Button to Trigger Alexa Routine

By:  Frank Engelman   |  Posted: January 14, 2022   |  Updated: April 18, 2023

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The Problem to be Solved

Need Help Making Alexa Useful

Need Help Making Alexa Useful

I am setting up Alexa for my parent who lives at a distance. I am unsure what features to include, or how to set it up so it is as useful as possible.

Solution Details


In my DIY solutions to the challenges of my older relatives, I often use a “Button” to trigger an Alexa Routine. It keeps things simple, and avoids them needing to remember a specific “phrase” to speak.

However, it is not so easy to find the right button. This solution explains the options, and which buttons I prefer.


The Original Buttons

For several years the only physical button that could be used to trigger Alexa Routines was the Amazon Echo Button which has been discontinued and are only available on eBay.

These are great buttons for use by a loved one as they are very large and lit up when pressed. Their most important feature is an easy, direct Bluetooth connection to an Echo device with a trigger available for Alexa Routines.


New Button Options

In the last few months, three different button vendors have started to offer buttons that could trigger an Alexa Routines, but compared to the Echo Buttons, they are smaller and may require the use of a hub.

Here is a rundown of the current four candidates with the Echo Button as a reference:


Caption: Top left- BroadLink, Top middle- Flic, Top Right- YoLink, Bottom- Amazon Echo


Flic Buttons

The Flic buttons have been around for several years, but only recently have started supporting Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and SmartThings. They offer 3 “push” functions, Click, Double-click, and Hold that are all supported by Alexa Routines. These are individual buttons that are Bluetooth connected to the Flic hub or a smartphone.


BroadLink Smart Button

Although they make several Smart Home products, this is their first button product to interface with Alexa Routines. Their pad has 4 large buttons that appear as a “motion sensor” to Alexa Routines, but can only be used as a “click”


YoLink Flex Fob

The Flex Fob is a relatively small device containing 4 buttons that offers both Click and Hold functions.

As mentioned above, each of these devices requires a hub which adds to setup complexities. There are some 3rd party “button holders” available to make the buttons more manageable for those with dexterity issues.



The Shelly Button 1

It’s comparable in size to a SmartThings/Aeotec ZigBee button, but uses Wi-Fi and has a rechargeable battery. It lights up and shows up as a doorbell button in Alexa Routines


Caption: Shelly Button with AAA battery for size comparison



3D Printed Button Holder for Flic 2 Smart Button


Caption- Flic button holders



Caption- a small box to hold and label the buttons


On-Screen Buttons for Echo Show

These are all great, but is there a way to get on-screen buttons on my loved one’s Echo Show

Yes, there is.

If you feel that your loved one will be able to touch buttons on the Echo Show screen, there is an Accessibility feature called “Tap to Alexa”. It’s under Settings- Accessibility


Here is a video of “Tap to Alexa”



It puts a small button on the screen that she would tap to get a list of on-screen buttons that you can configure to make Alexa Calls.

The button can do almost anything that you can speak to Alexa as a command.

For example, “Alexa, call Frank”




Learn More



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