Can Alexa control Crestron home automation systems?
- By: Ashley Saunders
- January 2022
Looking for a remote or your phone just to adjust the room’s lighting scene in Crestron is a hassle. Thankfully there is an easier way: voice commands. Some will prefer to use Siri or Google Assistant, but others will want to use Amazon’s Alexa. But, can Alexa control Crestron home automation systems?
Crestron seamlessly integrates with all three, making controlling your smart home system even easier. We’ve already covered how to integrate Google Assistant with Crestron. It’s also worth looking at Amazon’s Alexa as it offers yet another flexible control option.
Alexa is incredibly powerful as it can help you organise your life, buy items online, encourage better sleep patterns, play music and even help you tune a guitar. You can even control your smart home devices and so much more.
While a voice assistant won’t replace touchscreens or the mobile app, they are incredibly useful for activating scenes or making simple adjustments with ease. Say you want to adjust the lights in your living, you could ask Alexa rather than navigating through the app.
Let’s investigate: Can Alexa control Crestron home automation systems? And what features you can control using voice commands.
What Crestron devices can Alexa control?
Crestron seamlessly connects the Alexa enabling you to manage light, temperature, audio and video without needing a remote or smartphone.
Using Crestron’s custom integration with Amazon Alexa Voice control allows you to operate:
That said, you can use Alexa with Crestron and IFTTT to control a wide range of smart home devices.
There are two basic requirements you need to fulfil before you can use Alexa to control your Crestron home automation system:
- All 3-Series processors firmware version 1.501.0025 (Internet access required)
- SIMPL Windows v4.04.03.00
What Amazon devices can I use?
There’s no shortage of Alexa-enabled devices from both Amazon and third parties. That said, it’s worth using an Amazon Echo device to control your Crestron system. You could use the compact Echo Dot smart speaker or one of the several Echo shows (smart display with speaker).
You can also install the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet and use it instead of the Crestron app to action simple tasks or to change scenes.
How do I get started?
You’ll need to talk to your Crestron® Technology Professional (CTP) to incorporate the Amazon Alexa modules into your system.
Your CTP must register your Crestron Control System.
- Browse to the Crestron Admin Portal for Alexa at https://voicereg-g-na.crestron.io.
- Enter the control system ID (the control system MAC address). A unique code is displayed.
- Click Register to display a six-digit registration code.
- Connect your Crestron Control System by entering the registration code from the Crestron Admin Portal in the control system. (See the Voice Control Registration module.)
- Next, register with your Amazon account
- Click Link to Amazon in the Crestron Admin Portal.
The Crestron Admin Portal shows green checkmarks when the control system is registered and successfully linked to your Amazon account.
Configure your Crestron system to work with an Alexa-enabled device
It takes a few simple steps to allow your Alexa enabled device to communicate with your Crestron Control System.
- Open the Alexa App on your smart device
- Configure the Crestron for Smart Home and Conference Room skill:
- Click the menu button and select Smart Home.
- Click Get More Smart Home Skills and select Crestron Electronics from the list.
- Allow the Crestron for Smart Home and Conference Room skill to discover your Crestron device(s) by giving Alexa the required command. Say “Alexa, discover devices.”.
- When Alexa responds with the number of Smart Home devices it discovers, the Crestron for Smart Home and Conference Room skill is enabled and configured.
Some voice commands you can try
An Alexa enabled Crestron Home Automation system is powerful, offering more flexible control over your entire home. Control more than just lights and thermostats! Alexa allows you to talk to your home and have it respond.
You may want to watch TV in the bedroom. Using Alexa, you can tell your Crestron system to lower the shades, turn on the TV, and adjust your Crestron lighting system to a suitable level.
Some example requests:
- “Alexa, ask Crestron to turn on the lights in the kitchen”
- “Alexa, tell Crestron to set the kitchen lights to 50 per cent”
- “Alexa, ask Crestron to lower the kitchen lights by 20 per cent”
- “Alexa, tell Crestron to set the temperature in the living room to 70 degrees”
- “Alexa, ask Crestron to lower the living room temperature by 5 degrees”
- “Alexa, tell Crestron to lower the shades in the office”
- “Alexa, ask Crestron to set the office shades to half”
- “Alexa, ask Crestron to recall the morning scene in the master bathroom”
- “Alexa, tell Crestron I’d like to watch a movie in the living room”
How will Alexa respond?
The request was accepted and is executed.
“Error, unknown source detected, please ensure you are using the official Crestron Skill.”
Make sure you have enabled and linked the correct skills.
“Sorry, I couldn’t find a device with the name [device name] in the room [room name].”
Contact your CTP to make sure the room name and device name are in your system.
“Sorry, I couldn’t understand your request.”
Alexa did not understand your request.
“Sorry, I found multiple devices with the name [device name] in the room [room name].”
Contact your CTP to make sure you don’t have multiple devices with the same name in a single room.
“This device doesn’t support that action.”
The action you requested does not apply to the device (for example, trying to dim a switched load).
“There was an invalid [parameter]. Here is a list of valid parameters: [list].”
The parameters in the request are invalid.
“There was an invalid value for [parameter]. The minimum valid value is [min] and the maximum valid value is [max].”
The value you provided in your request is outside the acceptable range. Try a value within the range provided by Alexa.
“Please contact the installer or reseller to link your account to your Crestron Control System.”
Alexa is unable to detect a control system. Contact your CTP to resolve the connection.
“Control System response failure.”
Alexa is unable to establish a connection with the control system. Contact your CTP.
What if Alexa says, “OK,” but controls the wrong device?
Open the Alexa App on your smart device and check the Dialogue History to make sure Alexa heard you correctly. Refer to Amazon’s help page if you can’t find the Dialogue History:
- If Alexa heard you correctly, verify with your CTP that what Alexa heard matches what’s in your system (room names, device names and preset names).
- If Alexa misheard you, try the request again, speaking slowly and clearly.
What if Alexa says, “OK,” but does nothing?
Open the Alexa App on your smart device and check the Dialogue History to make sure Alexa heard you correctly. Try asking it in a slightly different way, such as “lights in the kitchen” instead of “kitchen lights.”
What if Alexa says it doesn’t understand the request?
Try saying “Alexa, ask Crestron.” If Alexa responds with “Welcome to the Crestron Home Automation Skill…” your skill is configured correctly. Otherwise, you’ll need to follow the configuration steps described above.
So, can Alexa control Crestron home automation systems?
Yes, you can control your Crestron home automation system using Alexa. Using voice commands make controlling your smart home system even easier. However, it won’t replace more traditional control options such as remote, app and touchscreens. That’s fine as the more options, the better.
So, if you’re wondering: Can Alexa control Crestron home automation systems? Yes, the two work together in harmony.