Spoiler alert: I LOVE THESE DAMN THINGS!
After watching Smart Home Solver’s video on YouTube, I knew that I needed an Amazon Echo in my life. I am constantly on the go. who has time or energy to turn on and off the lights and devices? Light switches are soooo 2001.
Alexa is able to connect to all major streaming services (Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Unlimited, IHeartRadio, Deezer, Tidal, VEVO, and/or Sirius XM) and you can select your preferred platform as your default.
I purchased the 2nd Generation Echo Plus and later added the 3rd Generation Echo Dot (both in Sandstone) to my line up. I opted for the 2nd Generation Echo Plus because I didn’t want my devices to slow down my internet—the Echo Plus has a Zigbee hub which communicates to all connected devices (instead of each device having its own individual connection to WiFi). I also wanted the most robust audio on the market. Although there is a more expensive model, the Echo Studio, many reviews stated that the sound quality was akin to the Echo Plus. I ordered the Echo Dot for my bathroom for a surround sound music experience (basically, Sonos on a budget). I was able to finance both devices with Amazon’s monthly payment program. I snagged the Echo Plus for $20/month ($109 in total) and the Echo Dot for only $6/month ($30 in total). Both devices were pre-activated to my Amazon account making setup a breeze.
I purchased this wall mount for my Echo Dot to free up space and reduce cord clutter in my bathroom.
I absolutely love asking Alexa to play my favorite songs or playlists while I’m cooking—and turn up the volume hands free!
She also helps me stay organized with reminders and lists. This is especially helpful when I’m cooking or cleaning and I realize a product needs replacing… a simple, “Alexa, add eggs to my shopping list,” quickly tabulates to my Alexa App on my iPhone. The lists are separated by product department which makes shopping so much easier.
I connect my appliances to Alexa by using these Kasa Mini Smart Plugs by TP Link. I like that I am able to use two smart plugs in one outlet. The price point is also one of the lowest for smart plugs. Sometimes the devices are bundled with smart plugs and outlets; browse Offer Up to see if neighbors are selling extras before paying full price!
Alexa also connects with my Honeywell Smart Thermostat and I can easily change the temperature with a voice command. This comes in handy in the middle of the night when it gets a bit too chilly. Instead of breaking my sleep to shuffle in the darkness, I can command Alexa to adjust the temperature and drift back off to La-La Land.
Overall, I really love how Alexa integrates into my life and keeps me organized, on schedule, and efficient. I am able to save money by creating routines that synchronize my appliances with my presence in my apartment. “Alexa, I’m leaving!” turns off all of my lights and triggers the thermostat to not cool when I am not home. Instead of fumbling with cords and light switches in the morning, I simply sit at my vanity and say, “Alexa, I’m ready to do my makeup,” and my lights turn on. I kid you not, I’ve saved 15 minutes every morning by not having to run through my apartment flicking on and off light switches.
There are many add on devices (motion sensors, smart light bulbs, robot vacuum, etc) that you can sync with Alexa to maximize her use in your household or business.
Are there any fellow Alexa enthusiasts out there?! Dish in the comments below!
I was having a grand ok’ time with Alexa on Instagram. Are we friends?