With the arrival of the Amazon Echo devices, many people have opted for this platform when it comes to home automation. Amazon and Alexa, its personal assistant, base much of their success on the a large number of devices that offer compatibility with your proposal. Behind us we find, by the way, Google Assistant and Siri.
And for those who have a light bulb, a socket, a power strip, a lamp … in whose box is written “Compatible with Amazon and Alexa”, it is time to start the configuration. So, to help, let’s go over how can be configured with Alexa, on iOS and on Android, a compatible device. And we’ll take it one step at a time.
First step, download the apps
First we must download the corresponding apps. Because on the one hand we must have Alexa’s app for the device we will use as a configuration source (for this case we will try with iOS and Android), but also with the device’s own application to be added, which will be specified in the instructions.
In this case, as an example, I’m going to set up a TP-Link brand bulb, which is controlled by the Kasa Smart app, which can be downloaded to iOS and Android.
Once downloaded and installed on the mobile, the first step is to use the proprietary app to connect to the light bulb. Place the bulb in the thread of the lamp, making sure that it is lit and has power. It will flash to indicate that it is ready for pairing. If it is not, we can reset it by turning the light off and on three times.
In this case instructions are the same on iOS and Androidso we’ll look at the steps in iOS so that it’s not too heavy. Also, the startup process may vary depending on the brand and device to be added slightly. Also, the steps to reset a device in case of problems vary by model and are detailed in the manual that comes with the box.
In this case we are going to add a bulb (if it were a socket it would be enough to select the type of socket) and the app will guide us step by step. It warns us that we must have the bulb in a lamp with the switch on and the tightened thread.
First he’ll ask us connect the mobile to the Wi-Fi of the bulb in the phone settings and once connected, the next step is to add the light bulb (or device) to the home Wi-Fi network, because it must be at 2.4 GHz, as they do not usually work on the 5 GHz. Once linked, it will ask us to introduce the key of our Wi-Fi, to which the light bulb will be connected.
Once “hooked” to the network, the app checks for any pending firmware updates to download. The process takes very little time and once updated (if necessary), only we still have to personalize the name and if necessary, the icon to identify it.
The first step is already taken and we have added the device in question to the corresponding application. Now it remains to do the same with Alexa to be able to interact through the Amazon assistant’s mobile app and if possible, through the voice controls of any Alexa-compatible speaker.
Since we have already downloaded the app, we open it by entering the Alexa application. In the initial screen we’ll see a section on the left of the screena drop-down panel.
This is the panel that among other options gives us access to the “Skills” o “Routines” and from it we must download the one that corresponds to the brand of the device we want to add, in this case TP-Link Kasa. Each brand and each device has a skill concrete.
Once downloaded and installed, we will see in the lower zone five shortcutsof which we’ll look at the last one. In the form of a house with switches, is the one we must press to add the device, in this case the bulb.
We can add it by type or, as in this case, since the brand appears in the upper area of the screen, save those steps by clicking directly on Kasa (or on Philips, Netatmo, Amazon…)
If we do it manually, we must scan the environment ourselves to find the model we want to add. In this way, it is the app itself that takes care of searching for the light bulb.
The process may take a few seconds and when it “finds” you on the network, adds it to the list of available devices. From there, step by step, some of them optional, we add it to the room where we are going to use it to conclude the configuration.
To check that we have completed the process, click on “lights” and we’ll see how, in this case our bulb, is already added.
For those who want to check the process in Android, essentially the same, here are the screenshots where the steps to follow are shown, Identical on the Alexa iOS app and the Android.
This way we can control the functions of the accessory in the same way as in the original application of the brand. It’s a light bulb and we can change the color, the brightness, turn the light on and off… but if it were another one we would have access to all the functions it offers.
Besides, we can forget about using our handsWe can access it from anywhere or using voice controls with an Amazon Echo speaker or Alexa’s app on the smartphone.