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Why is My Echo Dot Flashing Blue?

Posted by Robert Hayes on May 29, 2019

If you have an Echo Dot then you know that the light ring on the top of your device is a rather charming interface decision. In conjunction with the Alexa voice interface, the ring gives the Dot a familiar, even “homey” feel. It’s the one element of the Dot’s design that has survived through multiple generations of the product’s evolution and development, and it is definitely a signature feature of the home automation tool.

We usually see the light ring displaying a blue color, when it’s activated at all. (The Dot is usually dark, even when it is doing something for us like playing music.) However, there are actually several color and action combinations that the Dot displays, depending on what’s going on and what message it is trying to convey. The color and flash pattern of the light ring is actually a very important part of the Dot interface, and it’s the only non-verbal way the device has of talking with us, so it’s useful to know what the various combinations mean. In this article I will explain all the different meanings of the Dot’s light pattern.

What the Colors Mean

The Echo Dot can communicate with words, of course, but the color and pattern combinations are used as a shortcut. The Echo Dot can produce a steady light, flashes or pulses, a circular rotating light, and can even light up just one part of the ring. Each of these things has its own unique meaning. Here’s the “official” list of color combinations and their meanings.

No Lights

Either the Echo Dot is waiting for your next instruction, or it’s unplugged.

Solid Blue Ring, Spinning Cyan Ring

The Echo Dot is booting up.

Solid Blue Ring, Cyan Arc

The Echo Dot is listening to someone’s instructions; the cyan arc indicate which way the Dot thinks the person is speaking from.

Pulsating Blue and Cyan Ring

The Echo Dot is actively responding to commands.

Orange Arc Rotating Clockwise

The Echo Dot is trying to connect to a wireless network.

Solid Red Ring

You have turned the microphone off and the Echo Dot is not responding to commands.

Pulsing Yellow Ring

Your Dot has notifications waiting for you. This is the 21st century equivalent of a blinking light on the answering machine.

Pulsing Green Ring

You are receiving a call.

Green Arc Rotating Counter-Clockwise

You are in an active call.

White Arc

You are adjusting the volume on your Echo Dot.

Pulsing Purple Ring

An error occurred during your Dot’s setup and you need to set it up again.

 

Single Purple Flash

Alexa is in Do Not Disturb mode, and you have just finished an interaction with your Dot.

Spinning White Arc

Alexa is in Away Mode.

Voice command and feedback is the neatest feature of Alexa but you do need to spend a little time setting it up before you can get the most out of it.

Setting up your Echo Dot for voice commands

When you first set up your Echo Dot, you need to create a voice profile in order for Alexa to fully understand you. This is particularly important if you have an accent of any kind as it can take a little time for the app to be able to translate your speech patterns into usable commands. (If you don’t have much of an accent, Alexa will often be able to work with your voice right out of the box.)

The latest generation of Echo Dot devices have a good level of understanding built in. If you say one of the many established commands, chances are Alexa will understand and process your request. I still find it useful to set up a voice profile though. Here’s how.

  1. Open the Alexa app and select Settings.
  2. Select Accounts and then your Voice.
  3. Select Begin to start training Alexa to your voice.
  4. Follow Alexa’s verbal guide to repeat words and train it to better recognize your wishes.

If you already use Alexa but want to refine how it responds to your voice you can perform Voice Training. This can be useful if you found yourself using your ‘telephone voice’ when first talking to your Echo Dot. Telephone voice is where you speak slower and more clearly than usual and where you enunciate every syllable. This is likely not your normal speech pattern but Alexa will assume it is.

A little retraining can allow you to talk normally.

  1. Open the Alexa app and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Voice Training and select the option.
  3. Select the Alexa device you want to train. Unless you have multiple Echos, your Echo Dot should be the only option.
  4. Follow the guide to repeat 25 commands. Say them aloud for Alexa to learn your speech pattern.

Remember to talk normally if you’re doing Voice Training. You want your Echo Dot to respond to you as you normally talk.

Have any interesting insights into getting more out of your Echo Dot? Share them with us in the comments, please!

We’ve got more resources for using your Echo Dot.

Need to give your Dot a fresh start? Here’s our guide to resetting your Echo Dot.

Trouble with registering your Dot? Here’s our walkthrough to fixing registration errors on your Echo Dot.

Want to cross the streams? Here’s how to listen to Apple Music on your Echo Dot.

The Dot has a pretty good speaker, but if you’d like, we’ve got a tutorial on setting up a Bluetooth speaker with your Echo Dot.

Want to make phone calls with your dot? Here’s our guide to setting up your Echo Dot for phone calls.

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