Smart & Connected Life Smart Home How to Create a Smart Home Hub With Alexa Control your home with voice commands by Robert Earl Wells III Writer Robert Wells is a professional writer and amateur game developer. His specialties include web development, cryptocurrency, and cybersecurity. our editorial process LinkedIn Robert Earl Wells III Updated on April 08, 2020 Smart Home Amazon Smart Home: Alexa & Amazon Echo Your Best Year Ever: College Tech Tips Appliances & Lighting Google Tweet Share Email Amazon's Alexa is compatible with hundreds of smart home appliances. If you have an Amazon smart speaker, you can create your own smart home hub with Alexa. Instructions in this article apply to all Alexa-enabled devices, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Show, and Echo Dot. What Is an Alexa Smart Home Hub? A smart home hub serves as the command center of your smart home. It's possible to control your smart home with Alexa by syncing your Amazon devices with your smart TV, smart light bulbs, smart thermostat, and other appliances. That way, you can change the channel, dim the lights, adjust the temperature, and more using voice commands. What You Need to Set up a Smart Home With Alexa To control appliances with Alexa voice commands, you must enable the corresponding Alexa skill. You may also need to install an additional app on your phone. For example, if you want to connect your Phillips Hue smart lights to Alexa, then you must download the app for iOS or Android. The Alexa app will walk you through all of the necessary steps when you pair your devices. If you don't have an Amazon smart speaker, you can control your smart home appliances using the Alexa app for Android, iOS, or Amazon Fire devices. There are also smart speakers made by other manufacturers that support Alexa. You can turn on any device in your home using voice commands by connecting it to a smart plug. How to Pair Alexa With Smart Appliances After setting up your Alexa device and your smart home device, make sure both are connected to your home Wi-Fi network and have Bluetooth enabled. You can then use the Alexa app to pair the devices. For example, if you have a Roku TV, you can control your TV with Alexa: Open the Alexa app on your mobile device and tap Devices. Tap the plus (+) in the top-right corner. Tap Add Device. Choose the type of device you want to set up. Choose the brand of your smart device. Follow the on-screen instructions, then tap Discover Devices. Tap Set Up Device when Alexa discovers your appliance. Tap Choose Group to assign your appliance to a group, or tap Skip to continue. Tap Done. Now you can say things like "Alexa, turn on my TV" or "Alexa, open Hulu." Alternatively, you can say "Alexa, discover devices" to have your smart speaker detect and connect with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. How to Control Smart Devices With Alexa The voice commands that are available depend on the type of smart device. Here are some generic commands you can use: “Alexa, turn on [device].”“Alexa, turn off [device].”“Alexa, brighten my lights.”“Alexa, dim my lights.”“Alexa, set my lights to purple.”“Alexa, set my thermostat to cool.”“Alexa, set my thermostat to xx degrees.”“Alexa, increase my thermostat by xx degrees.”“Alexa, what is my thermostat's temperature?”“Alexa, show my security camera.”“Alexa, hide my security camera.” If you have an Echo Show, you can control your connected smart devices by swiping down on the screen and tapping the device icon. How to Set up Alexa Smart Home Groups If you have multiple smart TVs or smart lights in your home, you can set up smart home groups to control all appliances for the room you're currently in: Open the Alexa app on your mobile device and tap Devices. Tap the plus (+) in the top-right corner. Tap Add Group. Choose a name for your group, then tap Next. Tap each device you want to be part of the group to select it, then tap Save. Now, when you say "Alexa, turn on the lights" or "Alexa, turn on the TV," she won't have to ask which appliances you want to control. Each Echo device can only be associated with one smart home group at a time, so you will need multiple Alexa devices to take full advantage of groups. Smart Home Group Settings Return to the Devices screen and tap the name of the group to open its settings. From the settings menu, you can add or remove devices and designate a preferred speaker for streaming music.