Complete Guide to Smart Home Automation using Alexa

Amazon is one of the leader when it comes to smart home systems and voice assistant. In this guide, I will guide you to get started with smart home automation using Alexa as your central controller. We will build a complete smart home automation using Alexa. With Alexa, Amazon has grown over the years as a big player in the smart home system industry with more than a thousand brands and 10,000+ devices integration availability. If you purchase any smart home gadget from any brand, there is a good chance it will work with Alexa.

In this guide, I will guide you to get started with smart home automation using Alexa as your central controller. We will build a complete smart home automation using Alexa.

What are the best smart home devices? 
How much is it going to cost me?
How do I set this up?
These are the common questions that strike into the brain of a person who is starting or adding a gadget to their smart home.

Why do you need a smart home?
Maybe you want to automate the household activities to some extent and control it all with your voice. Maybe you don’t want a smart home, but your friend just invested in one and now you want one as well. Whatever your reason is, if you are getting started on your smart home journey, I’m here to help you step by step.

Why Alexa Hub?

If you are just thinking about adding a few smart home devices, you don’t need an Alexa Hub or any smart home hub for that matter. If you are thinking about adding other smart home items to your home as time goes on, it’s best to get a hub.

With a hub, you can connect more and more devices to one location and track them easily. When you’re using Alexa Hub to automate all your other devices, your Alexa will be the central communication point between all your smart home devices.

Best Alexa Compatible Smart Home Lighting

Device of our choice:

Philips Hue lighting

For this article, we are using Philips Hue lighting. Connecting your Philip Hue with Alexa is really easy. If you have an Echo Plus speaker, you don’t have to connect it to the bridge as the smart bulb will connect directly, but we still recommend using the bridge to have greater control over your lights.

Before connecting your Philip Hue to Amazon Alexa, you must pair it to a Philips Hue Bridge. Every pack of Philips Hue lights come with a bridge that controls the lights and works on its own, with the Hue application and also smart home speakers. Follow these steps to pair your Philips Hue lights and the Hue Bridge:

  • Switch on the Philips Hue lights after plugging them to a power source.
  • Plug the Bridge into the router using the Ethernet cable. Once all the lights on the Bridge turn on, the device is ready.
  • Install the Hue application and launch the app once downloaded.
  • The application will automatically search for the Bridge but make sure your smartphone is connected to the same network as the Bridge.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to pair the lights to the Bridge.

After connecting your Philips Hue lights to the bridge, follow these simple steps to connect it your Alexa:

  • Launch the Alexa application on your smartphone.
  • Open the Smart Home tab located at the bottom right corner of the screen.
  • Now select ‘+’ in the top right.
  • Select the ‘+’ button in the bottom-right to add new devices.
  • Among the listed devices, select Philips Hue.
  • Then click on Groups to configure your devices.
  • Tap Edit, next to each lights.
  • Select the room, then tap the back arrow in the list to edit another device.
  • Click ‘Done’, once you have assigned room to all the devices.

Some other lights that works best with Alexa are listed below:

  1. Wyze Bulb
  2. TP-Link Kasa Smart KL110
  3. Lifx A19 Mini

Best Alexa Compatible Smart Home Security Cameras

Device of our choice: Ring Spotlight Cam

As I was looking for different security cameras, I was looking for the best wireless security camera that was easy to set up and control. Luckily I found the Ring Spotlight Cam. Here’s a list of its features that attracted me.

  • It doesn’t need a power cord as it is powered by a battery.
  • It works with Google Assistant, Alexa, HomeKit and SmartThings.
  • It captures 2k video and it has night vision.

Follow these steps to connect Ring Spotlight Cam to Alexa:

  • Open the Alexa app.
  • Tap the three lines on the bottom right that say ‘More’.
  • In the menu that appears, tap Skills & Games.
  • On the next screen, search for Ring in the search box.
  • After you’ve found Ring, tap the Enable button.
  • Next, Alexa will ask you to sign into your Ring account. Doing so will link your Ring account to your Alexa account.
  • After signing in, you’ll be asked to discover devices. Tap the Discover Devices button.
  • If none of your Ring devices appear automatically, you can either: Ask, “Alexa, discover my devices,” or Tap Devices and then Discover.

All of your Ring devices should appear and connect automatically to Alexa with either method.

Here’s a list of other smart cameras compatible with Alexa:

  • Nest Cam IQ Indoor
  • Logitech Ciricle 2
  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro
  • Netgear Arlo Pro 2

Best Alexa Compatible Smoke and Carbon Smart Home Thermostats

Device of our choice: Ecobee SmartThermostat

Ecobee Thermostat is one of the best smart thermostat out there in the market. Alongside, Google’s own thermostat Nest, it was a tough choice which to use. But I’m glad I chose the Ecobee as its sensors are much more advanced than that of the Nest.

