This past Christmas, I took advantage of the sales Amazon was having on their Echo devices and purchased an Echo Plus which came paired with a Philips Hue LED light bulb. I chose the Echo plus over the standard Echo as the plus comes with a built-in hub that can connect to ZigBee enabled devices without having to purchase a separate hub. The Philips Hue lightbulbs and other items that support the ZigBee standard.
First impressions were great. It came in a beautiful silver finish and has a good solid heft to it. Just feels very well made. Installation was a snap. Plugged it in, installed the app on my phone and followed the simple instructions to connect it to my network hub and my Amazon account. I was immediately able to start speaking with my new assistant, Alexa.
As it was Christmas, I used it to help cook the Christmas turkey “Alexa, convert 6.4 kilograms to pounds”. “Alexa, how long to cook a 14 pound Turkey”. “Alexa, set a timer for 3 1/2 hours”. “Alexa, how many minutes left on the timer”. “Alexa, play Christmas music by Boney M”.
Also put the Philips light bulb into the table lamp next to my chair. Configured it with the Alexa app under “SmartHome” and renamed it to “Mark’s Light”. Worked like a charm. Able to turn it on and off or dim to any percentage I chose. Worked so well, I went out on Boxing day and purchased six more bulbs including one that could change colours and a light strip for the kitchen.
Also purchased a TP-Link smart plug to use with the Christmas tree. Made it so easy to turn the Christmas lights on and off. Although they were somewhat pricey, I was able to save some money by buying them at Home Depot who did a price match plus an additional 10% off when I provided them the sales prices from the Best Buy flyer. Now have Alexa controlling the light beside Holly’s chair, a corner lamp in the dining room that is a pain to get to, the hallway lights, the lights in the gun room whose switch is behind my reloading bench and the light above my Dillon press. Strip lights for the kitchen are not installed yet waiting for me to drill holes through the cupboards so the lights can be installed above them.
This is likely only the first in many blogs on the Amazon Echo as I find new uses for it every day and have purchased a number of additions including the Dot, the Spot and the Connect. So keep coming back!