A few months ago, Amazon revamped the smart home section of their Alexa app and, in the process, made it possible to control lights directly from the app. This turned the app into a central hub where various lights, regardless of manufacturer, could be controlled from a single interface. Amazon has since expanded the app’s capabilities by adding control for lights and temperature control for connected thermostats.
When the Alexa app first gained the ability to control lights, it was limited to only controlling the power and brightness of lights. If you had lights that could vary their temperature from cool to warm or lights that could be set to a color other than white, you had to use the manufacturer’s app to change the color if you didn’t want to speak the request to Alexa.
The Alexa app now has a button for each light or group of lights where the light’s color can be changed. At the top of the list of colors are five shades of white from a yellow-ish warm white to a blue-ish cool white. Below the white options are fifteen colors that can also be selected if your bulb supports non-white colors. There is no color wheel, like found in many apps from bulb manufacturers, for granular color selections.
In addition to now being able to set a light bulb’s color, Amazon has added the ability to set the temperature of your smart thermostat from within the Alexa app. When the smart home section of the Alexa app was first revamped, selecting a thermostat from your list of smart home devices only brought up its configuration options. Now, you can see the current room temperature, the current temperature setting, and can change the temperature setting directly from within the Alexa app.
These new improvements to the Alexa app bring it closer to being a one-stop place to control all the various smart home devices in your house. There are still devices that appear in the Alexa app that can’t be controlled, like cameras, but perhaps those will be added in the near future.