Using Alexa devices with the Blink Video Doorbell

The Blink Video Doorbell works well with the Alexa enabled devices from Amazon.

Use the Alexa Blink SmartHome Skill to connect your Echo device to the Blink app. If you have not set up the Blink Smarthome Skill, please visit the Alexa Setup and Troubleshooting Guide.

Alexa Notifications

Echo devices with screen, and no screen

When configured, pressing the ringer button of your Blink Video Doorbell makes your Echo device play a chime sound, followed by the announcement "Someone is at your <doorbell name>."

Alexa's chime sound can be changed, see below for instructions.

Configuring Alexa to announce Blink devices

  • Important Echo device settings: 
    • Communication and Announcements setting turned on.
    • Do Not Disturb setting turned off.

  • Blink Doorbell options in Alexa:
    • Motion Announcements setting turned on.
    • Doorbell Press Announcements setting turned on.


Tap or click the section below to see how to adjust Blink Video Doorbell settings in the Alexa app.


How to activate the Alexa Doorbell Motion and Doorbell Press Announcements

To activate doorbell motion alerts and ringer press announcements, visit the Doorbell settings screen. Alexa announcements come from the Echo devices that you have configured to play audio.

To reach the Doorbell settings screen, tap the "Devices" button in the Alexa mobile app, then tap "Cameras". You can also tap the banner message showing how many devices were discovered.


Next, find the entry for your doorbell and tap it to view SETTINGS. In this example the doorbell is named "Front Door".


The Doorbell Settings has a toggle for Motion Announcements and another for Doorbell Press Announcements. To show you Alexa notifications, Blink cameras need to have these settings 'on' (filled in with solid color).

Motion Announcements are 'off'
Doorbell Press Announcements are 'on'
The Doorbell Sound is "Page"



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How to change the doorbell announcement sounds on your Alexa device

When the Alexa setting "Doorbell Press Announcements" is active, you can change the sound that plays before Alexa announces "Someone is at your <doorbell name>."

In your Alexa app, tap "Cameras".


Select your doorbell from the list of available cameras. In this example the doorbell is named "Front Door".



If your doorbell is in Event Response mode, you see the settings screen as shown below. If you see a Live View screen instead, tap the Settings gear icon  in the upper right corner of the screen.

On the doorbell page, tap "Doorbell Sound" to see the choices.


On the "Doorbell Sound" screen, you can select a sound, then tap the Back arrow " < " to save and return to the SETTINGS screen.


Now, when the doorbell ringer button is pressed, Alexa plays the sound you chose, before the Alexa announcement.

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Alexa commands for the doorbell

Here are some of the Alexa commands that work with the Blink Video Doorbell.

In the examples the doorbell camera is named "Front door".

"Alexa, open Blink." - Alexa announces what Blink can do.

"Alexa, ask Blink Help." - Blink Help responds with tips and things to say.

"Alexa, arm my Front door." - Arms your doorbell for motion detection if it is on its own system.

"Alexa, talk to the Front door." - Alexa opens up two-way talk with the "Front door" camera (not available in Event Response).

"Alexa, show the last activity at my Front door." - The most recent motion-event or doorbell press is played.

"Alexa, ask Blink what's my schedule." - Alexa reads the existing schedules you have set in the Blink app.

"Alexa, stop Blink." -  Alexa shuts down the Blink Skill. **use this command with caution** because it deactivates the Blink SmartHome Skill and you settings are lost. You must "Launch" (re-enable) the Blink SmartHome Skill in the Alexa app and configure devices to use it again.


Motion Announcements and Routine triggers

Alexa enabled devices can announce when a Blink Motion Notification happens, and respond to Routines that you create in the Alexa app.

Click for information about using Alexa with the Blink Video Doorbell.

Click a tab to read more.

Motion Announcements

When you activate the Blink SmartHome Skill, Alexa can announce Motion Alerts and provide camera views for Blink Video Doorbell, Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), Mini, and XT2 cameras.

This feature is currently available for English language Alexa devices.

Alexa motion announcements are not triggered for the following:

  • Cameras recording directly to Local Storage‍ (Sync Module 2 with USB drive).
  • Systems that do not use Cloud Storage or Local Storage.
  • Cameras with "Motion Recording" set to "Off".
  • Indoor (gen 1) and XT camera events.


Motion Announcements is an Alexa Routine we made to connect a Blink system to Alexa speech services. When a system is armed, and cameras have the "Motion Recording" setting "On", any motion alerts are sent to Alexa.

