Home Automation Questions & Answers

6 Ways You SHOULD Be Using Your Amazon Echo

We have a secret for you...you're using your Amazon Echo all wrong! Don't waste your investment--here's how you can make the most of your sweet, smart gadget.

You’re using your Amazon Echo wrong.

I don’t care if it’s the Echo 2nd gen or the Echo dot. You are probably using it all wrong!

Like millions of other homeowners, you purchased the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. The first thing you did was train it to recognize your voice—including where you emphasize vowels, slur your consonants, or at which volume you usually speak.

So cute.

Then you connect your Spotify account, train it to emit cat sounds to prank your kitty, show off to your friends how you can ask it the weather (should I wear a sweater or a coat today, Alexa?) …and then tiredly use it to listen to your Spotify playlist for months.

A glorified speaker is simply not worth the amount of money you invested in it.

You may be thinking, ‘who are you to deprive me of playing tricks on my cat?’.

Well, we aren’t.

But using your Echo solely for these party tricks is a disappointment to every futuristic and smart sentiment out there—like using your car to warm/cool you while you listen to music on cinder blocks.

Alexa Can Be So Much More!

There are literally tens of thousands of skills Alexa can perform for your sole convenience. Not only should you be using it to:

  • order your coffee
  • tell you the weather
  • play music
  • read your audio-book out loud
  • answer questions
  • remind you of your calendar
  • and add things to your shopping list

(phew, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg) You should be creating the integrated smart home experience, where the Echo really shines.

If you think asking the weather is a neat party trick, watch how your friends light up when you turn your lights on/off with your voice.

Or how envious they are of your electric bill, because your Echo automatically adjusts the temperature of your smart thermostat according to the weather that day (yeah, that can save you a surprising amount over time).

Not to mention how peaceful vacations could be now that you can check on your home with your Echo and smart home cameras. You can even schedule your Echo and smart lights to turn off/on your lights while you’re away to suggest that you’re still home to strangers and potential break ins.

Does this sound amazing to you? Sign up today with our form to see if you qualify for discounted home automation products.

Or read on to continue to learn all the amazing things your Echo combined with smart home automation products can do!

#1 Operate Smart Home Devices

Using your Echo to keep your home safe is the beginning of the right way to use your Echo. If you haven’t connected your Alexa to your phone and your smart home equipment, you’re doing it WRONG.

You may be wondering how-what-when? Well, if you’ve been using it wrong up until this point, it’s understandable you’d be wondering how to access all this untapped power.

Use a professional! It’s super easy. An established company like Vivint Smart Home can help you purchase, install, and learn to operate smart home equipment. They can help you connect your Echo to your devices and show you how to work your integrated system if you don’t feel you quite have it.

Furthermore, they can offer you 24/7 home security monitoring, which means they will  respond to emergencies if you can’t.

To get connected to free quotes, consultations, and the best home professional crew for you, simply fill out the form below.

2. Connect Your Echo to Smart Home Devices

There are so many things you can do with the Amazon Echo, it might seem overwhelming. It’s worth it to learn it though–make the most of your investment.

The amazing thing is, your Echo will integrate with many different types of smart home devices including, but not limited to:

  • Samsung
  • Phillips
  • Honeywell
  • Ring
  • Nest
  • Schlage

It’s incredibly adaptable and efficient. All you do is pair your smart home devices to your Alexa apps, and wah-la, you can now control your home with your voice.

3. Use Your Echo to Control Your Lights


Smart lightbulbs are easily the best way to start because they are affordable and easy to set up. So if you’ve been using your Echo wrong, start here. And don’t start with “oh but it’s so expensive.”

No, it’s not. That bridge has pretty much been closed. For the perks of an LED bulb, such as energy savings, extended life, and better lighting, you can get a 16 pack of Philips LEDs (60 watt equivalent) for $30, or less than $2/bulb.

You’re saving money on the bulbs when you consider all that. And though smart bulbs with more options (such as colors, dimming, and smart home interactions) may be more, they will save you money for the same reasons as listed above AND you can use them with your Echo…which basically makes them infinitely more worth it. They’re just so much smarter to purchase.

4. Turn Your Echo Plus Into a Home Automation Hub

You can even use the Echo Plus to officially act as a home automation hub. While the Echo can kind of act like a hub in the way that it can operate your smart home devices, the Echo Plus allows devices that need a proprietary hub on the Zigbee protocol to actually connect to your Echo Plus; which means not having to buy a compatible home automation hub for those smart home products.

Like I said, you’ve really been going about Alexa all wrong if you haven’t checked into and set some of this up for yourself.

5. Use Your Echo to Change the Channel

Voice command your TV with you Amazon Echo.

If you don’t already own one, putting a Fire TV/Fire TV Stick on your birthday or Christmas wishlist is a good idea.

Your Echo device with Alexa can control those Fire TV devices—which means you remotely control your TV with your voice. So if you don’t have access to your Fire TV phone app or your remote, (or you simply don’t want to get up to retrieve them—I’m not judging), you can easily command Alexa to turn on your TV, find shows you want to watch, skip to scenes, etc.

6. Have Alexa Start Your Car


Depending on the type of car you drive, you can also command Alexa to turn on the engine, turn on and off the headlights, and lock your doors from the safety of your own home or office. So if it’s cold and you want to get your car heated up a few minutes before you head out, simply command your Echo to turn on your car.

And for even newer models that have Alexa, or a built-in infotainment system compatible with Alexa, you can learn how much gas you have left in your car, set the temperature of your car, and more.

Nissan, Mercedes, Hyundai, BMW, Genesis, and Jeep are some car manufacturers that are known to support this function.

7. Combine These Controls to Create Routines

By combining a series of items Alexa can control within your home you can set up daily routines. What do we mean by daily routines? Imagine having Alexa slowly turn your lights on each morning for a more natural wake up. Then turn on the news in the kitchen for while you make breakfast. And lastly, start up your car at a specific time to get it warm before you leave for work!

With the Amazon Echo and your home automation products, you can do this and more!

I could go on, but do you really need more convincing?

An Amazon Echo and Echo Dot have so much potential, and the sorry fact is that many are operating way below their potential—either from operator ignorance or apathy.

But you’re not either of those things. So, what are you waiting for?

So maybe you’ve found you’re using your Echo wrong.

Don’t worry, it’s not embarrassing, no one knows about it but you.

Turn your glorified speaker into the smart hub it was meant to be. Use the professional help out there to make your life easier. Find a professional and transform your life—fill out the form below and do your Echo right.

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