The best devices to pair and connect with Amazon Alexa

Since Alexa entered homes last year, we’ve been asking her a variety of questions such as checking the news and weather, playing our favourite music as well as setting alarms and making shopping lists.

If you’re looking to step things up a notch and convert your house into a smart home then you should definitely take advantage of the other great things Alexa has to offer! Controlling the lights, heating and television are just a handful of exciting things you can do.

The Echo alone can’t control devices, for that you need a gadget such as a TP-Link smart plug or Belkin WeMo and connect this to your Amazon Echo or Amazon Dot.

The Belkin WeMo and TP-Link are smart plugs which you can use on all devices around the house.

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You connect the Echo to your internet and everything you say after the keyword ‘Alexa’ is sent to Amazon servers to be crunched! This server can communicate with other servers you have linked IOT devices to in your home.

How does Amazon Echo turn on lights?

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Philips Hue works with the Amazon Echo and Dot allowing you to use voice control to regulate your home lighting. Once set up you can ask Alexa to turn on the lights when you arrive home or off when you’re leaving.

You’ll need to purchase a Philips Hue starter kit which includes smart light bulbs and a bridge. You then attach the Hue bulbs to your existing sockets, turn on the bridge and connect it through the Alexa app.

How can I control my TV with Alexa?

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You’ll need a Logitech Harmony Hub to do this.

The Harmony Hub turns your phone or tablet into a universal remote allowing you to control your smart home devices, additionally the hub works with Alexa which you can pair with the TV for instance.

“Alexa, tell Harmony to turn on/off the TV”

“Alexa, tell Harmony to turn up/ down the volume”

“Alexa, tell Harmony to turn on MTV” (or the name of the channel that you’ve programmed as a “favourite”)

“Alexa, tell Harmony to channel up/down”

“Alexa, tell Harmony to mute/unmute”

“Alexa, tell Harmony to play/ pause/ stop”

How can I control my heating with Alexa?

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Nest Thermostat and Hive Heating both work in conjunction with Alexa, firstly you’ll need to purchase one of these gadgets to get started.

Then you need to ensure the Nest or Hive skill is enabled within the Alexa app so you can connect to it. Make life easier by using your voice to interact with your Nest/Hive Thermostat.

Assuming your thermostat name is ‘Hive’ or ‘Nest’ here’s some examples of things you can say to Alexa to control your Thermostat:

“Alexa, turn (Nest/Hive) up”

“Alexa, turn (Nest/Hive) down”

“Alexa, what’s the temperature?”

“Alexa, set the (Nest/Hive) temperature to 20 degrees”

“Alexa, lower/raise the (Nest/Hive) temperature by 2 degrees”

Solve those annoying life problems…

Fed up of your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher beeping each time it finishes a cycle?

Thanks to Alexa this needn’t be an irritating issue anymore!

Set up a Belkin WeMo or TP-Link Smart plug to those household appliances you wish to silence from beeping.

Take things a step further and control the lights in your fish tank or the kettle!

“Alexa, turn on the fish tank”

“Alexa, turn on the kettle”

By the time you crawl out of bed in the morning your kettle has already boiled so you can make an instant cup of tea with no waiting around.

The possibilities are endless! Comment below to let us know what devices you’ve paired with Alexa, we’d love to hear from you.


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