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Alexa voice control for ESP8266/ESP32 (including brightness and color!)
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readme.md

Espalexa allows you to easily control your ESP with the Alexa voice assistant.

It comes in an easy to use Arduino library. Now compatible with both ESP8266 and ESP32!

What does this do similar projects don't already?

It allows you to set a ranged value (e.g. Brightness, Temperature) and optionally a color, additionally to standard on/off control. For example, you can say "Alexa, turn the light to 75% / 21 degrees".
Alexa now finally supports colors with the local API! You can see how to add color devices in the EspalexaColor example.
Then, you can say "Alexa, turn the light to Blue". Color temperature (white shades) is also supported.

By default, it's possible to add up to a total of 10 devices (read below on how to increase the cap).
Each device has a brightness range from 0 to 255, where 0 is off and 255 is fully on. You can get a percentage from that value using espalexa.toPercent(brightness);

FauxmoESP now also supports dimming!

How do I install the library?

It's a standard Arduino library. Just download it and add it as ZIP library in the IDE.

What has to be done to use it?

Espalexa is designed to be as simple to use as possible.

First, you'll need a global object declaration and a prototype for the function that Espalexa will call when the device is changed:

#include <Espalexa.h>

void firstDeviceChanged(uint8_t brightness);

Espalexa espalexa;

You then want to actually add the callback function (one for each device)

void firstDeviceChanged(uint8_t brightness) {
  //brightness parameter contains the new device state (0:off,255:on,1-254:dimmed)
  
  //do what you'd like to happen here (e.g. control an LED)
}

In your setup function, after you connected to WiFi, you'd want to add your devices:

espalexa.addDevice("Alexa name of the device", firstDeviceChanged);

The first parameter of the function is a string with the invocation name, the second is the name of your callback function (the one Espalexa will call when the state of the device was changed) You may also add a third uint8_t parameter that will specify the default brightness at boot.

Below the device definition in setup, add:

espalexa.begin();

Finally, in the loop() function, add:

espalexa.loop();

And that's it!

There is a second way to add devices which is more complicated, but allows you to update device values yourself. In global:

EspalexaDevice* d;

In setup:

d = new EspalexaDevice("Alexa name of the device", firstDeviceChanged);
espalexa.addDevice(d);

As you can see, EspalexaDevice takes the same parameters. However, you can now do stuff like:

d->setValue(22);
uint8_t bri = d->getValue(); //bri will have the device value
String name = d->getName(); //just in case you forget it

You can find a complete example implementation in the examples folder. Just change your WiFi info and try it out!

Espalexa uses an internal WebServer. You can got to http://[yourEspIP]/espalexa to see all devices and their current state.

What devices types and Echos does Espalexa support?

The library aims to work with every Echo on the market, but there are a few things to look out for.
Espalexa only works with a genuine Echo speaker, it probably wont work with Echo emulators, RPi homebrew devices or just the standalone app.
On an Echo Dot 1st and 2nd gen and the first gen Echo, color temperature adjustment (white spectrum) does not work as of March 2019.

Here is an overview of the devices (light types) Espalexa can emulate:

Device type Notes
EspalexaDeviceType::dimmable Works as intended (dimming)
EspalexaDeviceType::whitespectrum Color temperature adjustment not working on Dot
EspalexaDeviceType::color Works as intended (dimming + color)
EspalexaDeviceType::extendedcolor Color temperature adjustment not working on Dot
EspalexaDeviceType::onoff (experimental) No control from app possible, only voice

See the example EspalexaFullyFeatured to learn how to define each device type and use the new EspalexaDevice pointer callback function type!

My devices are not found?!

Confirm your ESP is connected. Go to the /espalexa subpage to confirm all your devices are defined.
Then ask Alexa to discover devices again or try it via the Alexa app.
Often, it also helps to reboot your Echo once!
If nothing helps, open a Github issue and we will help.
If you can, add #define ESPALEXA_DEBUG before #include <Espalexa.h> and include the serial monitor output that is printed while the issue occurs.

The devices are found but I can't control them! They are always on!

This is a known issue that occurs when using an Echo Dot (1st and 2nd gen). Please try using ESP8266 Arduino core version 2.3.0. If you want to use a newer core, I recommend the async server mode (see example) or use this workaround.

I tried to use this in my sketch that already uses an ESP8266WebServer, it doesn't work!

Unfortunately, it is only possible to have one WebServer per network port. Both common browsers and Espalexa need to use port 80. The workaround is to have Espalexa use your server object instead of creating its own. See the example EspalexaWithWebServer for the complete implementation.

In short, remove server.handleClient() and server.begin() from your code. Then, change espalexa.begin() to espalexa.begin(&server). Finally, add this piece of code below your server.on() page definitions:

server.onNotFound([](){
	if (!espalexa.handleAlexaApiCall(server.uri(),server.arg(0)))
	{
		server.send(404, "text/plain", "Not found");
	}
});

Does this library work with ESPAsyncWebServer?

Yes! From v2.3.0 you can use the library asynchronously by adding #define ESPALEXA_ASYNC before #include <Espalexa.h>
See the EspalexaWithAsyncWebServer example.
ESPAsyncWebServer and its dependencies must be manually installed.

Why only 10 virtual devices?

Each device "slot" occupies memory, even if no device is initialized.
You can change the maximum number of devices by adding #define ESPALEXA_MAXDEVICES 20 (for example) before #include <Espalexa.h>
I recommend setting MAXDEVICES to the exact number of devices you want to add to optimize memory usage.

How does this work?

Espalexa emulates parts of the SSDP protocol and the Philips hue API, just enough so it can be discovered and controlled by Alexa. Parts of the code are based on:

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