Virtual assistants are more popular and more useful now than ever. They can do lots of different things and help in many ways, such as to open and close the lights, play music, adjust the room temperature and more. Of course, in order to be able to do all those things you also need smart devices that can be connected to your favorite virtual assistant. Here are our top picks when it comes to best products that work with Alexa, just in time for some last-minute chopping before the winter holidays.
Smart plugs are really great because they enable you to control your appliances via your smartphone or by voice using the help of Alexa or your own favorite assistant. This is a set of 4 mini outlets which don’t need a hug to function but do require a secured 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi network connection. Each one enables you to remotely control one electronic appliance. You can also schedule them to turn on and off at specific times or set countdown timers. This is very convenient in cases where you want the lamps to turn on at sunset or at a specific time. Furthermore, this can also help same some energy which is not to be ignored. You can use the app to organize them into groups and control them simultaneously from anywhere. You can also track the energy usage and share the devices with family members.
Smart speakers are convenient more than anything else. Controlling the music without having to touch any buttons is really cool and very practical. You don’t have to keep track of where you left the remote or get up to use the physical buttons on the device. Every smart home should have one. The Marshall Acton II wireless speaker is a really nice example. It works with Alexa and you can connect to it via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RCA or using the 3.5 mm headphone jack. It delivers good sound quality in a compact form and can also be used to control other smart home devices via voice using Alexa.
Smart light bulbs are really great too and in case you never used them before let us quickly present the advantages: they let you turn the lights on and off using your smartphone, to control the brightness, the color and even to create schedules, all via the app or with the help of Alexa or Google Assistant. Imagine never having to get up to turn off the lights at night or forgetting them on for the whole day. This starter kit includes two light bulbs and a smart hub. You can choose from over 16 million colors or stick with the whites to create the perfect ambiance for any occasion. Whether you’re home or away you can always control the lights or create routines which can repeat every day, making your life easier and more enjoyable.
If you ever think about installing security cameras in or outside your home, consider a smart system. This for example is a two-camera kit which can be used both indoor and outdoor. It’s weather-resistant and wireless which makes it suitable for all types of spaces. The cameras have color night vision so you can see everything even when it’s dark. They also have built-in spotlights which are convenient at night or when you want to better see who’s outside your door. They have magnetic mounts which make installation super easy and they shoot 2k video with HDR.
Since we’re on the subject, you should also check out the Ring video doorbell. You can connect it to your smartphone or another device and control it with your voice. Just ask Alexa to show you who’s at the front door when the doorbell rings or when motion is detected and you can quickly and easily assess the situation without having to physically move anywhere. You can also use the assistant to task to the front door or enable announcements so you’re alerted when movement is detected by the built-in sensor. This way you can always check in and see what’s going on even when you’re away.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could clean your home without actually doing it or even being home? That’s actually possible thanks to smart vacuum cleaners like iRobot Roomba. This little thing can clean dirt, dust and hair from both hard floors and carpets and doesn’t require you to be physically present to help it in any way. you can schedule it and connect to it via your smartphone to monitor its progress and you can even use Alexa or Google Assistant to control it. It runs for up to 90 minutes before automatically returning to its docking station to recharge the battery. It has sensors which detect the level of dirt and direct it to work harder on certain surfaces or in high-traffic zones.
There’s also such a thing as a smart light switch. The most obvious advantage is the fact that it allows you to turn the lights on and off remotely, without having to physically touch the switch or even to move a finger. You can use Alexa, Google Assistant or Cortana to make it as easy and as convenient as possible. Installation is actually easy thanks to the app guide which explains the entire process step by step. You can use create schedules so your lights turn on and off automatically when you’re home or away, depending on your own preferences and requirements.
You might also find a smart power strip to be very useful and convenient for your home or office. This one doesn’t require a hub to function and works with any Wi-Fi router. You can control it from anywhere using your smartphone or table, both with Android and iOS operating systems. One limitation is the fact that it only supports 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi networks. To make things even easier to can also control your appliances via voice commands. This work with Alexa and Google Assistant. Three USB charging ports allow you to charge your devices and have a total output of 3.1A. This smart power strips supports a 10A maximum load (200-240V) so keep that in mind.
