The Best Accessories for the Amazon Echo
Smart home technologies is improving incredibly fast. We have no doubt that we are standing on the brink of smart home applications seen in the most optimistic movies about the future (like that breakfast scene from Back to the Future II).
So, what can you start now with to extend your Echo Dot’s possibilities? Quite a bit. Lighting, heating, voice activation of various devices around your house. The list is growing everyday.
Best of all, many of today’s devices are actually learning from your behavior and improving the experience as you use them. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Most of these accessories connect to both the Amazon Echo and Google home, so you do not have to worry in case you are buying for another smart home hub.
Best Smart Lighting Solutions
Philips Hue Lighting
Smart Lighting is a roaring market now with dozen manufacturers selling each bulb at around $20/piece. There are many reasons why we consider Hue to be the best among them. First of all, these bulbs are compatible with all the AI home assistants – Alexa, HomeKit from Apple and Google Assistant).
You can get Hue Smart Bulbs with starter kits that include two bulbs and a hub which is now available at $69,99. If you already have a hub, you can buy Hues in bulk at around $12/piece.
Philips Hue is an all-round solution as they come in white or, slightly more expensive, Color Ambiance (which will light up your room depending on your mood). Bulbs are customizable individually or room and can be controlled through an app or the hub.
If you are stocking up on Smart Bulbs, you may also consider getting a Hue Motion Sensor and Hue Lightstrip Plus. While the name of the former says all you need to know, we must elaborate on the latter. These LightStrips are sold in 40-inch extensions that can be joint into a 32 feet Lightstrip tfhat syncs to movies you watch or music you listen to. Even a single LightStrip has the power to transform any room in your house.
Smart Home Heating
Nest Smart Thermostat (3rd Gen)
It’s not the only option, and it’s not the cheapest in the market. But so far, it is the best. It’s the first smart thermostat to get certified by the ENERGY STAR.
Nest is an investment that will pay for itself many times over, because it will automate the heating and cooling of your home.
Like we mentioned above, once you set up the Nest, it will monitor how you use it, follow patterns and adapt to better suit your needs. So, eventually, instead of having to adjust the settings every time, Nest will turn off when you leave and turn on when you come home.
Speaking of which, this fabulous-looking device also has a motion sensor, so it will light up as soon as you walk up to it.
Nest comes in two configurations, full (with learning algorithm) available at $200 and an economy version, available at $169.
Love the nest as much as we do? Check out their Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm. It will not only alert you via your phone, but also identify the problem and where it is. It comes with a 10-year old guarantee and is available at $99.
Best Smart Plugs
WeMo Switch by Belko
Belkin has been cracking on this smart home thing for a while now and has an impressive line of products, including smart bulbs, motions sensors and more. But their most popular and best-rated product is the Smart Plug.
What it does is through the power of your wireless home network, it can help you take control of every outlet in your house (along with plugged devices). Using only your phone, from the next room or thousands of miles away, you can control the device that is plugged in through WeMo.
If you like it, and we are sure you will, you are going to need more WeMo Switches. Don’t worry, Belko’s app makes it incredibly easy to control multiple plugs. Plus, you can optimize your home system with the help of services like IFTTT. Oh, and the Nest Thermostat we mentioned above? They work together perfectly.
Smart Home Security
August Smart Lock Pro
Packing your home with all the smart technology, you may want to consider adding an extra layer of security to your home. And as long as we are on the theme of smart home, why not look at some smart locks.
What constitutes home security? There are two components: the lock and surveillance. Ideally, you may want that the smart lock would be able to recognize you and unlock the door. On the other hand, you also need a smart surveillance system that would notify you anytime someone’s at the door.
August offers an extensive line of products like Doorbell Cam Pro or 3rd generation Smart Lock. Both are well-received and popular due to incredibly easy installation. Smarty Lock Pro comes in dark grey or silver. You can get the 3rd edition lock for $249.
Best Smart Appliances
Behmor Connected Coffee Maker
How would you like to tell your coffee maker to brew a fresh cup of coffee while you are still in bed? Take a lot at Behmor Coffee Maker, which you can now get for $111.98. As a coffee maker it looks beautiful and will do whatever you expect from it with an addition of keeping your brew hot for hours and making enough coffee for 8 cups at once.
As a smart coffee maker, it is the best there is. You can use your phone to tinker with temperature, through Amazon Dash Replenishment it can automatically make purchases when you are running low, while if you pair it with your Echo, you can take full control through your voice. Or the Behmors app. In any case, the features of the coffee maker will make sure you are getting a perfect cup of coffee, just the way you like it. Every time.