Alexa uses the camera name you set in the Blink app to announce the following: "Motion Detected at the <camera name>." 

If you tap the alert that appears, a Live View session is started from the camera that sent it.

To receive Alexa spoken alerts as soon as motion is detected by a camera, tap the Camera Settings icon in the Blink app, then set "Early NotificationBeta" to "On", as shown in the image below.

By default, the motion alert is sent after a motion clip completes recording. If "Motion Recording" is "Off" the clip is zero length, and the alert is sent right away. 

You can change the Clip Length, and the pause afterwards (Retrigger Time), in the Camera Settings screen. 

Click to learn how motion detection works‍.

Notice the following are enabled for the best experience:

  • Motion Detection
  • Early Notification
  • Motion Recording


To receive spoken alerts of camera activity from Alexa

1. Enable the Blink SmartHome Skill in the Alexa app:

2. Enable Motion Announcements in the Alexa app:

  • Tap the “Devices” icon on the bottom right corner of the screen to reach the Devices screen, then tap the "Cameras" icon on the upper left.
    tap Alexa Devices icon

  • On the CAMERAS screen, tap the Blink camera you wish to use for Alexa interaction, and enable the “Motion Announcements” toggle on the settings screen. Also make sure you have an Announcement Device visible to perform spoken alerts.
    tap Alexa Devices icon tap cameras icon

    If the toggle is not visible, update camera settings by asking: "Alexa, discover my devices." This will result in a response of "No new devices discovered." but the settings should update.

Tap the back arrow "<" (upper left corner of the screen) to return to the Cameras list.

Now, when the camera system is armed, motion alerts from the selected camera activate the Alexa device to announce "Motion Detected at the [camera name]." For greater convenience, you can also say: "Alexa, ask Blink to arm the [Blink system name]." You can use the same method to disarm a system when desired. To disarm, Alexa will request the PIN that you created when the Blink SmartHome Skill was enabled and connected to your Blink app. 


How to disable Motion Announcements in the Alexa app:

  1. Tap the “Devices” icon on the bottom right corner of the screen to reach the Devices view, then tap the "Cameras" icon on the upper left.
    tap Alexa Devices icon tap cameras icon

  2. Tap a Blink camera that you are using for Alexa interaction, and disable the “Motion Announcements” toggle on the settings screen.
    tap Alexa Devices icon tap cameras icon


Tap the back arrow "<" (upper left corner of the screen) to return to the Cameras list.

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Alexa Routines

Alexa devices now support Routine Triggers for the Blink SmartHome skill when used with Blink Video Doorbell, Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), Mini, and XT2 cameras.

Routine Triggers are currently available for English language Alexa devices in the North American (US and Canada) region.

A Routine Trigger connects your Blink device to Alexa so that motion alerts can start a Routine. Routines consist of an event, and an action to be performed. You choose the device supplying the event (in this case a Blink device), the action to be performed like "Turn on Walkway Lights", a schedule when the action is available ("Today until 11pm"), and the device where the result of the action is sent ("Walkway Lights"). In this way, when motion is detected by a Blink camera, Alexa will turn on the SmartHome lights on the walkway, and it is active until 11pm.

Blink cameras supply the Trigger event through the Blink SmartHome Skill, which must be enabled before you create a Routine. Enable the Blink SmartHome Skill in your Alexa app by following these instructions. Be aware that trigger events are not provided to Alexa when you use Local Storage to record clips directly from camera, or when you have no storage option active.

Blink has already created a useful Routine to announce camera activity. When motion is detected on a properly configured camera, your Alexa device says "Motion detected on the _______ camera." filling in the name of your camera using text to speech. The Motion Announcement Routine is available on the Camera Settings screen of the Alexa app. Learn how to enable Alexa Motion Announcements.

To receive Alexa spoken alerts as soon as motion is detected, rather than after the motion clip recording is complete, set Early Notification to "Enabled" in the Blink app - for each camera that interacts with Alexa.

Note: The Blink Video Doorbell always has Early Notification active.

Attention: To receive motion announcements from Alexa, your Blink Video Doorbell, Outdoor, Indoor (gen 2), and Mini cameras must have the "Motion Recording" Camera Setting in the "On" position. Click to learn about the Motion Recording setting.

