How to Make Your Home Smart with Alexa

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How to make your home smart with Alexa

A Smart Home is no doubt the future of the world. Everything is going to get into the control of our voice commands, gestures, and smart controls. Life is going to drastically change with the help of smart technologies, and everything is all set to get into the comfort zone.

Years back, the concept of the smart home looked like a difficult thing, however with the advent of outstanding technologies like Amazon Alexa, we are totally sure that the world is not ready to turn into the smart age. 

Before now, Alexa was just a speech assistant that was embedded in multi-devices and products, but the Amazon Echo has changed everything.

It’s quite easy to make your home smart using Alexa. There are some additional devices apart from the echo that you need, but that’s not so costly. But what smart devices i.e. bulb, switch regulator, and other devices you will be needed for that? And how will you set your home for a smart home experience?

Worries not; everything you need to build the best smart home is added in this guide. Plus, we’ve provided you all information you need to know, what to purchase and how to make a proper smart home.

Which Echo Should You Buy?

You might be thinking that why to choose an Echo?

Actually, there are different types of Echo models, and all have different specialties. But Alexa is available in all of them. The models are Echo Dot, the Second-Generation Echo, and all other third-party Alexa speakers, like the Sonos One for example.

By Sonos Smart Speaker

Except for some differences, they are all same. Here’s all you need to know about these models.

Compare Echo Devices Available on Amazon

Price From: $17.49 From: $29.99 From:  From: $74.99 From: $169.99
Ratings 4.3 out of 5 stars (13,234) 4.7 out of 5 stars (459,553) 4.7 out of 5 stars (61,518) 4.7 out of 5 stars (61,518) 4.5 out of 5 stars (7,148)
Alexa built in check mark check mark check mark check mark check mark
Speakers 0.6″ mini speaker 1.6″ speaker 0.8″ tweeter and 3″ woofer 0.8″ tweeter and 3″ woofer 1″ tweeter, three 2″ mid-range speakers, and 5.25″ woofer
Line in/out 3.5 mm line out 3.5 mm line out 3.5 mm line in/out 3.5 mm line in/out 3.5 mm or mini-optical Toslink line in
Dolby technology     Dolby audio Dolby audio Dolby Atmos
Built-in Zigbee smart home hub       check mark check mark
LED clock display   Featured on Echo Dot with clock    

Amazon Echo Show, Echo Show 5 and Echo Spot

These Amazon devices have a featured display that provides you more features for smart home, as they can display video from connected cameras. The devices also provide you with touch controls for devices, i.e., switching off the lights without using your voice.

Amazon Echo Plus

Buy From Amazon

This Amazon Echo has a Zigbee controller built-in, which means you can handle some devices without connecting a separate hub or using another app.

The Echo Plus has a good sound quality and with the ZigBee, the controller is quite easy to control your smart home with your voice commands. The Echo Plus also has a temperature sensor – Bonus features.

Whether you like a smart home or not, the Echo Plus still has so many facilities for you. It has boosted music and answers whatever you want. Also, it supports many libraries of Spotify of Amazon Music and so forth.

Apart from music, Alexa is a great source of entertainment. It is an intelligent AI assistant that’s active all the time, not only tit provide you useful information like time, weather, news, but also the facts and information.

Buy Amazon Echo Plus

Amazon Echo Show 5

Buy From Amazon

The Amazon Echo 5 is the trending and popular line of Amazon products that focuses to provide us all the best features of Alexa. Its voice-activated software listens to your commands and responds to you in a quick time.

Whatever you want, a weather forecast, time, news, your favorite songs, who is the richest man, turning the lights off, and the AC ON, finding the best recipe for Apple pie; everything is on your voice commands.

The Amazon Echo 5 gives both sound and video to the communication domain. With playing music or reading the information, you can view video content on the 5.5inches LCD touchscreen.

It supports Wi-fi, USB, 1MP camera (720p HD video), and many more things.

Buy Amazon Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Spot (Smart Alarm Clock)

Buy From Amazon

Amazon Echo Dot is one of the popular smart speakers with fabric design. It has around an interesting structure that fits perfectly into small places. It has improved sound quality, voice control for music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, Apple Music, and so forth.

Play music, answer queries, read the news, know the weather, set alarms, control home devices; do all this with the smart Echo Dot! With Echo Dot, you can call anyone, make announcements all in your home.

With the help of Alexa, you can gain thousands of smart features like fitness, playing games and so many other fun things.

