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What the light ring colors on Amazon Echo speakers mean

The light ring on your Alexa device might be showing some new colors. Here's what they all mean.

The distinctive light ring atop most Amazon Echo speakers is both a status indicator and a notification light -- it's how Alexa can relay information without speaking to you.

Typically, it only lights up a few different colors, such as white while you're changing the volume or two different shades of blue while it's listening for your command. At times, the ring will light up with different colors, all of which mean something important. And with recent updates, you might have noticed some new colors on your speaker's light ring.

Here is what all the colors mean.

Interaction

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When lit up like this, Alexa is listening.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Most of the time, the light ring stays off. If the device is plugged in and there are no lights showing, it means the speaker is active and waiting for you to speak the wake word. When you interact with Alexa, you will see white and various tones of blue.

  • If you speak the wake word or manually wake Alexa, the light ring will turn solid blue and a small section of cyan will point in the direction of the person speaking.
  • Solid blue with spinning cyan after you've spoken a command means Alexa is processing your request. This also happens when the speaker is powering on.
  • The light ring will show the volume percentage in white when you manually turn the light ring on the Amazon Echo or the first-generation Echo Dot, press the volume up or down on the second-generation Echo Dot or tell Alexa to adjust the volume.

Status

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When the red light is on, the Alexa microphone has been turned off.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The light ring will tell you if there are any problems with Alexa, as well. Status indicators are red, purple or orange.

  • Spinning violet indicates that there was a problem during Wi-Fi setup.
  • Spinning orange means the device is currently connecting to your network.
  • Solid red means the microphone has been turned off and Alexa is not actively listening for your commands.
  • spinning blue light that ends with a purple flash indicates that Do Not Disturb has been activated.
  • flash of purple after you interact with Alexa means that Do Not Disturb is still enabled.

Notifications

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When the green light is on, a call is coming in.

Amazon

Now that Alexa lets you send messages and make calls, Amazon has introduced two new colors for notifications: green and yellow.

  • pulsing green light indicates and incoming call.
  • pulsing yellow light is telling you that you have messages in your inbox.

The light ring on the Echo Look

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The Echo Look's light ring acts a little differently compared to the other speakers.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Echo Look also has a light ring, but a few things are different with this device. Most obviously is its camera, which comes with its own special light sequence on the ring. Less obviously is that you cannot use it to make or receive calls or messages. Here are the Echo Look's light ring sequences:

  • While the device is powering up, the light ring will be solid blue with spinning cyan.
  • When all lights are off, the Echo Look is active and listing for your commands.
  • Solid blue with cyan means Alexa is processing your request.
  • An orange spinning light indicates the device is in setup mode.
  • blinking white light means the camera is on.
  • Solid red means the camera and microphone have been turned off.
  • Flashing red indicates that Alexa is unavailable.
  • If an error occurs during Wi-Fi setup, the ring will light up multiple colors.

Lights on the Amazon Tap

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Press the button on the front of it and the Tap's lights turn on to let you know it's listening.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The five LEDs along the top-front edge of the Amazon Tap, called the front light indicators, are also a bit different from the standard light ring seen on other Echo speakers.

For starters, calling and messaging is not available on the Tap, so the Tap doesn't give you light indicators for notifications. Also, since there is no light ring, the indicator lights cannot spin. Instead the lights will pulse from left to right.

  • They light up cyan when you press the microphone button.
  • The lights pulse cyan and blue while powering up.
  • Pulsing cyan indicates Alexa is processing your request.
  • Solid red indicates the microphone is turned off.
  • Pulsing red means Alexa could not process your command.
  • Pulsing amber from left to right means the speaker is in Wi-Fi setup mode.
  • Pulsing blue over unlit lights means the speaker is in Bluetooth pairing mode.

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