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





Summer's here! Throw a party with ease with Z-Wave

Summer's here! Throw a party with ease with Z-Wave

Smart home gear is all about convenience. It saves you time and money and keeps you safe – but it's summer! Time to kick back and relax. So let smart home tech help you do that for all your outdoor entertaining.

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

Remote Home Security - ADT Pulse

FIBARO Home Automation System




Gifts for Grads

Gifts for Grads

With June right around the corner, college graduation season is finally here. College students dedicate four (or more!) years to all-night studying sessions, test taking, and staying organized so they can walk across that stage and snag their diploma. Sure, you could give students a gift card or some cash but what about a smart home gift that’s as unique as it is practical? As students move onto bigger and better, that often means moving out of shared dorms or apartments and into their own place. Help the student in your life start post-grad living with a breeze with the convenience of Z-Wave smart home gear.

Work from Home? Make Your Home Office Work for You with Connected Tech

Work from Home? Make Your Home Office Work for You with Connected Tech

Working from home can be both challenging and rewarding, depending on your working style. Distractions around the home or loud outside noises can all stand as hurdles when you're trying to buckle down and churn out work.

GE Z-Wave Products Overview by Jasco

Before Driving to Cabin AT&T Digital Life




Smarten Up Your Home for Home Safety Month

Smarten Up Your Home for Home Safety Month

For many, home safety and security are intertwined. Seeking peace of mind, homeowners often look for smart home solutions that protect not only their most cherished valuables, but also the home itself and everyone in it.

Let Your Smart Home Whip You Into Shape

Let Your Smart Home Whip You Into Shape

If you're at all familiar with smart home technology, you're probably aware of some of the benefits: the enhanced comfort and energy savings, the increased security, the undeniable convenience. But did you know that a smart home can also improve your health and help you get in shape?

How A Smart Home Can Help Your Back-to-School Routine

Mountain Grove News Journal

So how can a smart home improve your everyday life? For starters, they are surprisingly easy to use, make life more efficient and add a comforting layer of security to your family's home.

Week 2: Paul's Smart Home Diary

Wareable

For while this diary is going to be all about the latest and greatest smart home tech – an area I consider myself at least mildly authoritative on – getting that tech connected and playing nicely is a different beast entirely.

What's hot in new homes for 2017: Brighter, cleaner, smarter, greener

WRAL

"The Z-Wave protocol lets you turn on lights from your phone before you get home or open and close a garage door to take a delivery," says Stephanie Miller, Sales Manager for Drees Homes.

The Connected Home: How to Get Started

ABC News

The connected home is no longer the sci-fi dream it once was -- it's now becoming a reality in many homes.

What's New

6 Back to School Basics for your Smart Home

ElectronicHouse

By adding a few pieces of technology to your home, you can ensure that your children, your house, and your belongings are safe, everyone gets out the door on time, and that after-school chores are handled promptly.

A Functional Smart Home Relies on the Little Things

TopTenReviews

You should look for accessories that not only work with your chosen DIY home automation system, but also with other types of systems. This is a good way to keep you options open in case you choose a different system in the future. Buying Z-Wave accessories, like the ones we highlight below, is a good way to accomplish this

The Best Smart Home Automation Hubs of 2017

Voltimum

Icontrol Networks Piper Nv - this multifaceted device also controls and interacts with various Z-Wave home automation devices, including smart switches and dimmers, door and window sensors, and range extenders.

Top 10 gadgets for your smart home: Bediator, dish cleaner, robotic vacuum cleaner, wireless sensor, others

International Business Times

Z-Wave wireless sensor: This gadget is perfect for maintaining safety; it monitors the doors and windows and sends out an alarm via text message and e-mail if any suspicious and intrusive activities are detected.