Just buy an Amazon Echo? To get as much control possible from such a groundbreaking innovation, try integrating it with other smart hubs. You broaden Alexa’s skills and get far better command of every facet of your smart home that way.
So what smart hubs work seamlessly with Echo? To help you get started, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of devices that work with your Echo. We recommend you take notes if you truly wish to harness that much power out of the box.
Giving Alexa Full Reign of Your Smart Home
Imagine saying “Alexa, turn on the kitchen” while in bed and have the lights and your coffeemaker ready when you walk in minutes later. That’s Alexa working in conjunction with other smart hubs. It may sound complex to rookie Echo owners, but integration is pretty much straightforward if you know where to begin.
Of course, you’ll have to set up the Amazon Echo itself and download the necessary companion app (available for iOS and Android). You have to do the same for your smart hub, too: plug it, create an account for the device, and use its companion app to add every supported product (e.g. thermostats, locks, sensors, bulbs, etc.) you have that works with it.
Once that’s done, all that’s left is to link Echo to the smart hub. Your home appliances will all magically be at your beck and call from there.
Smart Hubs That Natively Work with Amazon Echo
Wondering what smart hubs you can command via Alexa? Look no further because we’ve got that list for you right here.
Insteon has been around since 2005 as a home automation brand. Twelve years and over 200 products later, they’ve become your go-to company when you want robust and reliable control of home devices.
Got a Logitech Harmony, Nest Learning Thermostat, or Sonos sound system at home? Insteon hub central controller should let you control all these devices using its app, Amazon Echo, or your Apple Watch. You can even use it to smarten up “dumb” appliances and Wi-Fi cameras, too. You may be better off with other smart hubs if you’re after automated home security, though.
Vivint Sky ($39.99)
While it’s among the most versatile smart home systems around, Vivint Sky stands out in the home security arena. Imagine telling Alexa to activate home security as you’re about to head for work. Controlling garage doors and locking windows and doors aren’t the only things you can do on Vivint Sky.
Video surveillance, lamp/lock/thermostat automation, and even small appliance control are the other cool things you can do with this smart hub. Overall, its system lets you set adjust your entire home to create the perfect environment for waking up or sleeping. Yes, including turning your coffeemaker on.
Wink Hub 2 ($99)
Like most smart hubs, you may have to go through a learning curve to fully grasp the Wink app. But once you’re done with this initial hurdle, it’s a cakewalk pairing smart home devices with it. It pairs with more devices than most hubs on this list, meaning the sky’s the limit with the type of home automation you can do with the Wink.
GE light bulbs, iHome smart plugs,—imagine being able to control these with Echo or IFTTT, regardless of brand. That’s the versatility and freedom the Wink Hub 2 affords every home automation enthusiast. Did we mention it works with every wireless protocol as well as supports dual-band Wi-Fi?
It boasts of the capability to interface with 200+ smart devices (e.g. GE Z-Wave switches, Cree LED lights and Honeywell thermostat), but it can be tricky integrating third-party devices to Samsung’s SmartThings Hub. Good thing it comes with an easy-to-use app that makes pairing quite a no-brainer.
We also like that Samsung smart hub includes a battery backup so the device runs even when the power goes out. At this price range, you’d be hard-pressed finding something else that offers better flexibility and control.
Philips Hue Bridge 2nd Generation ($59.99)
Looking for a versatile lighting that you can easily control with Echo? There may be no better choice than Hue Bridge 2.0 from Philips. For starters, it can connect and control up to 50 Philips Hue smart bulbs. That’d take care of lighting an entire house and then some!
Besides pairing well with an Amazon Echo and IFTTT recipes, the hub also works with Apple HomeKit. Unbelievably responsive, the awe-inspiring lighting environments and creative effects you get from the Hue Bridge is often enough reason to invest in the system.
Curious what other smart light bulbs you can use around the home? Here are 7 best smart lights on the market.
Scout Security Hub ($129)
Automated home security may seem like a pipe dream, but it’s what Scout Security Hub readily offers. Manage door alarms, motion sensors, and window sensors on Echo when you integrate this smart hub to it.
With this voice-controlled system in place, you can maintain tight home security as well as control it remotely. You may even get real-time, detailed mobile notifications whenever Scout Alarm sensors detect potential intruders. You may think that taking a DIY approach to home security is bound to fail, but Scout Security surprisingly oversees and protects premises effectively.