The following Ecobee devices come with Alexa built-in. With Alexa built-in you can control your Ecobee device, other Alexa-enabled products in your home, and enjoy access to over 50,000 Alexa skills —all from your Ecobee device.

  • Ecobee Smart Thermostat with voice control
  • ecobee4
  • Ecobee Switch+

Other smoke and carbon smart home thermostats:

  • ecobee3 Lite
  • Nest Learning Thermostat
  • Honeywell T5

Best Alexa Compatible Monoxide Detectors

Device of our choice: Onelink Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide (2nd Gen)

This alarm comes in battery and hardwired models. Similar to the Nest Protect, the Onelink will also specify the room affected and the type of alert: smoke or carbon monoxide. In addition to that, if you have more than one Onelink alarm, you can interconnect them in a way that all the alarms will go off in case any one goes off.

Onelink’s alarm uses photoelectric technology, which is generally better at detecting smoldering fires than are alarms that use ionization technology. However, the latter are better at detecting fast-burning fires.

The Onelink can be connected to HomeKit and Alexa (but not Google Assistant), so you can ask both Siri and Amazon’s voice assistant for the status of the smoke detector, but not much else.

Other Monoxide Detectors

  • OneLink Safe & Sound
  • Roost Smart Battery

Best Alexa Compatible Window and Door Sensors

Device of our choice: Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor

At a typical price of around just $20, the tiny Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor does a lot for very little. Its main purpose is to serve as a contact sensor, and you can easily stick one of these on any door, window, or drawer to detect when it opens or closes. But it also has temperature and vibration sensors inside, so it can alert you—or act as a trigger for other smart devices—if a room or area is too hot or too cold. That makes it the most versatile sensor we tested: You can just as easily keep tabs on the doors and windows of a rental property as on a precious liquor cabinet.

Other Window and Door Sensors

  • Wyze Sense
  • SABRE Elite
  • iSmart Alarm

Best Alexa Compatible Smart Home Locks

Device of our choice: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock

The August Smart Wi-Fi Smart Locks sits atop our list of best smart locks and is one of the best Google Home compatible devices. It’s also a nice upgrade to its predecessor the August Smart Lock Pro. Everything we liked about the August Pro is available in the new model: A simple installation process, features such as DoorSense (which lets you know if your door has been left ajar), and interoperability with a huge range of other smart home systems, from Alexa to Google Assistant to Xfinity. And, the August Wi-Fi lets you keep the keys from your existing deadbolt.

Other Smart Home Locks

  • Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro + Wi-Fi Bridge
  • Kwikset Halo Touch Fingerprint Smart Lock
  • Nest X Yale Lock With Nest Connect

Best Alexa Compatible Garage Door Automation Devices

Device of our choice: Nexx Garage

The NEXX Garage Door Openers lets you sleep safely because of its many advanced features. You can control it either via the mobile app or Amazon Alexa, and Google assistant. With Alexa, you’ll need to set a PIN in order to use voice commands to open or close the door. This is because Alexa identifies the device as a security item. With Google, you can create a PIN if you wish to have extra security, but it’s optional.

You can do it all by fingertip or voice control: open, close, or monitor your garage door and check if you have left it open from anywhere in the world. If you leave your garage door open, you will receive the push notification, so you can remotely close it. And you also have the option to keep control of who and when opened the door. The NEXX doesn’t have a camera and if you wish to have one, you have to by one made by the third party tool and connect it via the hub.

Other Garage Door Automation Devices

  • Gogogate 2
  • Garadget

Best Alexa Compatible Smart Home Blinds Automation

Device of our choice: Graywind Motorized Roller Shades

One of our favorite hardwired options of this roundup, Graywind shades are customizable blackout curtains that can be controlled with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and IFTTT programming. The best part? There’s no need to purchase an additional bridge. After you’ve installed the shades, download the Graywind app (for iOS and Android devices) and get to work creating schedules and automation routines for your new smart shades. If you’d prefer to keep things simple, you can use the included remote to control up to nine different pairs of Graywind shades. Better yet, you can purchase additional Graywind remotes and copy your settings from one remote to the other.

Other Smart Home Blinds Automation

  • Lutron Serena
  • Tilt MySmartRollerShades

This way, you can easily setup your smart home with Amazon Alexa smart speaker as the central hub. There are hundreds of other Alexa compatible smart home devices on the market and you can choose the best-suited product for your smart home.

You can also use smart home devices that have built-in alexa. If your smart home device has Alexa built in, you can just set it up in the Alexa application.