The Amazon Echo along with the virtual assistant Alexa has made quiet inroads into our homes and suddenly we find it compatible with almost all categories of smart home devices including lighting, switches, dimmers and outlets, smart home hubs, locks, cameras, and home security, heating and cooling, automobiles, services, and more.
Third party integration is happening at such a frantic pace that it is hard to keep abreast with all the compatible smart home devices in each of the categories mentioned. This effectively means that you don’t really need an Echo to make the most of Alexa’s skills. Every other tech company is looking to link its devices to the versatile Alexa.
We have compiled below a list of some of the best products under each major smart home category that is Echo/Alexa compatible including Amazon’s own Alexa devices.
Amazon’s Alexa Devices
The Amazon Echo is a 9.25-inch Bluetooth speaker with a seven-piece microphone array which responds to the default “wake-word” Alexa with the provision of changing it to “Amazon”, “Echo” or “Computer” should the user choose to.
The device which is priced at $180 responds to your voice commands to control a rapidly increasing range of smart home products, pause or play music from your smartphone, Amazon Prime, or Spotify, let you know the weather or the time remaining in the completion of a task ordered earlier and even place an order for you with Amazon by simply listening to your voice.
Amazon Echo Show
The new addition “Amazon Echo Show” with a price tag of $230 kind of augments the “Amazon Echo” with the inclusion of a camera and touchscreen, making it possible to make video calls, watch Amazon Prime and YouTube videos, and make Amazon purchases and much more.
Amazon Echo Look
The fashion-friendly “Amazon Echo Look,” another recent addition to the Echo line-up is an Alexa enabled camera which serves as your very own fashion consultant. Alexa can be instructed to build your personal “ lookbook” with the help of photos and videos of your outfits which it captures.
It can be made to use machine learning to let you know which outfit looks good on you. Not only this, you can even ask for its suggestions before buying new clothes. At $200 with Amazon, it is not a bad buy at all.
Amazon Echo Dot
Priced at $49 the “Amazon Echo Dot” is the poor man’s version of Echo – an abridged version really. Standing just about 1.5 inches tall it is minus the top-of-the-line built-in speaker of the Echo.
While you can still talk to Alexa via a smaller inbuilt speaker for most of Alexa’s services, you will not be able to stream music. You can work around that problem, though, by connecting to existing speakers via Bluetooth or an audio-out jack.
The Amazon Tap is a portable battery-powered Bluetooth speaker incorporated with the core features of Echo. Unlike the Echo or the Echo Dot which is always listening, the Tap requires you to press its mic button to be able to speak to Alexa. An updated version, however, allows you to activate hands-free listening but you lose out on an hour of battery life at least.
With no LTE option available with Tap, you need a Wi-Fi connection to communicate with Alexa. You will have to use your smartphone as a hotspot if you wish to carry it around as a portable device.
Amazon Fire TV
While the Amazon Fire TV is an Alexa device it does not have the same Alexa features the makers have blessed Echo with, but there is still enough of Alexa built into it to control smart home products and utilize other Alexa features.
The difference is mainly in the way you communicate with the device. With the Fire TV there’s no permanent listening mode; instead, you need to turn your TV on and interact with Alexa via the Fire TV Remote – it can be seen as a blessing in disguise by privacy-conscious users. At $ 90 it is not a bad buy.
Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote
Priced at $50, the Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote is the most budget-friendly virtual assistant option. It boasts the same features and uses the same remote interface as the Fire TV Box.
Amazon has upgraded its shopping app for iPhone to include Alexa but with limited features as compared to Echo. However, it is all the time with you and is pretty handy when it comes to searching the store for products you may be interested in buying. There is no update, yet, on when Alexa will be made available on the app for the Android platform.
Ford Sync – Alexa, with the core features of Echo and some automobile-related ones, will be integrated with all Ford vehicles with the latest version of the Ford Sync infotainment system.
Automatic – The Automatic is a small device with Amazon’s Alexa integration that can be connected to the diagnostic port in your car for data such as fuel level, engine light codes and other driving data beamed straight to your smartphone via Bluetooth. In addition to fuel levels, you can ask Alexa about where you last parked the vehicle, or what distance you have driven over a defined period of time.
Garageio – WiFi enabled gadget, the Garageio can be connected to a maximum of three garage doors to remotely open or close them using your smartphone. With Alexa enabled devices you can do the same by simply asking the virtual assistant.
