Author Drew B.August 04, 2020@boxcardrew

Alexa Theater Room



Our latest project was getting our home theater room set up for voice control. We had a few requirements and some ‘nice to haves’. The requirements were pretty simple. We needed to be able to tell Alexa to dim the lights, lower the screen, and turn on the home theater equipment. This all seemed pretty simple except for the projector screen.

Some other nice to haves would be different scenes for watching sports, movies and playing games. And, perhaps, a pre-movie setting, like when you go to theaters and they’re showing the previews before the feature.


We chose to go with an Amazon Echo, we are pretty much locked into the Alexa Ecosystem. Plus, the added benefit of using a Fire TV for streaming seemed to make sense here. We have an echo dot mounted next to the projector.


We chose to go with Sengled bulbs all around for this one. They offer a nice variety for a decent price. We have 6 of the BR30 bulbs in the ceiling plus some ambient strips around the room. They are all connected to the Sengled Hub for Voice control.


This is where things got a little tricky. Amazon does make an IR blaster for Alexa but it didn’t make sense in this room because the equipment is not within line of sight. We need to find something that could control via bluetooth, wifi or other means. We chose to go with the Logitech Harmony Hub. I’m familiar with Logitech’s universal remotes and this seemed like a perfect solution.


We decided to add an Amazon Smart Plug for our popcorn maker but we’re still looking for a solution for the projector screen, it currently stays down all the time.


So to tie everything together we used the ‘Scene’ feature with our Amazon Echo. This allowed us to set up multiple actions for one command. What we have so far:

  • “Movie Night” - This dims the lights to 15%, turns on the popcorn maker using the Amazon Smart Plug, and makes sure the projector and A/V Receiver are turned on via the Logitech Harmony.
  • “Start the movie” - This will dim all the overhead lights to 0% and set the ambient lighting to 5%. This really gives it a movie theater feel.

We have a couple of other scenes for “game night” and “watch sports”, which just turn the receiver to the correct input using the Harmony Hub and change the lighting. This was a pretty simple build overall but it was very pleasing.

Parts List