There’s one term that gets constantly thrown around when you’re looking at home security systems – the smart home. The concept of a smart home is one that’s meant to save you a bit of money, and make your life incredibly convenient. And today, with the smart home integrating with your home security devices, it makes your home more secure.
With Amazon’s ecosystem and their Alexa smart assistant being the most comprehensive smart home system, it’s no surprise that most homeowners opt for this as their smart home system of choice. It has a lot going for it, and building your entire smart home around it is a pretty simple ordeal.
Still, there’s a lot of room for error. You could get incompatible devices, or you could be setting things up wrong, so to help you, we’ll take a look at how you can make use of the Amazon Alexa ecosystem and how you should build your home around it.
The Basics – What Is Alexa?
Before we get into devices and possibilities, let’s take a look at Alexa first. Alexa is Amazon’s virtual personal assistant, and it’s the competition to the Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. The Lab126 people in Amazon’s offices initially designed it, and it can listen to your voice commands and respond with things that help you get things done.
Alexa is also the “middleman” between you shouting out commands and your smart home devices obeying them and doing what you are asking them to do. It’s a cloud-based service that’s constantly evolving and Amazon keeps it updated, so it has come a long way since it was initially introduced.
Let’s Talk Devices
When you’re building a smart home, it makes sense to start with the basics – a hub. In the Amazon ecosystem, the best way to go about this is to get one of their Echo speakers. Yes, there are third-party devices, but Echo works best and is most reliable.
From the tiny Echo Dot to the Echo Plus and Echo Studio, there’s something for everyone, and you’re bound to find a model that does what you need it to, at a reasonable price. Sure, the more expensive ones offer more functionality, but if you only need the basics, you don’t need to spend a lot.
Once you’re set on a hub, next up you should be looking at getting compatible devices that will make your life easier. You can get both security-oriented and convenience-oriented devices, so we’ll be taking a look at both. Amazon’s ecosystem is known as the one with the best compatibility, so you should have quite a lot of options.
The first thing you should do when you’re getting into home automation is to take a look at how you’ll be taking advantage of it to up your security. Obviously, you should look at getting smart cameras that are compatible. This will allow you to not only be able to connect to your home’s surveillance system from wherever you are, but you’ll also get notifications and alerts when something happens, which is an invaluable tool in your security arsenal. To add to this, you should also consider a smart lock, as well as a video doorbell.
The ring is the first company that springs to mind, and they’ve got some truly excellent products. The smart lock will let you get inside your home without using a key, and the video doorbell adds a camera to a fairly basic item, making it a nice way of knowing who’s outside your door even if you aren’t there. Last but not least, you might want to look at motion sensors that will tell you if someone is snooping around where they shouldn’t be.
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Once you’ve taken care of home security systems, you should, by all means, tackle things in terms of convenience. The most basic way of doing this is to get smart plugs, which will enable you to remotely turn on or off electronic appliances, as well as set up schedules. This is a good “budget” way of making your appliances smart.
However, if you’re remodeling and you will be getting new appliances, by all means, get smart ones from the get-go. They work a bit better, and compatibility with Alexa is something you can expect from pretty much any and all of them.
Last but not least, go for smart lights. Even though their main goal is to add convenience (and quite a lot of it), there’s also the fact that they add security. You can turn them on or off remotely, creating the impression that someone is inside your home. And that concludes the basics of building a smart home around Amazon’s ecosystem – enjoy making the most of it!