“If This, Then That” or IFTTT is a very handy service indeed and when connected to your Amazon Echo it serves as a tireless and versatile intermediary between you and a host of other products and services that are yet to be integrated with Alexa.
With the Echo integration, you can control your Spotify music with your voice – thanks to Alexa.
Capital One Bank
Capital One is the first bank to integrate Alexa enabling you to check your account balance, pay utility and other bills, and keep tabs on your spending – all you need to do is ask your VA Alexa.
Hailing an Uber service or checking the location of your Uber can now be done with your voice after the Uber-Alexa integration.
While the two tech giants may not see eye to eye most times, Amazon has integrated Alexa for Google Calendar support. Alexa can now be asked what’s on your calendar or be told to add an event to your calendar – how cool is that!
The Alexa-Dominoes integration allows you to order a pizza from whatever position you are in without moving a finger – just let Alexa know how you want your pizza.
Other services that are Alexa compatible area:
- USA TODAY Network
- Amazon Prime Music
Locks, Cameras, and Home Security
August Smart Lock (2nd Gen)
While the unlocking option is available with all Alexa-friendly smart locks, the second generation August Smart Lock is the only one that can even be locked by giving Alexa a PIN code to work with – a real clever safety feature.
Among all the other Alexa enabled security systems, Scout Alarm is the only one that is considered a “pure” security system that connects to Alexa. It allows you to arm and disarm the system and even call for help with your voice commands to Alexa.
Netgear Arlo Pro
One of the best outdoor security cameras available today, the Netgear Arlo Pro is compatible with the Amazon Echo Show. Live feeds from compatible security cameras can be viewed on its touch screen.
Ring Video Doorbells and Security Cameras
Similar to the Netgear Arlo cameras, live feeds from Ring doorbells and cameras can be also viewed on the Echo Show.
Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets
While smart plugs, switches, and outlets allow you to control lights, ceiling fans and even your garbage disposals, Alexa integration makes it possible to do the same things and more with voice commands. The products below give you that Alexa flexibility.
- Samsung SmartThings Outlet (via SmartThings Hub)
- Belkin WeMo Light Switch
- Belkin WeMo Switch
- Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
- iHome Smart Plug (via Wink Hub)
- Insteon Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets (via Insteon Hub)
- GE Z-Wave Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets (via SmartThings Hub)
- Leviton Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets (via SmartThings Hub or Wink Hub)
- Lutron Caséta Wireless Switches, Dimmers, and Remotes
- Evolve Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets (via SmartThings Hub)
- Enerwave Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets (via SmartThings Hub)
- D-Link WiFi Smart Plugs
- TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring
- TP-Link HS100 Smart Plug
Smart Home Hubs
There are still many smart home devices out there that are not equipped to communicate directly with Alexa and require a smart home hub to act as an intermediary for the integration. Here’s a list of some of these hubs.
- Samsung SmartThings Hub
- Wink Hubs
- Simple Control Simple Hub
- Almond Smart Home WiFi Routers
- Universal Devices ISY Hubs
- HomeSeer Home Controllers
- Insteon Hub
- Alarm.com Hub
- Vivint Hub
- Nexia Home Intelligence Bridge
Lighting is the first category of smart home devices to have integrated with Amazon Echo. Currently, there are countless switches, dimmers, small bulbs, and outlets that are Alexa-friendly. Here are some of the more popular ones.
- Philips Hue White Starter Kit
- Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit
- Philips Friends of Hue Lighting Bloom (via Hue Bridge)
- Philips Hue Go (via Hue Bridge)
- LIFX Smart Bulbs and Light Strip
- Cree Connected LED (via SmartThings Hub or Wink Hub)
- GE Link Bulb (via Wink Hub)
- TP-Link WiFi Smart Bulbs
- TCP Connected Smart Bulbs (via SmartThings Hub or Wink Hub)
- Osram Lightify Smart Bulb (via SmartThings Hub or Wink Hub)
Heating and Cooling
Alexa’s capabilities are continuing to reach out to more and more smart home device categories and thermostat control (Heating and Cooling) is also within its ambit now. Please find below a list of the leading Alexa-enabled thermostats.
- Honeywell Total Connect Comfort Thermostats (via SmartThings Hub)
- Honeywell Lyric Thermostat (via SmartThings Hub)
- Ecobee3 Smarter WiFi Thermostat
- Nest Learning Thermostat
- Haiku Home Ceiling Fans
- Keen Home Smart Vents (via SmartThings Hub)
- Sensi WiFi Programmable Thermostat