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Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time

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Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« on: May 11, 2016, 02:00:55 pm »
I've tried everything I can think of to help the situation, but I am now wondering how many other people are having the same problem?

Using the Kasa app, the switches operate every single time. Alexa can't find them most of the time, but if I try over and over and over, she will finally operate the switch for me. It's frustrating and if this happens with all brands of smart switches, then I wouldn't want to invest anymore of my $$$ on switches that claim to be compatible with Echo. To be fair, I have not contacted TP-Link. This is the first place I came to try and find an answer.

Maybe someone has had the same experience and found a solution.

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2016, 06:02:53 pm »
just for a place to start, did you generally follow the steps from

http://www.tp-link.com/en/faq-944.html

did you do a power cycle on your router?  unplug it for a 10 count then plug back in. might want to do the same with your echo. 

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2016, 08:57:31 pm »
I have three TP-link switches, and all three of them work well with my Echo, and with my Dot. I can also turn them on & off through the Kasa app on my phone....no problems whatsoever.


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Offline jwlv

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Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2016, 11:38:05 pm »
TP-Link support suggests reading this FAQ if you have trouble with the TP-Link Smart Plug and Amazon Echo:

http://www.tp-link.us/faq-944.html


Offline Yoda_One

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Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2016, 07:43:00 pm »
I just installed TP-Link device brought the App up did the install, cloud and naming, ran Alexa smart appliance search Bam work perfectly. Took a whole 10 minutes.

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Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2016, 09:12:13 pm »
I just installed TP-Link device brought the App up did the install, cloud and naming, ran Alexa smart appliance search Bam work perfectly. Took a whole 10 minutes.

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Added two today with the same results - flawless!

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 12:43:38 pm »
Reply # 3 worked like a charm. Thanks!

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2017, 03:16:41 pm »
I've tried everything I can think of to help the situation, but I am now wondering how many other people are having the same problem?

Using the Kasa app, the switches operate every single time. Alexa can't find them most of the time, but if I try over and over and over, she will finally operate the switch for me. It's frustrating and if this happens with all brands of smart switches, then I wouldn't want to invest anymore of my $$$ on switches that claim to be compatible with Echo. To be fair, I have not contacted TP-Link. This is the first place I came to try and find an answer.

Maybe someone has had the same experience and found a solution.

I'm experiencing the same issue. I've reset to-link plugs and bulbs several times and also reset my echo dots and the router but no luck. When it does work it's great but it's very hit or miss unfortunately. Any advice gladly welcome.

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 12:01:32 am »
Simple:  weak wireless signal at your smart plugs. etc.  You may need a range extender.

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 12:43:22 am »
Simple:  weak wireless signal at your smart plugs. etc.  You may need a range extender.

I second this comment.  Bought a second TP-Link plug (a mini) and it worked on and off while I was setting it up.  Found out I have a dead wifi spot in the house where I was trying to plug it.  Moved it about 5 feet to the left ("closer" to the router, although I was following the wall, so not technically that much closer), and it worked like a charm, after doing the setup both through the Kasa app and the Echo app, and still does.

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2017, 01:04:30 am »
Sometimes when switches are not responding well, telling Alexa again to "discover devices" fixes things. 

Wi-fi is not the same strength, even a few feet away, and changing location of switch, even by a few feet can help.

Wi-fi signals are not constant throughout the day or night; blame the atmospheric conditions.  Checking signal strength with an app, shows this to be true.  After all, it IS just a "thru the air" radio signal like for a radio or TV signal from antenna.  Signal can be dropped. So, I have had to actually unplug the smart plug and back in to get it working right again because it had lost the signal.

Offline jwlv

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Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2017, 01:24:17 am »
One other thing to consider is that the smaller the device, the smaller the antenna.

TP-Link and Wemo both have the mini versions of their smartplug. Antennas follow the rules of physics. It is physically impossible to miniaturize an antenna and achieve the same signal strength as a full size antenna.

A full wave antenna for 2.4GHz WiFi should be 28.8 mm to 32 mm long. And it's best when it is oriented vertically in a straight line and not curved or folded over. It is possible to use a half-wave or quarter wave (and sometimes a 5/8 wave) antenna in order to miniaturize it to fit certain spaces.  But a half wave antenna does not perform as well as a full wave antenna. I'm starting to get too technical. One can write an entire encyclopedia just on antenna design. But my point is for every radio frequency, there is an ideal antenna length. Making it too small and you will lose signal. Making it too big and you will lose signal as well.

In the TP-Link and Wemo mini smartplugs, it is obvious that they cannot put a full wave antenna oriented vertically inside it. They would either have to position it horizontally or use a smaller antenna. Either way, it will affect the signal strength negatively.

Moral of the story: Buy the older, bigger smartplugs if you have dead WiFi spots in your home.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 01:27:53 am by jwlv »

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2017, 03:03:48 am »
>>  Moral of the story: Buy the older, bigger smartplugs if you have dead WiFi spots in your home.

I agree with what all you say above with the exception of "get the bigger plugs".  I have the original and the mini smart plugs and there is no difference in the performance.  Then again, I do not have marginal wi-fi signals in my home, I have the opposite; even have range extenders to boost the signals in my house. An excellent wi-fi router and strong signals are essential today.

In addition, all my Alexa gadgets use the longest-range band; 2.4G, and I reserve 5G for when I need the fastest band, e.g. video and file transfers, since strong 5G is almost as fast as a wired gigabit connection.

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2018, 07:44:29 am »
Got the same problem if I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have spent the money on Alexa or tp-link.

Re: Alexa can't find TP-Link switches 75% of the time
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2018, 01:55:13 pm »
My TP Link plugs and Alexa work fine. So what is your problem and what have you done to try and correct things?