What devices work with Alexa? Learn the basics in this overview
What is Alexa?
Alexa is the name of Amazon’s virtual assistant, just like how Siri is synonymous with Apple devices. Alexa is built into Amazon speakers like the Echo Dot, Echo Show, Amazon Firestick, and more. So, what devices work with Alexa? I’ll cover the basics in this VoiceBrew article.
While these smart speakers with Alexa built into them have a wide range of capabilities, when coupled with external devices like smart home lighting or a smart home thermostat, they become powerful command centers that help you control your entire Alexa smart home — from Alexa smart lights to an Alexa-connected Roomba smart vacuum to a Nest thermostat connected to Alexa and much more.
Why you should connect other Alexa smart devices to Alexa
On it’s own, Alexa can set alarms, play music, and answer questions. But one of the biggest benefits of Alexa is being able to connect external Alexa smart devices, giving you the ability to control those devices with voice commands and easy to set up Alexa routines.
For example, if you use a smart thermostat like Nest, you can ask Alexa to turn the temperature up or down just by saying “Alexa, set the temperature to 69 degrees.”
Aside from controlling devices using voice commands, you can also set daily routines based on your personal schedule. One example of this might be a sunrise routine where your coffee maker turns on automatically (when paired with a smart plug) when the sun comes up. You can include lots of actions in an Alexa routine. For example, that same morning routine that turns on your coffee maker could also turn on an energizing Spotify playlist and your Alexa smart lights.
There are also cool Alexa smart home features like the ability to set an alarm that turns your bedroom lights turn on at the set time when it rings to wake you up. Pretty cool! Just say Alexa, set a light alarm for 7am with my bedroom light” to set one up.
How do you connect smart devices to Alexa?
Every external device is different, so you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Below, we list how some of the more popular devices that can be paired with Alexa:
- Open up your Alexa app
- Select “Devices” on the bottom navigation bar
- Click the + sign in the upper right corner
- Tap/click “Add Device”
- Here’s where you’ll be prompted to select the device you’d like to pair, and you can see some of the more popular brands and types of devices within this window.
- If you’re pairing a device, continue connecting it by selecting your device and following the on-screen instructions.
Learn more about what devices work with Alexa using these comprehensive VoiceBrew How-To guides:
Ready to connect a device to your Alexa device? Here are a few places to start:
- The Ultimate Guide to Alexa Hue Lights and Alexa smart home lighting
- Connect Nest to Alexa
- Connect Ring to Alexa
- The Amazon Smart Plug
- Connect Roomba to Alexa
- Connect Alexa to an External Speaker
Advanced Alexa smart home integrations
Another idea to consider is how each of your smart home devices interacts with one another outside of Alexa. If you use a Roomba cleaning device, for example, it’s easy to ask Alexa to pause your device using a voice command, but if your phone rings and you quickly need to answer the call, it is worth considering an automation to pause your device as soon as you pick up a call.
For that, you can use a program called IFTTT, which allows you to create more complex automations to simplify your daily routines.
Another idea for an IFTTT integration: turn your Philips Hue lights into an extension of your Alexa timer. Once the timer hits zero, IFTTT can blink your Hue lights to signal that the countdown is complete.
VoiceBrew: Get more out of your Alexa Device with tips delivered straight to your inbox
VoiceBrew was created to help people get more out of their Amazon Alexa devices. Whether you’re just setting up your first Alexa device, or are a seasoned pro looking for advanced tips, VoiceBrew can help.
I love Alexa but realized that most people weren’t familiar with all of the capabilities available in every device! With VoiceBrew, you’ll have access to comprehensive how-to guides that cover basic set-up all the way to more advanced routines.