See which devices you can take hands-free with Alexa.
Amazon Echo Compatible Devices
Alexa is perhaps the best-known “smart assistant” around. She can tell you the weather, she can set timers, she can find recipes, and she can play your favorite soothing folk music when you’re having one of those days.
But this versatile, little voice robot can do more than just remind you to order toilet paper. Alexa is widely integrated with smart home devices and home security systems. If you already have an Amazon Alexa (or a few), see which security systems, smart home devices, and security cameras will work with your favorite virtual assistant.
Which smart home devices and security systems are compatible with Alexa?
The short answer to this is: A lot. We won't cover all of them, but we’ll cover a few of the more popular ones here. But keep in mind that if a smart device you’re looking at works with any smart speaker at all, then it probably works with Alexa too.
Whether you have a Ring Video Doorbell or a full Ring Alarm home security system, Alexa gives you voice control over your cameras and sensors. You can view video clips and livestreams, control lights, and arm and disarm your Ring Alarm system.
Wyze works with Alexa to give you voice control over your cameras, smart outlets, smart locks, and smart lightbulbs. You can even change the brightness of your smartbulbs.
Alexa and Arlo go hand in hand. Alexa lets you control your Arlo lights, cameras, and doorbell, as well as view clips and camera livestreams. That’s perfect if, like us, you’re a big fan of Arlo cams like the Arlo Pro 3.
Google and Amazon don’t always get along, but they put their differences aside for the sake of your thermostat. Alexa works with certain Google Nest products, including the iconic Nest smart thermostat as well as the Nest cameras.
Vivint Smart Home
Vivint is one of our favorite home security systems, and for good reason—it’s wicked smart, and it offers top-notch protection for your entire home. Just one of Vivint’s smart features is its Amazon Alexa integration.
Frontpoint is another security system we highly recommend. We love that it doesn’t have a contract, and its equipment is pretty affordable—plus, it works with Amazon Alexa.
Alexa lets you arm and disarm your SimpliSafe system as well as check your system’s status with just your voice. Keep in mind, you have to subscribe to SimpliSafe’s higher-priced Interactive monitoring plan to get this feature.
Other smart home devices that work with Alexa:
How to set up smart devices with Alexa
For Alexa to work with your smart devices, you have to add each device as a “skill.” In the Alexa app on your phone or tablet, select the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner. Select Skills & Games, and you can see what skills are available for your Alexa or search for specific ones.
Most smart device skills are under the brand name. So if you just bought a Wink smart hub, look for “Wink.” Every once in a while, though, you might find a tricky one. For example, Samsung has several skills under different names, so if you’re looking for the Samsung SmartThings skill, then you can’t just select any skill that says “Samsung.” Look for “SmartThing” in the name.
You can also ask your Alexa directly to add a skill. Just keep in mind that it’s best if you know the right name, so you can say something like, “Alexa, enable SimpliSafe.” If you’re not totally sure what name the skill is under, then it’s easier to just search for it yourself.
One of our favorite smart home integrations is sprinklers. You just need to make sure you have a smart, Alexa-compatible sprinkler system, like Rachio or Rainbird. Just add the skill associated with your smart system to Alexa, and you're good to go.
Pro tip: Make sure you know the right command
Alexa can’t do what you ask if it doesn’t understand what you’re saying. You have to know the specific commands that work with whatever skill you add to your Alexa.
For example, with the Ring skill, you can say commands like, “Alexa, turn on my backyard lights.” Saying something like, “Alexa, turn on those lights in the yard,” won’t have the same effect. It’s easy to get frustrated with your little robot pal if you keep saying different commands, and it doesn’t seem to understand any of them. But your wording plays a big part in communicating with Alexa.