Echo Link to Wink

I got an email today with the following text

You can now control even more connected home devices with your voice using Amazon Echo. In addition to controlling lights and switches from Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue, Echo now supports Wink.

Wink is a home automation hub that allows you to control devices in your home. Today, we’re introducing support for Wink compatible devices from GE, Leviton, and Lutron?with even more coming soon.

To get started, setup your Wink HUB and compatible devices, then connect Echo to your Wink HUB in the Echo App. Once this is complete, simply say, “Alexa, discover my devices.” After Echo’s confirmation, just ask:

“Alexa, turn on the stereo”
“Alexa, turn on the office light”
“Alexa, turn off the fan”
“Alexa, turn off the outdoor decorations”
Echo supports these Wink compatible products:

Leviton’s Decora Plug-In Appliance Control switch
Lutron’s Caseta Plug-In Lamp Dimmer
Select GE LED lights
A full list of Echo compatible devices from Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, GE, Lutron, Leviton, and more can be found here.

I have the Wink hub and with a quick entry of my Wink account credentials within the Echo app on my phone and a ‘discover connected devices’, my three GE link bulbs connected to my Wink Hub now appear and are controllable.

For those already using the excellent Wink Connect plugin, the link to wink feature may be redundant. At the very least, it seems may make the entry of individual devices (rather than scenes) into the Echo to Vera bridge much more automated. I’m not sure if the ease of setup is important for the people on this forum, but at least it speeds that process up a bit.

I was curious about the responsiveness since this presumably could be going through two cloud services - Amazon and Wink - but using the Echo to turn on/off some GE Link bulbs via Echo was actually quicker than the Wink app in terms of ‘command-to-response’ time.

Amazon seems to be making a big play for the home automation market by being the easy access point into other hubs…I hope their efforts can put pressure on the current players to step up their game a bit.

You can also setup your Wink hub as a secondary controller so your Z-wave devices populate into the Wink hub as well, that should give you the ability to control the Vera devices with Echo as well.

I am very excited about this!! I may just try and order a Wink hub and see if I can transfer most of my z-wave devices off of my Vera and on the the wink. I love being able to control my hue lights via Echo and it would be wonderful if I could control my entire home automation system.

As long as you realize that when you lose your internet connection, you will lose your home automation as both Alexa and Wink depend on their respective cloud infrastructure. Access to which requires an available internet connection.

@BOFH, that’s a good point, and is the main reason I rely on Vera as the brains behind my automated stuff and am trying to use the Echo more as the interface for stuff I want to ‘remote control’. A kitchen island light fixture, for example, is something I’ve automated to a large degree around our normal daily coming/going schedule, but the ability to easily turn it on (by my kids/wife) with voice at those randomly necessary times is where I see the Echo voice control really proving great utility.

That is my goal as well. I love being able to head off to bed at night and simply tell Alexa to turn off my lights. Unfortunately I am disappointed with several Vera issues and desperately looking for another solution that meets all of my needs (even if it is 5X the price).

I am a bit confused as to the value of this, knowing that we can build a bridge to the echo and most of the execution is local.
I have a wink as well but never found any use for it. You guys are talking about having the following path:
Echo -> amazon cloud? -> wink -> wink cloud -> wink -> Vera -> wink -> Echo

With the Wink setup as a zwave secondary you would not need to go to the vera
Echo -> wink -> wink cloud -> wink (execute and ack) -> wink cloud -> Echo

With the Vera and the bridge:
Echo -> Bridge -> Vera -> Bridge -> Echo

Not relying on the cloud was one of the key difference that made me lean towards the Vera…

@anham,

I’m by no means an expert (with the landscape of HA changing daily, I don’t think anyone can be…), but as I see it the value is that the Wink ‘speaks’ zigbee. There is an excellent Wink connect plugin for Vera. It is enhanced/updated regularly, the forum thread is very long, and people seem to find it useful. The Wink is not a great implementation of the zwave protocol. It seems to support just a few types of devices. But, it does support zigbee devices very well, with common devices being light bulbs and switches, that I have found to be considerably cheaper than zwave equivalents.

With the Wink Connect plugin your zigbee devices do indeed get exposed and controllable by Vera. But, to make them voice controllable by the Echo, you are currently still forced to do quite a bit of manual entry into the http://veraip:3480/api/configuration.html tool. I was able to have my Echo find a bunch of ge link bulbs just by linking the echo and wink together with an id/password

I don’t think using this setup or discovery method creates any additional cloud dependencies. The echo does not work at all without an internet connection, so it would not matter if your devices were entered and discovered thru the local echo bridge or the link to wink. If Alexa can’t ping Amazon’s severs, she refuses to listen to any commands you tell her.

Ohh I see, yes if the goal is to get zigbee devices as well then yes I think it is a good way to do it. I am sure there are specific Zigbee devices which do not exist on Zwave which some could want to control. It was the initial reason why I got a wink myself but eventually decided to go all Zwave instead: Rather than having 2 meshes of 2.4GHz (Zigbee) and ~900GHz (Zwave) networks was not going to be as reliable as a larger single Zwave mesh. 2.4GHz is also a bit saturated between BT and Wifi b/g/n… I was concerned about reliability of the signals with potential interferences.
As I found out I do own Zigbee(ish) devices too the Ecobee sensors, plantlinks and the Roomba (X-bee) which require a bridge through ethernet/wifi with their respective hubs. I found them to have very limited range compared to Zwave. Anyway, I digress, yes I can see the point of using the wink as a zigbee bridge now. Fact remains that the excessive reliance on cloud services is what made me avoid it.

a home without internet is not a home :wink:

Unfortunately most of us have no control over the availability of our Internet connection and are dependent on providers such as Time Warner, Comcast, BrightHouse and Verizon Fios to name some of the major players. If they have an outage in your area, you lose your internet connection whether you want it or not. So if your HA depends on it’s cloud to do everything, the result is that it won’t do anything. Which won’t do. :wink: Which is why I try to stay away from any cloud dependent solutions.

Also if say Quirky goes under, your Wink is useless as it’s cloud will evaporate at the same time. If GetVera goes under, the Vera will still fully function. The only thing you lose is the remote access via the GetVera servers. But there are alternatives such as a VPN connection between your remote device and your home network gateway that can provide a relatively easy workaround for that.