The best smart devices to use with your Alexa.

While smart home tech has been around for a while, it’s mainly thanks to the invention of Alexa that it’s become so accessible to so many people!

Yes, whether you have an Alexa assistant already, or are toying with the idea of getting one, you’ve probably heard about how this little speaker can bring big changes to your home.

But, before you get started, we predict you have a few questions on your mind. How do you know if a device is compatible with Alexa? What smart devices are best to use with Alexa? And, what exactly can you do with them?

This guide is here to help you with finding the best devices to use with your Alexa today...

What Smart Devices Work With Alexa?

When searching for smart devices that are compatible with Alexa, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There are so many products on the market - some of which require a smart hub, and some of which connect straight into your wi-fi.

To make it easier, there are currently a number of Alexa or Amazon branded smart devices that you can be sure are compatible, but they often come at a higher price.

However, there are also plenty of products out there that might not be part of the Amazon brand, but still work brilliantly and at much better value. So long as your smart home devices are wi-fi enabled, they should be compatible with any Amazon Echo, Echo Plus or Echo Show.

The Amazon Echo Plus and Echo Show have slightly more capabilities. They basically have a smart hub built into them, so they can also be compatible with Zigbee devices.

If you want to find out more about this, check out our guide on What Is a Smart Home.

Here at Hey!, all of our smart devices are easy to connect via wi-fi, so should be easy to use with any Alexa speaker.

Best Devices for Setting Up Rooms with Alexa

So, let’s get started on taking a look at how to use smart home devices with Alexa.

The most basic function you can use is to group your devices together by room. This is handy for when you have multiple smart devices installed, as you probably don't want to stand there asking Alexa to turn them all on one-by-one! Instead, you can use a command such as, ‘Alexa, turn on the living room lights’ and all of your connected smart lights grouped into that room will be turned on.

Why would you want to do this?

If you have a few smart devices in your room it can become difficult to remember their names. It can also take away from the time-saving, easy-living element of a smart home, if you have to wait for Alexa to complete a string of similar commands.

Grouping devices by rooms makes life so much easier. For example, if you come into the house with your hands full of shopping bags and can’t flick the light switch on, just ask Alexa to do it for you. Or, if you’re curled up on the sofa with the dog and couldn't possibly disturb him, you can easily get your smart speaker to do your bidding for you.

What are the best devices to use with Alexa rooms?

Smart light bulbs are always a good starting point when setting up a smart room for the first time. In fact, as you learn more ways to use your Alexa with your smart devices, we don’t think you’ll ever use your light switches again!

Best Devices For Setting Up Routines with Alexa

If you are wondering whether smart homes are really worth it if all you can do is talk to your light bulbs, then this is just the thing for you!

By setting up an Alexa routine on your Amazon Echo, you can automate your smart devices to turn on or off in a sequence at a certain time, or at a particular command.

Why would you want to do this?

Do you ever wish life was just a little smoother? Or a little less manic and a little more relaxing? Alexa’s routines can help.

For example, you can set up a morning routine every day at 8am that switches your smart lights on, gives you a daily news briefing and boils the kettle for you via your smart plug, all before you’ve even got out of bed. Or, if you set up a wake up alarm on your Echo, all of this can automatically swing into action as soon as you roll out of bed!

Or, how about a night time routine? Set up a routine so that when you say ‘good night, Alexa’, the lights dim down and sleep sounds play for the next half hour.

What are the best devices to use with Alexa routines?

Along with your smart bulbs, make use of smart plugs and smart power bars, too. With a smart plug, you can add almost any appliance in your house to an Alexa routine. For even more fun, consider a smart kettle or coffee machine to make your mornings run like clockwork!

Best Devices for Setting up a Sensor Trigger on Alexa

Want to take your Alexa routines to the next level? Try setting up a trigger with one of your other smart devices.

This means that instead of setting up a timer or using a voice control, on an Echo Plus you can actually use one of your smart sensors as a trigger to set off an automated sequence.

Why would you want to do this?

This is where your smart home gets really - well, smart!

Whether you use a motion sensor in your home, temperature sensor on a smart thermostat or a location sensor on your phone, you can activate your smart devices without having to say a word.

Motion sensors are perfect for making your house feel welcoming when you walk through the door - whether you want relaxing classical music to play or your lights to be set to your favourite colour. Or, place one by your bedroom doors so that if you need to get up in the night, the landing light comes on without you having to risk falling down the stairs to find the switch!

If you are most concerned with home security, you could also set up a notification when movement is sensed so you can check your outdoor camera.

What are the best devices to use with an Alexa trigger?

Naturally, the best device to use with your Alexa to set up a trigger is a smart motion sensor or contact sensor. From here, you can think about how you want to link in your other devices, such as smart light strips, smart plugs, smart cameras, external security lights and more.