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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Amazon today just fixed one of the more inexplicable holes in Alexa’s feature set with the addition of new sleep timers and wake-up lighting, as well as more robust routine features for smart lights. Until today, you could use Alexa to control compatible smart lights, and you could use Alexa to set timers. But you couldn’t use both features together, and you could only get approximately close using a pre-programmed routine that involved tinkering with the mobile app. It made very little sense.
Now, Amazon says you’ll be able to do so, as long as you’re located in the US and have Alexa-compatible lights. The new features will let you set wake-up lightingand sleep timers for your smart lights using Alexa. So you can set recurring daily alarms that turn your smart lights on and off with commands like, “Alexa, set up an alarm for every morning at 7AM with my bedside lamp,” and, “Alexa set a 30-minute sleep timer with lights.”
You can also now brighten or dim your smart lights using Alexa routines, so you can trigger the gradual process over the course of five minutes to one hour with a “good night” routine or pick the desired brightness you want the lights to achieve when the process is tied to your wake-up lighting or sleep timer request. The features should be rolling out to US customers this week, Amazon says.