Merely owning an Amazon Echo could be the impetus you need to turn your regular home into a smart home.
Indeed, it would almost be a waste to simply use it as a regular Bluetooth speaker or ask it about it tomorrow's weather. Apple's Siri can already do that.
More and more smart-home and connected-device companies are adding support for Amazon's smart AI assistant, called Alexa, so you can control almost anything that uses electricity in your home using your voice.
All you need to add Alexa and voice control to your home is Amazon's $45 Echo Dot. If you need a portable Bluetooth speaker, you can check out the $100 Amazon Tap, which comes with Alexa, and the original Echo is also $100, but it needs a wired connection to a power outlet.
Check out all the things you can control with your voice with Amazon's Alexa:
Smart Home hubs compatible with Alexa.
If you already own a smart hub for your smart home, it could be compatible with Amazon's Echo and Alexa.
Many smart home devices normally connect to a central hub device that lets you control what they do with an app or website.
Some of the biggest names in smart home hubs are compatible with Alexa in Amazon's Echo, which means you can control any device connected those hubs with your voice. Those names include:
- Samsung SmartThings
- Securifi Almond
Smart light bulbs.
You don't need to rewire your home to control your lights by voice with Alexa. You simply need to buy smart LED bulbs that can connect to WiFi or a smart hub that's compatible with Amazon's Echo.
With Alexa and your voice, you can turn the bulbs on or off. If your smart bulbs are dimmable, you can also use your voice to set their brightness, and even change their color if the bulbs you bought supports colors!
You can find a bunch of smart light bulbs that will pair with Amazon's Echo and Alexa here. (Note: Some of the smart bulbs can work directly with Alexa, and others need a smart home hub to work with Alexa.)
The same goes for fixed lights.
For fixed lighting, like the ceiling lights above, you can get smart floodlight bulbs (or whatever type of bulb fits) that connect to your smart home hub or WiFi.
You can find a bunch of smart light bulbs that will pair with Amazon's Echo and Alexa here.(Note: Some of the smart bulbs can work directly with Alexa, and others need a smart home hub to work with Alexa.)
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