​How to use your smart home for Earth Hour 2019

Alexa, Google Assistant and Lifx hacks for this year's blackout

Create an Earth Hour 2019 routine
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Earth Hour 2019 happens on 30 March, when the world turns off the lights for 60 minutes at 8.30pm. It’s a great movement that encourages people to save energy and raise awareness of green issues, which may go some way to stopping our planet's surface resembling a Dorito by 2030.

In the UK over 10 million people took part in Earth Hour 2018, and it's a global event, with Sydney Opera House and the Empire State Building to Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle switching off to show support.

And, as smart home users, you’re already doing your bit. Smart bulbs and smart thermostats are great ways of saving energy – but your smart home can do even more by creating a routine to kill your lights when Earth Hour cometh.

Check out these ideas for making the most of Earth Hour.

Set a reminder

If you have a smart speaker, but not a full smart home set up, you can still set a reminder to do your lights the old fashioned way. Say “Alexa, remind me about Earth Hour at 8.30pm on 30 March.” "Hey Google”and “Hey Siri” will also work just fine.

How to create an Earth Hour Alexa Routine

How to use your smart home for Earth Hour 2019

Alexa Routines are amazing ways to automate devices in your home, and you can have your lights turn off at the right time.

1. Head to the Routines section of the Alexa app
2. Hit the + to create a new Routine
3. Tap When this happens
4. Tap Schedule and then choose 8.30pm Saturday night and choose a repeat (Alexa doesn't support single, one-off Routines)
5. Tap Add action and smart home
6. Add all your lights and light groups and set each to "off"
7. Save your Routine.

Make a Google Home Earth Hour routine

How to use your smart home for Earth Hour 2019

You can do much the same using Google Assistant scheduled routines on your smart speaker, smart display or even smartphone.

1. From the Google Home app main screen, tap the Routines tab, which should sit above your rooms list.

2. From the next mini-menu, tap Manage routines and then the '+' tab in the bottom right corner to start a new routine.

3. You'll then see options to "Add commands" and "Set a time and day" – you know what time to make it.
4. Tap on Add Action to start choosing what Assistant should do. You have the option to type a command in manually ("Set the volume to 50%", "Ask for the news" etc) but we recommend selecting the Popular actions.

Lifx app

If you’re a Lifx user – there’s a special feature in the app just for Earth Hour. You can opt into Earth Hour reminder in the Lifx app, and you should have already been prompted to sign up.

When it’s time, a pop-up alert will appear on your smartphone an hour prior to the 8.30pm kick-off. Then automated scheduling will kill the lights. At 9.30pm, a reminder will appear with an option to turn the lights back on via the LIFX app.

TAGGED    smart home

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