How To Setup Alexa Guard

Announced many months ago, the first cut of Alexa Guard has finally arrived.

The gist of Alexa Guard is to centralize select monitoring functions withing a single area, utilizing the traditional home/away security system approach and bringing Amazon closer to our dream of a virtual hub … that Siri hasn’t quite managed to achieve. Initial Alexa Guard capabilities include smart alerts for the sound of breaking glass, monitoring connected CO2 and smoke detectors, automating mockupancy lighting, and integration with Ring Alarm if you have.

To get going, simply say “Alexa, set up guard mode” and configure the rest via the Alexa app as demo-ed below.

Amazon’s documentation is rather spartan, so it’s not entirely clear how the Away lighting works. Do all selected lights or rooms turn on at sunset and turn off at sunrise, is there some sort of schedule to mimic resident behavior, or is it entirely randomized? Amazon says something about “machine learning” but without details, I’m little hesitant to get going given my tricked out Hue mockupancy formula. However, after recording the above video, I’ve learned that Alexa Guard away lighting can be a little more granular — by tapping on your (31) lights/rooms, you can select/deselect. And that makes a lot more sense. For example, I could exclude my front porch and rear walkway lighting from Guard mode as that’s already on an appropriate schedule.

While you can arm the whole thing by telling “Alexa, I’m leaving” if you have an integrated alarm system (like Ring) it’s not enough to say “Alexa, I’m home” to disarm it. You’ll be prompted for a PIN, which makes sense. Otherwise, the bad guys would simply turn off your alarm before getting to work.

3 thoughts on “How To Setup Alexa Guard”

  1. I wish they would let you use it as a routine so I can turn lights off when I’m leaving with my current goodbye routine. Or allow you to add events to the built-in “I’m leaving” routine.

  2. Yeah, that’s why I positioned this as a ‘first cut’ – there’s so much more they can do here and hopefully they will. FYI sounds like the sunrise/sunset triggers should be coming to Routines soon. That’s the ONE thing I miss from WeMo and SmartThings plus Siri’s triggers are limited to 59 minutes, whereas I want my outdoor lighting on 2-3 hours.

  3. One thing I noticed this morning when I configured Guard was that when I armed Ring through Alexa (Alexa, arm Ring to away), that also seemed to arm Guard as well. That was a nice surprise!

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