To create a Routine Trigger from Blink device activity:

  1. Within the Alexa app, tap the Curtain Menu at lower right, then select "Routines".
    tap to view the curtain menu tap routines

  2. Tap a Plus sign to create a new Routine.
    tap a plus sign to create a new routine

  3. Tap "Enter Routine Name", provide a name, and tap "Next".
    tap Enter routine name to name the new routine enter a name and tap next

  4. Tap "When this happens" to view the available triggers screen, then tap "Smart Home".
    tap when this happens tap smart home

  5. On the Choose Device screen, when you select a Blink camera to provide the motion alert triggers, you are sent to the choose a trigger action screen.
    detected

  6. Choose whether the trigger is an action being "Detected", or "Not Detected" - for a set amount of time after an initial event. If "Not Detected" is chosen, select an amount of time to wait after the initial event, to send the Trigger. If no new alert arrives within that time, the Trigger is sent.
    Tap "Next".
    detected not detected

  7. The New Routine screen displays the name you entered, and describes the trigger action.
    You can tap "Anytime" to create a schedule for when the Routine is active.
    If you do create a schedule, save and complete the schedule by tapping "Next".
    tap to set a schedule save and continue when you tap next

  8. Tap "Add Action" and select which supported action you wish to trigger.
    tap to add an action

    An example would be to tap "Alexa says" then create a customized response by tapping "Customised" and then provide a phrase to be spoken when the Routine is triggered, such as "Someone is at the front door."
    tap to add the alexa says action tap to add a custom message

    After you enter the phrase, tap "Next" to save and continue to a confirmation screen where you tap "Next" to return to the New Routine screen.
    add a custom phrase and tap next to save confirm your custom phrase and tap next to continue

  9. Tap "Choose Device" to select which Alexa device will make the announcement.
    Choosing a device returns you to the New Routine screen.
    tap choose device to select the blink camera that will be used tap choose device to select which alexa device to speaks the alert

  10. From the New Routine screen, tap Save to complete the procedure, and you are sent to the main Routines screen where the new routine is visible.
    tap save to complete the routine creation and go to the routines screen the routines screen

You should see a temporary confirmation banner at the top of the screen confirming actions taken on Routines.

If you followed the example procedure in Step 8, the result of a motion detection is that your chosen Alexa device emits a chime and announces "Someone has entered the front door."

If you instead hear: "Motion Detected at the Mini, Someone has entered the front door." you can deduce that the Motion Announcements feature is active for the camera named "Mini" in addition to the routine that was just created.
Learn more about Motion Announcements here.


How to edit a Routine:

  1. Within the Alexa app, tap the Curtain Menu at lower right, and select "Routines".
    tap to view the curtain menu tap routines

  2. Tap the Routine that you wish to edit, make changes from the Edit Routine screen then tap the back arrow "<" (upper left corner) to save and return.
    tap a routine to edit tap the back arrow to save changes



How to disable a Routine:

  1. Within the Alexa app, tap the Curtain Menu at lower right, then select "Routines".
    tap to view the curtain menu tap routines

  2. Select the Routine you wish to disable, then tap the Enabled toggle at the upper right of the Edit Routines screen.
    tap the routine you want to disable tap the enabled toggle to disable

  3. Return to the Cameras list when you tap the back arrow "<" (upper left corner).
    tap the back arrow to save this setting and return to the home screen

You should see a confirmation banner at the top of the screen confirming actions taken on Routines.


How to delete a Routine:

  1. Within the Alexa app, tap the Curtain Menu at lower right, then select "Routines".
    tap to view the curtain menu tap routines

  2. Select the Routine you wish to delete and enter the Edit Routine screen.
    tap the routine you want to delete

  3. Tap the three dot menu icon at the upper right of the screen, then tap Delete Routine.
    tap the three dot menu icon tap delete Routine


You should see a confirmation banner at the top of the screen and be returned to the Routines screen.


Example Routines:

Here are four basic examples of possible Routines to get you thinking about how you would like to use this feature.

  1. A custom Motion Announcement for the camera named "Front Door".
    Trigger: Motion is detected by the camera
    When: Any time (unscheduled)
    Action: Alexa could say: "intruder detected at the front door"

  2. Turn on Front Porch smart light when motion is detected.
    Trigger: Motion is Detected by the Front Door camera
    When: All days of the week, between 7pm and 5am
    Action: Front Porch smart light is turned on (it remains on until turned off)

  3. Turn off Front Door smart lights when no motion is detected for 30 minutes.
    Trigger: Motion Not Detected for 30 minutes on Front Door camera
    When: Any time (unscheduled)
    Action: Front Door smart light is turned off

  4. Alert me if no activity on Dad's kitchen camera by 10am.
    Trigger: Motion Not Detected on Dad's Kitchen camera for 10 hours.
    When: All days between 8pm and 10am
    Action: Alexa says: "Check on Dad."



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