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Tips & Tricks

Control your YoLink garage door controller with Alexa Voice Commands

If you have one of our garage door controllers and you'd like to control it with Alexa voice commands, you may have found Alexa to be less than cooperative. We use Alexa in our own home, and enjoy the convenience, but sometimes Alexa is too smart for her own good -- in an effort to protect your safety, it will insist on a PIN number if it thinks you want to directly control the garage door operator. 

So, we have to outsmart Alexa. We can have Alexa trigger a YoLink scene. Alexa can be heavy-handed with device control, but you can activate a garage door controller in a scene, and Alexa is none the wiser. 

1. This first step may not be required if you have previously changed the "Control of security devices" setting in the YoLink app. In the app, tap Menu, Settings, Account, Advanced Settings. This setting must be enabled. (Once enabled, you can control your garage door operators and smart locks within scenes and automations). Swipe or arrow left until you are back (at the Favorite or Rooms screen)

2. Create a new scene in the YoLink app. In that scene, you'll have the actual command to control the door. But there is one more trick. The scene name must not be misinterpreted by Alexa as a command to open the garage door. And it is best if Alexa can't even see the YoLink garage door sensor or identify it as the garage door, when you might say something like "open the garage door". (You will probably want to rename your garage door controller, but you can try that only if the scene name does not work.) For instructions on creating a scene, see below. 

3. Create the routine in the Alexa app. For the voice command ("When You Say..." routine in "Voice" in the Alexa app) use a phrase like "Alexa, activate left door" or mine is "Alexa, large door open please" (avoid words like "open [something]" and saying "garage" at all). If you happen to have door locks or door sensors on a garage man door, Alexa might get confused. It's a bit of trial and error. But when you get it right, your voice command triggers the Alexa routine, and that will activate the "left door" scene in the YoLink app, and the door opens (or closes). Voila!

Speaking of "open" and "close", to the garage door operator, there is no difference. If you do want a command phrase like "open the door" and "close the door" you can do this, but your (two) Alexa routines will both trigger the same YoLink scene.

Give it a try and contact our customer support department if you need any help with it!

Bonus tips:

You can include this action with others, to create a scene specifically for leaving or arriving at home. For example turn on/off lights, unlock/lock smart locks, etcetera. These actions can be within the Alexa routine (and might control non-YoLink devices) and/or they can be in the YoLink scene (controlling YoLink devices). 

For piece of mind and security, I recommend installing our Garage Door Sensor on each garage door. This, of course, can be used as an intrusion detection device, but it can also be used to alert you to when it is opened, as well as to if it has been left open too long. 

For maximum piece of mind and security, I also recommend using our Plug Mini with your garage door operator. You can now completely disable your garage door when you are on vacation, or at night, on a schedule. Controlling the plug can be included in the scene or routine that opens or closes the door. This eliminates concerns that a burglar might use your outside keypad, or get a transmitter from your car, and gain access to your home through the garage door. And, for those looking for more security, like I do, you can place a smart lock on the door between your garage and the interior of your home. This lock can also be on a schedule, and/or included in an overall scene or routine. 



April 29, 2023

To create a YoLink scene:

1. In the app, tap Smart

2. Tap
3. Name your scene

4. Assign it an icon (optional)

5. Mark it as a favorite (suggested), by tapping on the heart icon, ensuring it is red

6. Set the scene group (optional)
7. In the Behavior area, tap +

8. Tap Device Actions

9. Find your garage door controller, tap it

10. Select toggle, tap the checkmark

11. Tap the checkmark
12. Review the contents of your new scene
13. If they look good, tap the checkmark

To create an Alexa voice-command routine:

1. In the Alexa app, tap the More button (lower right corner)

2. Tap Routines

3. Tap +

4. Tap in the Enter routine name area. Name your routine, tap Next

5. Tap in the When this happens area. Tap Voice

6. Enter your desired command phase, such as "Alexa, door 1 open, please". Tap Next

7. Tap in the Add Action area.

8. Tap Smart Home

9. Tap Scenes

10. Find and tap your new YoLink scene. Tap Add

11. Tap Save