Buy Amazon Echo Spot

How to Set up your smart home devices for Alexa

Before you continue or do anything, it is recommended to set up the smart home devices that you have. Smart lights, heating machines, cameras, plugs, and other devices need to set up before you do anything with Alexa.

Generally, you need to follow the instructions of the manufacturer to get those smart devices working. This mainly involves plugging it in, connecting a hub with the router, installing the app, searching for the device, and typing a passcode.

There are a number of devices that support Alexa, here’s a top list of some of the cool Alexa supported smart home options.

Smart lighting

Smart heating

Connected cameras

Also Check:
Best Motion Activation Cameras For Home

Smart plugs

Is it important to use these products?

It’s an important question that is it necessary to use these mentioned products or you can go with some others? Well, the answer is both YES and NO. Because of the smart product, you are going to use that must be able to compatible with Alexa, otherwise, there’s no choice for such products.

However, we recommend you use a branded product because they last longer and you can control your home more efficiently using them.

What is Zigbee in the Amazon Echo Plus?

Zigbee is a wireless technology made to fulfill the needs of wireless IoT networks. It is embedded in several of smart home devices and is the standard in Philips Hue.

The Zigbee controller in the Amazon Echo Plus will help you configure a smart home device without the need to go with the manufacturer procedures. Since Echo Plus can directly communicate to that device, it will recognize it and give some controls without the need for the hub or an app for the device.

The best thing is, Zigbee is also supported for cheaper and basic devices i.e. white bulbs.

How to connect to your smart home using Alexa Skills

Alexa’s skills are voice-supported Alexa capabilities. You can add skills to your Amazon Echo to bring products to life.

You can also call Skills as apps, but because most people only interact by voice, they’re not apps that you can see. Generally, skills inform Alexa that what the device is looking for and what it can do.

To find Amazon skills, you can ask Alexa to search directly: “Alexa, enable the Philips Hue Bulb Skill” i.e., or easier is to just use the Alexa app on your phone.

  • Open the Alexa app
  • Move to the hamburger menu situated in the top left-hand corner
  • Choose Skills from the menu
  • Open the “Smart Home” category, or either search for the manufacturer you want, e.g. Hue, Hive, Nest
  • When you have found the Skill that you need, press enable

When you have enabled the skill, you will have to enter your account details for that device. The information you will type will be for the account you used when you configured those devices. i.e. when enabling Nest, you will use your My Nest ID.

When you are done with enabling your Skills, it is important to read through those details in case there are any important statements you will need to use in the future. For example, you may have to speak “Ask Hue to Turn Off Bulb” to get the answer you want.

Alexa, scan for devices

This is the crucial final step of the process. All because after setting up your smart home devices and telling Alexa what they are, you can then search for them.

This is basically a scan that the Amazon Echo and Alexa do to catch those devices in your place. This his important step and takes a few of your seconds, after which Alexa will notify you that it has found these devices. i.e.

  • Alexa search for the devices
  • Alexa scan for the devices

That’s all you needed to do! Alexa will be now able to interact with those devices using your voice commands through any of your echo devices and through the Echo smartphone App

If you often add a new device, another Hive device for temperature control for example – then you don’t need to enable the skill again, you can simply scan it will be detected in a short time.

How to manage your Amazon Alexa Smart Home

Configuring the device is another thing, the most interesting thing in the smart home is to manage and uses the devices.

The Alexa app provides a number of smart home controls, with its own different app

  • Open the Alexa app
  • Select the hamburger menu in the top
  • Hit the smart home

Now you can view all your devices that Alexa has information about. Often, you may find duplicates also, if there as a skill modification or if you changed the setup a little bit.

Learn To rename Amazon Alexa Smart Home devices

Renaming the name of your devices gives you a free hand of personalization and you can make controls more interesting and simpler.

  • Start Alexa app, open the hamburger menu in the top
  • touch smart home
  • Under the devices tab
  • Tap the device you want to rename
  • The top left-hand corner, hit the ‘edit’ option
  • Now in the next page, you’ll see the edit option

It’s all up to you, as you can change the device name to any of your favorite names. i.e. “Garage bulb”, “Lounge fan” etc.

The Bottom Line

The Amazon Alexa is no doubt an outstanding device to make the dream of Smart Home true. It is all you need to step into the world of smart life by making everything dependent on the technologies.

What’s more, the other products i.e. smart bulbs, smart light, smart fan, etc. are the core part of a smart home so you should also not ignore them as with them it is not truly possible to make your home smart whether you have Alexa.

To the end, we hope you learn a lot and gained the appropriate information to build your iconic smart hone and you are almost ready to implement them in your home from now.

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