Z-Wave Smart Home Blog

Getting started with Echo + smart home

Getting started with Echo + smart home

If you're reading this blog, my bet is that you have both an Amazon Echo product – either an Echo or it's smaller sister, the Echo Dot – and some smart home gear you'd like to connect and control via Alexa.

If you're not there yet, go back and read our blog on how you can get started with Z-Wave smart home gear and Amazon Echo.

We'll go through the setup in the Amazon Echo app, which is pretty straightforward, and it will allow you to be on your way to controlling your smart home devices with only your voice!

Step one:

Download the Amazon Echo app and sign into your Amazon account in the app. The app doesn't need to be used much beyond for set up and adding "Skills" (more on that in a bit), but you still want to have it on your phone.

Step two:

After you sign in, click the three lines on the upper left corner to pull up the full menu, and click "smart home" to get started with your integration.

Step three:

The first part will show you "Your Groups" which is where you can pull all your devices together by room or by desired action and give them a name. This comes in handy when you want to say "Alexa, turn off the living room (as the lights in my living room are all collectively called in this group)" instead of individually turning each light off in the room.

Step four:

The next thing you see on the screen is "Smart Home Skills" – a skill is Echo lingo for an integration or connection your Echo has with an outside device or service. This is where you'll want to enable the "skill" for whatever brand of products you have. With Z-Wave, you only have to enable the "skill" for your hub, the rest of the devices (lights, thermostats, locks) are controlled through there. In my case, I have a SmartThings hub, so I only had to enable that skill to get everything working.

Step five:

Continue to scroll on the screen and you'll see the "discover devices" button. Once you have all your smart home gear set up, you can hit this button and Alexa will go into discovery mode to find each individual smart device you have connected. You can click them and change the name – remember to name the devices something easy to say, you'll have to call the device this out loud to Alexa when you want her to take action.

Step six:

Control your devices! If you have dimmable smart bulbs, for example, you can say "Alexa turn on the living room lamp" but you can also ask her to set the lamp between 0 and 100 to create a better ambiance in the room. I like to set the living room to 10% first thing in the morning as it gives me some light with my coffee without waking me up too fast.

Whenever you add more devices to your home, just revisit these steps to get them connected to your Echo ecosystem. And you only have to do this one time – even if you add more Echo Dots to your home, the information is in the cloud and accessible on the app, so you don't have to setup every device. When you go to speak a command, the Echo device that is closest to you will respond.

Enjoy your new voice assistant! And remember, you don't have to say please, although I'm sure deep down Alexa appreciates it.

Tags

voice control, Amazon Echo, how-to, smart lights, smart thermostats, smart locks, SmartThings





Weekend DIY Projects for a Smart(er) Home with Z-Wave

Weekend DIY Projects for a Smart(er) Home with Z-Wave

Whether you've dabbled in home automation or consider yourself a "DIY weekend warrior" when it comes to home technology, some smart home projects may seem like an intimidating task at first.

Smart Home and Home Automation: What's The Difference?

Smart Home and Home Automation: What's The Difference?

Oftentimes you'll see the terms "smart home" and "home automation" used interchangeably, which may lead you to wonder why there are so many terms for the same concept

Nexia Home Intelligence Overview

Samsung's 2016 smart TVs control your gear




Lower your homeowner's insurance with an investment in Z-Wave smart home gear

Lower your homeowner's insurance with an investment in Z-Wave smart home gear

You might already know ways that a Z-Wave smart home system can save you money: smart thermostats that only heat and cool your home when it needs it; smart dimmers that reduce the energy consumption of your lights

Smart Home Basic Starter Kit

Smart Home Basic Starter Kit

With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, you're no doubt starting to look at your house with a mind toward some basic repairs or home improvement. Which makes it the perfect time to start adding some smart home enhancements to your abode, as well. Not to worry – upgrading your home with some smart Z-Wave technology is easy.

FIBARO Smoke Sensor

Jasco Z-Wave In-Wall Smart Switch




Smart Home Gifts for Every Kind of Dad

Smart Home Gifts for Every Kind of Dad

Chances are the dad in your life has had his share of standard, run of the mill Father’s Day presents like ties, power tools and shaving kits. A poll from Ebates found that electronics are the most wished-for purchase by fathers

Z-Wave to the Rescue: Prevent Water Damage

Z-Wave to the Rescue: Prevent Water Damage

Whether your winters are frozen over or soggy and gloomy, the end of winter means one thing for most of us: a greater risk of water damage. Whether it's frozen pipes that have burst, or spring rains that bring flooding, or drainage systems that are clogged, water in the home is a real issue in the spring. Either way, early detection can make all the difference.

Aeon Labs Aeotec Water Sensor review

CNET

So if you have a Z-Wave bridging smart hub, and want to monitor water levels in your sump pump, then the Aeotec Sensor is a great option.

Decorate Your Home With These 7 Stylish Security Cameras

MakeUseOf

With live and recorded video, instant mobile alerts, Z-Wave home automation and an extensive list of environmental sensors, Piper nv is an excellent choice for a home or office.

Smarthome 101: How to make your home smarter

TechnoBuffalo

We hear an awful lot about smart homes these days. We know about smartphones, smart watches, smart appliances, smart cars, and more. As these separate devices converge around the places we're in the most, the internet of things rises up around us.

Best Smart Locks of 2016

Tom's Guide

Of all the different types of smart home products — lights, thermostats and cameras, to name a few — smart door locks are among the most popular. Going beyond the simple key, these locks can be operated using your smartphone, and can be connected to a larger smart home system to make your life easier.

What's New

Three of the Best Uses for Smart Home Technology

House O Matic

Smart home technology is still shiny and new, and people are adapting to it more and more every day.

4 Smart Home Technologies That Can Reduce Your Electricity Bills

Electronic House

Thankfully, smart home technologies can help with the turning off of lights, as well as other habits that can drive up your energy bills.

What is a Smart Home?

House-o-Matic

Of the key drivers of smart homes is its ability to offer money and energy saving options. This is individually rewarding, but it is also good for the planet. As more and more benefits are offered to home and business owners that find ways to reserve the limited resources of Earth, smart home technology stands out as a green solution.

Why Smart Homes Will Be a Million Times Better Than 'The Jetsons'

Forbes

A smart, or connected, home is defined as one where the lights, heating/ventilation/air-conditioning (HVAC), security alarm and other household devices can be automated and remotely controlled by a smartphone, tablet or computer. The key drivers in smart home adoption are home security, energy efficiency, entertainment, convenience/productivity, connectivity and health monitoring.