At first, I thought about getting a Smart Bulb, which is a lightbulb that connects to your phone so you can turn it on or off remotely. However, after some further research, I came across something that is more flexible and useful for my needs.
It turns out that Amazon sells a Smart Plug, which is essentially a wall plug that connects to your phone as well as to Alexa (to an Echo Dot in my case), so you can turn on the plug by using your phone as a remote or by using a voice command to Alexa.
You do not need to have an Echo Dot to use the Smart Plug. The Smart Plug connects to the Amazon Alexa app on your phone so you can turn it on or off remotely, but if you have an Alexa-enabled device such as the Echo Dot, you would be able to add the ability to connect to your Smart Plug with voice commands.
Because the functionality lies in the Smart Plug and not the lamp, the possibilities of what you can plug into the Smart Plug are endless. Basically, anything that you connect to the wall, you can connect it to the Smart Plug, say, electric fans, space heater, phone chargers,...
These days, since both my Smart Plug and my Echo Dot are connected to my Alexa mobile app, whenever I need the lamp turned on after I wake up, I would just need to say:
“Echo, turn on the lamp.”
“Okay.” Echo would respond and turn on the lamp automatically without me having to approach it at all. I can also command it to “turn off the lamp”.
My voice command "Echo, turn on the lamp" isn't what you have to stick with by default! I named my Smart Plug "lampe" in the Amazon Alexa app, so that's what I'm using in my voice command. If you were to name your plug "fan", "heater", or whatever it is you name it, then that's what you would use in your voice commands when communicating with Alexa.
So how does the Amazon Smart Plug work?
- Step one is to get the Smart Plug. As far as I know, Amazon and Best Buy sell them.
- Step two, download the Amazon Alexa app on your phone and log into your Amazon account.
Step three, insert the plug into the wall while having the app on. Ensure that you are connected to the Wi-Fi.
Step four, respond to the prompt that should now automatically appear in the Alexa app. When setting up the plug settings in the app, you can name it into anything you want, but keep in mind that it affects your voice command to your Alexa devices, if you have any.
For example, if I were name the plug “Bedroom Light” as shown below, I would have to tell my Echo Dot, "Echo, turn on the Bedroom Light." If you would like to change the name of the plug later on, no worries because that’s certainly doable through the app.
- That's it! If you do not have an Echo Dot or if you prefer to turn the plug on using your phone, you can certainly do so!