Are you living in a relatively spacious home? In that case, the Nexia Bridge may be a suitable pick. By utilizing the Z-Wave technology, this hub connects with up to 200 different smart products simultaneously. The sheer range and connective power of this smart hub make it best for anyone living in large premises.
On the downside, this easy-to-use hub isn’t compatible with other smart home technologies beyond Z-Wave and Amazon Echo. Overall, it’s still a great choice for any smart home beginners.
By managing your home’s lighting and temperature control, the Harmony system could very well be the ultimate smart hub! It works cohesively with Logitech Harmony universal remotes. Meaning, you get full control of your home theater! Home automation meets home entertainment.
It’s capable of interfacing with Alexa through the IFTTT app so IoT integration is a breeze. It’s relatively easy to set up, too. The price tag may be too steep for anyone just wanting to get a feel for smart homes, though.
The Securifi Almond 3 Smart Home Wi-Fi System does exactly what its name implies: it creates both a smart home network and a Wi-Fi mesh connection. If you’re in the market for a router and a smart hub, this might be your best bet.
It’s easy to set up even for non-techies and that’s largely thanks to its minimalist and elegant touch-screen design. Although its mediocre Wi-Fi signal may be a disappointment for those in search of a good router. We recommend anyone to use Securifi Almond 3 as a range extender if they already have a solid router, instead.
Iris Smart Hub ($67.99)
Frankly, this smart hub is in its infancy. It promises a lot of appealing future upgrades, but its current iteration often leaves a lot to be desired. It does, however, interface well with more than 80 smart devices, including ZigBee, Z-Wave, Whirlpool, and GE products.
If you don’t have that much smart technology lying around the house, you may get started with Lowe’s Iris hub. It’s snappy and simple to set up (and cheap), after all. We’re disappointed with its app, though. Not only is it cumbersome to use, newbies will find that many basic app functionalities are inexplicably locked behind an unnecessary pay wall.
Be warned: HomeSeer’s HomeTroller series is made with smart home experts in mind. While it’s arguably easy to use, it takes some time to master integrating new smart devices. In that regard, the hub supports just about every major smart home technology imaginable. That includes X10, Z-Wave, Insteon, and Wi-Fi.
In case you didn’t know, HomeSeer is among the leaders in DIY home automation systems. They’ve got excellent customer support and a vibrant user community where you can turn for help in case you’re at wit’s end figuring how it works.
Powerful and complex, the ISY994i ZW controller isn’t for novice smart home enthusiasts. That’s for good reason. With this hub, you have to program different scenes and nodes. This also means you may set several actions performed simultaneously with every Alexa command.
Again, remember that this isn’t for non-techies so you may find its complex user interface anything but pretty. Meaning, only seasoned smart home aficionados should invest in this smart hub. Nevertheless, it’s highly capable of interfacing with a wide variety of off-the-shelf Insteon/X10 and Z-Wave devices.
Top Compatible Hub-Free Smart Devices
Not all smart home products need a central hub to connect with Alexa. There are devices that work with your Amazon Echo right out of the box. You’re looking at switches, lights, fans, thermostats, and more. If you’re curious what those hub-free smart devices are, look no further than Amazon’s complete list of Echo-compatible gadgets.
Looking for recommendations to know what great smart technology to pick? Here are 5 that we absolutely love:
ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide ($179)
Perhaps the smallest and sleekest kitchen tool you’ll ever see, the Joule lets you whip up the perfect steak, fish, or chicken anytime. You can control the smart device through a free mobile app or Alexa so you get dinner ready even if you’re busy watching your favorite Netflix show.
Automatic Connected Car Adapter ($129.99)
Get crucial driving data before you take your car to work with this tiny engine diagnostics technology. Tell Alexa to ask the Automatic about your car’s fuel, engine light codes, and where it’s parked. It’ll totally save you from unnecessary breakdowns on the road.
Nucleus Anywhere Intercom ($379.99)
A family communication device that even your kids or grandmother can use! With a pair, you can make video calls from room to room, home to home, or even on the go. Put one near your Amazon Echo and you could be commanding Alexa to do anything from anywhere in the house.
Wemo Insight Switch ($49.99)
Among the best smart plugs in the market, you could be controlling your “dumb” appliances from anywhere in the world (through a mobile app) with this nifty device. Pair it with your Echo and you could be telling Alexa to get your coffee maker running as you get out of bed.
On its own, the Amazon Echo is just a good wireless speaker. Pair it with any of these smart hubs or devices and it becomes a powerful personal assistant.