The Amazon Echo is fast becoming one of the hottest and most sought-after smart home and automation product in the tech sphere. Now, every other significant tech company with vested interests in home automation wants to seamlessly integrate their products with Echo's customizable and highly-practical virtual assistant, Amazon's Alexa.
Some of the latest to do this are Z-Wave Hub manufacturers. Thanks to this, now with a ready Alexa and Z-Wave setup, you could control all your Z-Wave/Smart Home devices using some of the most popular Alexa voice commands such as, 'Alexa, turn up the heat' or ' Alexa, turn off the lights.' And with the inception of the Amazon Echo Dot, you can control your devices via voice on the cheap!
Integrating Your Hub With Alexa
Every hub is different, so integrating Alexa will vary from hub to hub, but we'll show you how to do it quickly with the Wink. If you have SmartThings or Vera, you can use Alexa as well, but the steps will vary slightly.
- Start By Powering Up Your Hub
You ought to begin your Alexa Z-wave integration by plugging in the Wink Hub to power and placing it in a location that has a reliable reception range of your home Wi-Fi. You will then be required to set up the Wink Hub in a way that it connects to your home's WiFi network through the dedicated Wink app. This is all pretty standard stuff, so most of you will have this done already.
- Add Your Dedicated Z-Wave Devices
You can add your dedicated Z-Wave devices to the Wink hub by using the built in Wink app to discover and add them one-by-one. Ensure that you check under the 'generic' sub-tab too in you have a problem locating them in the main menu. A good example of this is the General Electric ( GE ) Smart Home Switch that is traditionally not always discoverable under the main menu.
- Group the Devices Into 'Scenes' and 'Rooms.'
For easier access and convenience, it's recommended to separate/group your Z-Wave devices under 'Rooms' or 'Scene' within either the Alexa app or the dedicated Wink app. This will enable you to turn all your connected devices in a room 'ON' or 'OFF' depending on how you choose to look at it. With this kind of deep integration, you can achieve higher levels of home automation by controlling an entire room's connected devices with a single command, as opposed to doing this one-after-the-other.
- Add Wink to Your Alexa App
Once you have Wink all set up, it's time to go into the Alexa app on your phone, and add your Wink devices. To do that, open the Alexa app, select 'Settings' and scroll down to 'Connected Home'. Then, select 'Link with Wink Devices' and login to your Wink hub. That's it! Now, you'll be able to select the devices you want to control and you'll be able to easily control your Z-Wave devices by voice.
There is no refuting that Alexa is proving to be an increasingly useful, reliable, and entertaining ( to some extent ) voice automation command system. Now the ability to integrate, add or retrofit one's Z-Wave devices adds more spice to this sauce!