20 Alexa Skills For Your Smart-Home Devices
"Alexa, turn on the lights." "Alexa, turn off the alarm system." "Alexa, turn on the TV." If you have smart-home devices, Alexa is the missing piece to make them easy to use. Thanks to Amazon’s virtual assistant, you can just say what you want the devices in your home to do. It feels a bit like magic. Here are the best smart-home skills for Alexa.
Turn lights on and off
There's no simpler demonstration of the power of Alexa combined with smart-home devices than turning on the lights with your voice. You'll need a connected light or outlet device, and skills are available for WeMo, Philips Hue, Lutron and other smart-home platforms.
Control your TV
Banish your TV remotes to the closet. If you've have a Logitech Harmony Remote such as the Harmony Elite, then you have the key to a number of smart-home controls. You can use it and Alexa to turn on the TV, go straight to an app or channel and more.
Adjust the Thermostat
If you've got a Nest, Ecobee3, Ecobee4 or other smart thermostat, you can call out to Alexa to adjust the temperature setting in your house. Here’s how to connect your Ecobee3 to Alexa, and here's how to connect your Nest Learning Thermostat to Alexa.
MORE: Best Smart Thermostats
Need to call everyone to dinner, but don't want to yell? A feature called Alexa Announcements lets you broadcast to all Alexa devices in your home. All you have to say is "“Alexa, announce...,” “Alexa, tell everyone…” or “Alexa, broadcast…" and your pronouncement will be delivered to every compatible Echo device in your house.
Hub at the center of it all
Samsung's SmartThings is a hub for your connected home: it plays well with Philips Hue, Leviton products, Schlage locks and more. So even if there's not an Alexa skill for your specific smart device, the SmartThings skill may let you control it anyway.
MORE: Best Smart Home Hubs
Create a smart home routine
When you create a Routine in the Alexa app, you can control multiple smart home devices with a single command, or have them turn on or off at a set time, or when you say a specific phrase. For example, you could say "Alexa, good morning," and have it turn on your lights, coffee maker, and adjust your thermostat. Routines can also include such things as having Alexa read you the news, weather, and play music for you, too.
Check your EV charge
JuiceBox turns standard electrical outlets into fast-chargers for electric cars. With this skill, Alexa can tell you how much of a charge your car has any time you ask. JuiceBox works with any electric vehicle.
Open and close the garage door
Did the kids leave the garage door open again? Don't bother going to check. Use Garageio and Alexa instead. Garageio makes dumb garage door openers smart. Once you add its Blackbox to your existing system, you can use Alexa to close or open a garage door.
Use ADT Smart Security to automate your home
If you have the ADT Canopy system, you can use Alexa to control your automated home. For example, you could set up an activity to turn off the kitchen lights and turn on the outdoor lights when you leave. Just ask Alexa to do it for you.
Give a virtual tour of your home
If you're selling your home on your own, you can host a virtual open house tour for any prospective buyer. Visitors say, "Alexa, ask My Listing Guide about this home," and your audio tour starts.
Control your Vizio TV
Vizio's Alexa skill lets you control certain models of its SmartCast line, specifically the E-, M-, and P-Series 4K TVs from 2016 and 2017. (It will also work with 2018 TVs). Some of the things you'll be able to do via voice include changing the volume, fast forward, rewind, and pause playback through some apps, and change inputs.
Water the lawn
Blossom Smart Watering Controller allows you to control watering your lawn and plants from anywhere. Sometimes you just want to do it from the kitchen. Alexa can help: tell it which zone to start and how long, then get back to watching the game.
Tweak your Wi-Fi network
Luma WiFi creates a mesh network in your house to deliver better Wi-Fi coverage and speed. It also offers some advanced features, like security and control of specific devices on the network. You can tell Alexa to give priority to certain devices or pause reception to others.
Check your air quality
Awair analyzes the air in your home for CO2, dust, humidity and other factors that can impact air quality. Through Alexa, you can get the latest levels just by asking.
Change the temperature in your pool or hot tub
Get your pool or hot tub just the way you like it without going outside. Pentair's IntelliTouch and EasyTouch pool/spa control systems interface with Alexa so you can turn on the jets, check the temperature and more.
Start a shower
Thanks to Alexa, you don’t need to wait in the bathroom for the shower to heat up — you can start it from the kitchen or bedroom. Alexa can work with a SmarTap Digital Shower system to initiate a predefined setting.
Connect to Sonos
Sonos' speakers are renowned for their audio capabilities, and you can now control them using Alexa. You can even take things a step further; the Sonos One speaker has Alexa built in, so you won't need a separate Echo device to start playing your jams.
Leave your remote on the table. If you have Dish TV, Fios, Frontier, Optic Hub, or a Fire TV, you can command Alexa to switch to a particular channel, search for shows by name, actor or genre, and control playback, such as skipping through ads, or pausing a show. In some cases, you can also schedule recordings, too.