Why are the colors green, red, orange, and yellow flashing on my Alexa?Visual Media Factory
Here’s what your Alexa smart speaker is trying to tell you!
You’ve set up one of Amazon’s Echo smart speakers, and it’s great for playing music, checking the weather, and setting an egg timer — all without having to use your hands. But then it begins to flash different colors at random intervals: red, green, yellow, orange… it’s almost as if it’s trying to communicate with you. That is, in fact, the case.
There’s an easy way to figure out what your Echo speaker wants when it flashes its LED at you. “Alexa, what does your light mean?” is all you have to say. However, that would be a very brief blog. So, for those of us who don’t want to talk to our smart speakers, I’ve created a quick cheat sheet to explain what all those flashing lights mean.
Alexa’s status and notification indicator is the LED light. The LED light will be in a different location depending on which device you have. It appears as a ring at the bottom of the screen on the new Echo and Echo Dot; a ring at the top of the screen on the Echo Studio; and a line at the bottom of the screen on the Echo Show smart displays.
Wherever it is, it spends the majority of its time doing nothing. When it pulsates, circles, or swirls, Alexa is either listening to you or trying to communicate with you. What it wants you to know is this:
THE COLOR OF ALEXA IS FLASHING YELLOW.
Every few seconds, a slow yellow “burst” indicates that your Alexa voice assistant has something to say to you. “Alexa, what are my notifications?” you might ask. “Alexa, what are my messages?” or “Alexa, what are my messages?” will reveal everything.
ALEXA HAS TURNED BLUE.
A cyan spotlight on a blue ring indicates that Alexa has heard you; the cyan spotlight will point in the direction where Alexa heard your voice. As it processes your request, it will spin. It means the device is starting up if it spins while you aren’t talking to it.
The Echo smart speaker is listening when a cyan-blue point on a blue light ring appears.
ALEXA HAS TURNED RED.
If the ring is solid red, the speaker’s microphone is muted and he or she is unable to hear you. To reactivate the microphones, press the unmute button.
THE COLOR ORANGE IS FLASHING ON ALEXA.
The Echo speaker is in setup mode or attempting to connect to the internet if it has a swirling orange light. An orange line on a smart display, such as an Echo Show, indicates that it is attempting to connect to the internet but is currently disconnected.
ALEXA HAS TURNED GREEN.
On an Echo, pulsing green indicates that you are being called. It should be followed by a statement about who is calling. To connect to the call, say “Alexa, answer” (assuming you want to answer it). The green light begins to spin while on the call and continues to do so until the call is terminated. If you’re in a “Drop-In” with another speaker on your network, a spinning green light will appear.
On the Echo Show smart displays, the LED light bar will appear at the bottom of the screen.
ALEXA HAS TURNED PURPLE.
A purple ring or line indicates that the speaker is set to Do Not Disturb mode. Notifications, calls, and messages are blocked, but alarms, timers, and reminders are not. When you ask it to do something, it will flash purple. You can ask Alexa to turn off Do Not Disturb or turn it off in the Alexa app manually. If it turns purple while you’re setting up the device, it’s because it couldn’t connect to Wi-Fi (as opposed to trying to connect, which is represented by orange).
ALEXA HAS TURNED WHITE.
You’re adjusting the volume on the device or in the app if a white light moves up or down (or around). Alexa Guard is turned on and set in Away Mode when a spinning white light appears. You can switch to Home Mode in the app or tell Alexa, “Alexa, I’m home.”
HOW DO I GET ALEXA TO STOP FLASHING? (AS MUCH)
If the constant flashing bothers you (which it probably will if you’re using the device as a smart alarm clock next to your bed), you can disable all but the most important notifications:
Go to the Alexa app on your phone.
More > Settings > Device Settings > More > More > More > More > More > More > More > More > More > > Communications > [your speaker’s name]
Toggle off Communications.
This will only prevent the yellow and green rings from flashing, as they are the most likely to do so. However, it will disable Drop In and Announcements (in which you can speak to one Echo in your home and it will relay the message to the others), and it will still flash if there is a problem.