill), all are done with the Alexa home node and the auto-response activated.
    What about the other nodes, where I can find some tutorials or examples how to use them?
    For example I want to be able to ask Alexa to read the room temperature from an MQTT server, or to reply something specific. I think is possible with the other nodes but i don’t know how to use them.


    1. Please ask questions on the Node-RED Google Group or in the Slack Team. Both are linked to from the Node-RED home page

  8. Planning on installing this, but curious what happens if you already have the Hue skill installed – do you need to use unique names for the devices (lights?). I don’t want to break the existing Hue install at the moment otherwise we’ll have an unhappy household!

    1. You will need to use unique names. I have no idea what the Alexa backend would do if you have clashing device names.

  9. Thanks for the excellent skill. Works brilliantly setting thermostat also turning devices on /off.
    Only can you share an example of how to retrieve a temperature from node red? I’ve been struggling with the alexa home response part to work. Many thanks

  10. Hi. I wonder how to say “open/close” instead of “turn on/off” to manage my blinds, is it possible ?
    Thank you !

    1. No, open/close are not supported by the Amazon API. Please ask questions like this on the Node-RED Slack instance in the #alexa channel then the community can answer

    2. I understand you very well….
      You can have a workaround….
      In the Alexa App on your phone create 2 “routines” one for “open blinds” and one for “close blinds” and inside the routine you can point to the blind to turn on and off.
      I’m using like that and it works very well.
      Inside the routine you can make Alexa to do what you want to a fraze that you put in.

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