If you’ve been considering getting a smart voice assistant to control all your other smart home gadgets but aren’t quite sure which system to get, today we take a look at one of the most popular smart home ecosystems on the market to try and answer the question: What works with Alexa? The purpose of this article is to give you a better idea of the various smart home devices that Alexa is compatible with and can help you to control. But first, we must tell you how you can get Alexa in your home.
Where is Alexa?
The smart voice assistant Alexa resides in a small selection of products from Amazon known as the Amazon Echo and its variations. These include the Amazon Echo Plus, the Amazon Echo Dot, and the Amazon Echo Spot. In other words, you can acquire your very own Alexa voice assistant simply by getting one of these useful devices. Pictured at right is the Amazon Echo Plus, which, in addition to connecting to the cloud-based Alexa voice service, can also play you your favourite music, set an alarm or reminder for you, make a phone call, give you the local weather forecast, give you the current conversion rates among dozens of different national currencies, update you on the latest hockey scores, answer limitless queries, order you a pizza, check or update your calendar, provide a traffic report, and complete numerous other tasks. But more importantly (at least for our purposes here today), the Echo Plus and its brethren can control your other smart home devices. In fact, the list of what the Amazon Echo family can do is practically limitless already, and its list of capabilities grows stronger and more impressive with each passing day. In the remainder of this article, we’ll specifically look at 3 current (and popular) smart home devices that the Amazon Echo and Alexa can control.
What Works with Alexa?
Among the many smart home items that are compatible with Alexa, you’ll find smart lighting sets like the Philips Hue White & Colour A19 Starter Kit. This particular kit offers easy installation and convenient connectivity via the Philips Hue App, which is compatible with a wide variety of iOS and Android based smart devices. Included in the kit are 1 bridge modem, 1 power adapter, and 4 Philips Hue A19 smart LED lightbulbs. These bulbs can glow in every possible shade of white light, as well as every other colour in the visible spectrum. Now that’s impressive! Equally impressive is the fact that each Philips Hue lightbulb features a working lifespan of 25,000 hours, meaning it’ll be a looong time before you need to replace these lights! And of course, even though you can control them with your smart phone and the Philips Hue App, you won’t need to rely on the app at all with Alexa in your home.
Another popular smart home product that gets along great with Alexa is the Nest Wi-Fi Smart Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation. This helpful and easy to install device can not only keep you comfortable in your home even when you don’t ask it to by learning your heating and cooling (as well as your at home and away from home) habits and adjusting its output accordingly, but it also has the ability to reduce your ongoing power bill by as much as 20% by programming itself to optimize your energy output. It does so by using the data it collects over time (a few months to a year) to learn your heating and cooling preferences.
Other features of the Nest Learning Thermostat include remote monitoring (which allows you to check your energy usage history via the Nest App) and weather aware (in which Nest monitors the local weather conditions in your area to help it figure out how the weather and temperature outside is affecting your home’s heating and cooling requirements). Of course, the entire point of today’s article is that the Nest Thermostat now also works with Alexa, meaning you can say something like “Alexa, increase the temperature in this room by 5 degrees” on a really cold day, and your request will be met immediately. How cool (or hot, as the case may be) is that?
Finally, the third product I want to mention today that happily works with Alexa is the Haiku L Series Smart Ceiling Fan.
This attractive fan has a number of fine features on its own without even mentioning its ability to work with Alexa. For example, it features a near-noiseless custom motor that’s ENERGY STAR approved (for meeting or exceeding the standards of efficient operation), it has built-in LED (bulb-less) lighting with the ability to produce 988 lumens of lovely light output while using only a fraction of the energy of a traditional incandescent or CFL lightbulb, and it has beautifully sculpted (and hand-balanced) airfoils that were designed to increase its airflow enough to lower the temperature in the room by as much as 6 degrees. What a great way to cool your home on those hot Summer days! But now you needn’t mess with your smart phone (and the Haiku Home App) to change your fan’s speed or adjust its light output. Merely ask Alexa to make the adjustments for you, and all will be well, because the Haiku L Series Smart Ceiling Fan is just another one of the many smart home products that so conveniently works with Alexa.
The products discussed above in no way constitute a full and comprehensive list of the current smart home devices available at Best Buy that work in cooperation with Alexa. A few more examples include the ZEEQ Smart Pillow, the TP-LINK Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, and the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock Pro + Connect. What this means is that the ways in which you can control your home with Alexa are many and varied, and the list is growing longer every day. What will you control with Alexa in your smart home?
If you’d like to give your home the Alexa advantage, visit Best Buy Canada today for this and all your other Smart Home needs!