Voice Control

Although automating your home is the ultimate goal, there will always be some times that you need to control your smart devices manually. For this, voice control is often the easiest way to go.

Over the years we’ve added six 2nd generation Echo Dots in various places throughout our house:

  1. Living Room
  2. Anthony’s Office
  3. Master Bedroom
  4. Carissa’s Office
  5. Guest Room
  6. Nursery/Willa’s Room

Probably 90% of the time we ask Alexa to turn on/off the lights in whatever room we’re in. Sometimes we use the Echo Dots to ask for the weather, time, or a general question. And rarely do we use Alexa for anything else like playing music, setting a timer, reading books, or adding items to our shopping lists but they can of course.

In fact, in our guest room we have a sign with suggestions on different things you can ask Alexa to do (as well as our guest wifi network login info).

Unlike the rest of our home automation, we don’t use Samsung SmartThings for this integration. We found that connecting Philips Hue directly to the Amazon Alexa app works more reliably and quicker.

So anytime we add a new Philips Hue lights to our home, (after adding in the Hue app) we open up the Amazon Alexa app and it locates the new device right away, then we sort it into the proper “group” (room). This allows us to walk into a room and say “turn on the lights” and it has the awareness to turn on the lights that are in the same group as the device.

There’s not really much more to the voice control portion of our home automation – no hub needed specifically for Alexa, just an app and a few devices scattered around the house.

It’s also incredibly easy to add additional Echo Dots as our home grows. For example we just added a new Echo Dot to the nursery! Just plug it in, open the Amazon Alexa app, and go to Devices and click +. From there it guides you through the few steps and voila! Your house is now setup to respond to your voice.

Have you played around with Voice Control as part of your home automation? I hear that Google Home has a great product in comparison, we would love to hear your thoughts on whatever you have!

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