You already know Amazon’s Alexa can do things like set timers and describe the weather. But with the right products in your home, Alexa can do much more than that—it can connect the right products together to make your home smarter, more efficient, and safer.
It can be hard to know where to start, though, so we’ve gathered a list of some of the best products that work with Alexa to help you build and expand Alexa’s capabilities (and, by extension, yours) in your own home.
Amazon Echo, Dot, or Tap?
While we recommend the Amazon Echo, any of Amazon’s smart home speakers will work perfectly as the central hub of your Alexa-enabled smart home. Some third-party products, like the Sonos One, have Alexa built in and will also work. Ultimately, what device you get depends on what speaker features you want—Alexa’s technology is the same.
Home automation systems
Samsung SmartThings uses several protocols, including both Zigbee and Z-Wave, giving you tons of options for connected devices.
One of the best ways to get the most out of your home automation system is to get a kit, like the SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit. In it, you get the SmartThings hub, two sensors (for doors or windows), one motion sensor, and one smart outlet.
While you’ll want to add more devices like these for a larger home, this is a great way to start monitoring your home and testing out just how much you can do with a smart home automation system.
Other compatible Nest products include the Nest Cam indoor camera, the Nest Cam outdoor camera, and the Nest Secure alarm system. Nest products tend to be a bit pricier than other home automation devices, so getting one is a commitment, but we have generally found each product to be highly reliable and secure.
Caséta by Lutron Wireless Smart Bridge
We recommend the Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Starter Kit, which comes with a Smart Bridge to connect your lighting to Alexa, as well as two dimmer switches and remotes that control up to 17 lightbulbs each.
Belkin Wemo Smart Plugs
Best of all, you can ask Alexa to control the appliance plugged into the switch. If you want a similar but smaller product, check out the Wemo Mini Smart Plug, which also works directly with Alexa.
Kasa by TP-Link Smart Plugs
As with the Wemo plugs, you insert a Kasa smart plug into an outlet and then plug lamps, fans, and other small appliances into the smart plug for full control from your smartphone or through Alexa.
Belkin Wemo Smart Plugsecobee4 and ecobee3 Lite
Our favorite feature of ecobee thermostats is that they use room sensors to customize the temperature in each room rather than changing the whole home’s temperature based on the temperature in the room with the thermostat.
We also love that you can monitor and adjust both thermostats from your smartphone if you’re away from the house and through Alexa when you’re home.
Honeywell Lyric T5
Be aware that all Honeywell thermostats require a C wire, which not every home’s heating/cooling system has, so you’ll want to check for that before getting a Lyric T5.
Logitech Circle 2 Home Security Camera
Both cameras also come with 24 hours of free cloud storage, and with the Logitech app you can view the video feed on your smartphone. The Circle is one of our top recommended outdoor security cameras after the Nest Cam, so it’s worth your consideration.
Arlo by Netgear Indoor/Outdoor Security Camera
It sends notifications to your phone when motion triggers the camera, and its great night vision means the footage won’t be compromised in the dark. And if you don’t want notifications all the time, you can turn motion activation on and off with the scheduling feature.
Ring Pro Video Doorbell
It has 1080p video and customizable motion detection zones, though it does require preexisting doorbell wiring—there are no wireless options.
Smart door locks
August Smart Lock Pro (3rd generation)
The August Pro installs quickly and easily on the inside of the door and works with your existing deadbolt. When the August lock senses your phone, it will unlock automatically, so you won’t have to fumble with keys when your arms are full of groceries.
Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt
The Schlage connects to Alexa via Z-Wave technology, so it’s not accessible from your smartphone, but it does have an auto-lock feature and a built-in alarm in case it detects tampering.
Kwikset SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Deadbolt
That feature, along with the auto-locking feature and built-in alarm, adds a solid layer of smart security. The SmartCode 916 has Z-Wave technology to communicate to other home automation devices, including Alexa, in your home.
Make your home voice assistant work for you
Adding a smart voice home assistant is a great start to your home automation system—or, if you already have smart home devices, it’s an ideal way to bring everything together. We love Alexa’s range of compatible devices, but there are other options to explore, too, like Google Home, Sonos One, and Apple HomePod for iOS users.
Do you use Alexa in your home or do you have another home voice assistant? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.