How to Set Up a Smart Home with Alexa

How to Set Up a Smart Home with Alexa

Would you like to make your home more innovative, using your voice to give several commands? Do you want to automate the switches in your home and control them hands-free? If yes, this article will walk you through how to set up a smart home with Alexa, as hiring a professional is usually costly.

Alexa can play your favorite songs, tell the weather, read the news, turn on/off the lights in your home, operate your curtains, etc. It automates several fixtures and appliances in your home.

Here is a list of some other things you can do with Alexa:

  • Turn off/on your air conditioning units
  • Lock/unlock your doors
  • Turn on/off the water heater
  • Operate your robotic vacuum cleaner
  • Control your home speakers
  • Turn on your TV and switch to any station, and many more.

Smart homes are more popular now and many homeowners have started to integrate home automation systems via Alexa, a virtual assistant technology developed by Amazon. It improves the way of life of its users. You may also consider automating your home with Alexa due to its energy efficiency and capability of meeting your needs.

Alexa can control almost all smart devices in your home. Besides, you can extend its capabilities and functionality by installing more Skills, which is free of charge.

What Do I Need To Set Up a Smart Home with Alexa?

To make your home smart with Alexa, you must possess the following without any exceptions:

  • An Amazon account
  • Smart devices, such as a smart television, switches, thermostat, smart lock, smart speakers, smart plugs, a smart vacuum cleaner, etc.
  • An Alexa-enabled device. For example, an Amazon Echo.
Amazon Echo
  • The Amazon Alexa app installed on your Android smartphone or iPhone. Depending on which device you own, you can download the Alexa app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Alternatively, visit Amazon website to get the app at no cost.

After downloading the app, sign in with the same details as your Alexa developer account.

Having had access to all these, let’s now explore how to automate your home with Amazon Alexa.

Easy Steps to Set Up a Smart Home with Alexa

Follow the instructions below to make your home smart with Alexa:

  • Connect your smart devices. You will find instructions on how to do this on each device’s package.
  • Power the Alexa-enabled device.
  • Then say “Alexa, discover devices”.
  • Start adding the devices. You can add them through the Alexa mobile app by opening the app, selecting Devices, and tapping on the + button. Then tap on Add Device and follow the on-screen prompts.
How to set up a smart home with Alexa

How to Enable a Featured Routine on Alexa

An enjoyable way to use Amazon Alexa to automate your home is to Turn On Featured Routines, which are similar to templates. It allows you to do several things with only one voice command. For example, say “Alexa, its bedtime” for it to turn off the lights, TV, and play your favourite songs.

To enable Featured Routine, take the steps below one after the other:

  • Launch the Alexa app.
  • Tap on More from the lower navigation.
  • Select Routines and then tap on Featured.
How to Set Up a Smart Home with Alexa
  • Indicate a Featured Routine and tap on the Enable button.

How to Make Your Home Smarter with Alexa Hunches

You can also automate your home with Alexa Hunches. This feature enables you to get helpful suggestions and receive notifications about your connected smart devices.

For instance, Alexa can remind you to lock your door after entry if you have smart locks installed in your doors. If you tell Alexa that you are about to sleep, it can also ask to turn off the lights, depending on whether you use smart light fixtures in your home.

To know more about this fantastic feature, just say “Alexa, what are Hunches?”

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What are Some Cool Alexa Commands?

Here are some things you can say to command Alexa to do certain things for you:

Media-related voice commands for Alexa

  • “Alexa, wake me up to an ambient music at 5AM” – To request Alexa to wake you by playing an instrumental music
  • “Alexa, next,” – To ask Alexa to skip to the next track
  • “Alexa, restart” – To repeat a song currently playing
  • “Alexa, add this song” – Prompts Alexa to add a song to your playlist
  • “Alexa, play (artist name and song title) on (Music app name)” – To request Alexa to play a particular song for you
  • “Alexa, backward/fast-forward by 30 seconds” – To request Alexa to rewind or fast forward a song
  •  “Alexa, stop playing in five minutes” – To stop your speakers from playing music after the set time
  •  “Alexa, play some music” – Prompts Alexa to play songs at random
  • “Alexa, play the song that says (part of its lyrics) – To ask Alexa to play a song based on the lyrics you provided
  • “Alexa, play (genre) music” – Prompts Alexa to play songs of a specific genre
  •  “Alexa, I like this song” or “Alexa, thumbs down” – To express your satisfaction or dissatisfaction for songs on apps, such as Pandora, Audiomack, etc.

Time and date-related voice commands for Alexa

  • “Alexa, what’s the date?” – To ask Alexa for today’s date
  • “Alexa, when is Thanksgiving this year?” – To ask Alexa what date is Thanksgiving for the current year
  • “Alexa, how much time is left on my timer?” – To ask Alexa for the remaining time in your set timer
  • “Alexa, set a timer for 30 minutes” – Prompts Alexa to enable a timer that lasts for thirty minutes

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Alarm-related voice commands for Alexa

  • “Alexa, cancel my alarm” – To disable your home’s alarm.
  • “Alexa, snooze” – To stop the alarm temporarily to let you rest for a short while.
  • “Alexa, stop” – To cancel an alarm when it starts sounding
  • “Alexa, when’s my next alarm?” – Prompts Alexa to tell you the next alarm to sound

News and weather-related voice commands for Alexa

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” – Prompts Alexa to provide a quick overview of news and other contents
  • “Alexa, how’s the weather like this weekend?” – To ask Alexa about the weather forecast for the coming weekend
  • “Alexa, what’s the news?” – To ask Alexa to tell you today’s news
  • “Alexa, what’s the weather?” – To request Alexa for the current day’s atmospheric condition
  • “Alexa, what’s the traffic like?” – To prompt Alexa to tell you whether there is traffic in your routes

Reminder and To-Do related voice commands for Alexa

  • “Alexa, what’s on my shopping list?” – To request Alexa to narrate items you plan to shop for
  • “Alexa, create a to-do list” – Prompts Alexa to add a new to-do list for you
  • “Alexa, clear my shopping list” – Instructs Alexa to delete your shopping list
  • “Alexa, add call James to my to-do list” – Prompts Alexa to remind you to call James
  • “Alexa, add (item name) to my shopping list” – To request Alexa to include an item in the list of items you plan to shop next

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