CNET Smart Home
How to fall asleep to a voice-activated sunsetGet a new smart speaker for the holidays? Here's how to tell it to slowly fade your smart bulbs out as you drift off.
You ever have trouble falling asleep? Happens to me all the time, and seemingly on the nights when I need the rest the most. Then I became cnet's resident lightbulb guy and I started testing smart lights out of my home. And I discovered that setting a light to gradually fade out as I was drifting off would help ease me into a better night's rest. Now there are plenty of smart lights that you can schedule to fade out at a specific time, but most of us don't go to bed at the same time every night. The better way is to program a simple voice command that you can say while crawling into bed to trigger&nbsp;that slow fade. Here's how to do it, first let's make sure you've got the right gadgets. For voice controle, you're going to need either an Alexa or a Google Assistant enabled device. An Amazon Echo Dot or a Google Home Mini on your nightstand should do the trick. You'll also need some help from the free online automation service IFTTT, which stands for, if this then that. If we give our assistant the right command, then the lights should slowly fade out. Got it. Good. [SOUND] Next up is the [UNKNOWN]. We're gonna need one that has an IPS channel that let's us customize the duration of our lighting changes, really slow them down. For that, that narrows our options down quite a bit. We're gonna go with the Life XLE. Now it's time to start connecting everything on IP To do that we're gonna download the FTAP to our Android or iOS device and then create a free account. Once you've done that, go to it's list of supported services and search for lifex, and for the voice assistant that you'll be using. Activate each channel using your respective log in info for each service and you'll be good to go. All that's left now is to make the [UNKNOWN] if it's going to make all this work. To do so, you're going to tap the little plus icon in the [UNKNOWN] app and then follow the instructions to put the pieces of your automation recipe into place. Remember if we give a specific voice command, then we want the light to fade out so the voice command is the first part. You'll actually get some extra customization options if you go with Google, but for our purposes let's go with Alexa and show you how it's done. We're gonna select Say A Specific Phrase as the trigger. With Alexa, that phrase will come after the words Alexa Trigger. So let's use the phrase a sleep fade That makes our full command Alexa Trigger A sleep fade. Now for the lights. Let's select the light fix channel, and the Turns Lights Off option. The important thing here is that, unlike a lot of other lighting channels on [UNKNOWN], the light fix let's you select the fade duration for your lights. So we're gonna set that to 45 minutes, and now when you say Alexa Trigger a suite page she will tell If to tell our lightbulb to fade out for 45 minutes and that is it. Try it for ourself and you will be enjoying a smarter nights sleep in no time.