Smart thermostats help us keep our homes warm and cozy during winter and cool during summer and do so in a very convenient and energy-efficient matter. You can program the ecobee3 lite to follow your daily schedule and save energy when you’re not at home, saving up to 23% annually on heating and cooling costs. It measures both occupancy and temperature and switches to the right mode automatically, either to save energy or to achieve a comfortable temperature. It’s easy to install and all the required components are included in the box. You can control it from anywhere using your Android or iOS devices and it also works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Wink IFTTT. Finding the right schedule could take a while but since it’s so convenient to control this thermostat, you’ll actually have fun and enjoy exploring all the features.
If you want to get rid of your home keys and never have to worry about not finding them then you’ll probably really enjoy switching to a smart door lock. It’s very convenient plus using your smartphone to unlock your front door is kind of futuristic and looks cool. The August smart lock is keyless which means you’ll never have to worry about not having or finding the keys to the house in the morning or looking them among all the cutter in your bag. Just use your smartphone to unlock the door and integrate the lock with Alexa, Google Assistant and others for easy access and security. The system also allows you to keep track of everyone who comes and goes. The lock works with your existing single-cylinder deadbolt and is not compatible with all types of door-locking systems. What even cooler is that you can send guest keys using the app and grant someone access for a determined period of time. It’s great when you’re taking trips and for everyday use as well.
Alexa is getting smarter every day and can help you with all sorts of different tasks. If you’ve gotten used to this sort of help from your virtual assistant you might enjoy having an Echo Show device. It’s basically what it sounds like: a device that shows you things. It has an 8” screen and stereo sound and you can use it to manage your day or perform simple tasks. You can ask Alexa to display various different items on it such as news, TV programmes, cooking recipes, photos and weather information or to show messages, to make video calls and more. If you have a security camera or other smart devices that work with Alexa, you can control those too using this device.
If you’re looking for a complete security system for your home that’s easy to use, convenient and smart, check out SimpliSafe. This right here is a 9-piece set which includes a base station, sensors and camera. It’s easy to install without any tools and offers 24/7 monitoring and cloud recording with the police and fire and medical dispatch for an additional fee. The biggest advantage in this case is that you can always see what’s going on at home from anywhere as long as you have access to your smartphone, tablet or computer. It uses motion sensors to detect movement within a 30 foot area and has a 90 degree field of vision. With this pack you’re getting the following items: a base station with a built-in 95 db siren, 4 entry sensors, 2 motion sensors, a SimpliCam, a yard sign and window stickers. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Smart TVs are very common these days and include all sorts of features. This is the LG super UHD with AI ThinQ and what sets it apart from other smart TVs among other things is the fact that it works with Alexa devices and has a built-in Google Assistant. That means you can use it as a hub to control all your smart home devices using the magic remote or your voice. Of course, performance is important and this TV doesn’t disappoint. It has a nano cell display that delivers true colors and absorbs excess light to reduce reflectivity and to provide deeper black levels. It has a variety of built-in ports including 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1 RF, 1 composite in, 1 Ethernet, 1 optical, 1 RS232C plus audio return channel support via HDMI. The TV itself without the stand is 57.2” wide, 32.8” high and 2.5” deep.
A soundbar is a must-have, especially in a modern and smart home. You can pair it with your TV to enhance the sound and make the viewing experience considerably better and more enjoyable. You can also a smart soundbar as a standalone device in rooms like the kitchen in order to play music from your smartphone and create a pleasant or fun ambiance. The Bose soundbar has a slim and simple design which allows it to easily blend in and not get in the way of your TV screen. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant and has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Apple airplay compatibility so you can effortlessly stream music however you want to. Alexa it even easier to control the soundbar since you only need your voice to do it. You can also add compatible speakers and modules for surround sound and additional bass so you can really get immersed and have a great experience when watching videos or listening to music.
There’s also one more smart, Alexa-compatible device that we want to show you, something you probably didn’t even know existed: a smart hose faucet timer. The idea behind it is to enable you to manage and control your watering schedule out in the yard or the garden from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet or PC. As it turns out and as you may know, creating a custom watering program is important and depends on a lot of different factors such as site conditions or weather. This smart timer has built-in software that can create such a program for you but also allows you to control it remotely or using your voice via Alexa. It also has a built-in flow meter which allows you to track water usage either by volume or by time It’s easy to install and to program but it’s limited for use in North America only.