The Alexa app has been updated to include a new feature called the Energy Dashboard that attempts to estimate the power consumption of your smart home devices. The dashboard charts the power usage of smart lights, plugs, thermostats, and more over time so that you can see which smart devices use the most energy and whether your power usage is trending up or down. While Alexa’s new energy dashboard does seem to report power usage figures from smart devices that report their energy consumption, it also works with more basic smart devices by simply tracking how long each one is powered on during a given timeframe. Read more ›
Thanks to competitive pricing and a wide assortment of good products, TP-Link has quickly become one of the leading smart home device manufacturers. They’ve announced a series of new products at CES 2019, including smart doorbells, security cameras, and smart plugs, but the most interesting new device is a smart light switch with a built-in voice assistant that you talk to through its integrated speaker and microphones. Read more ›
One of the confusing and cumbersome aspects of using Amazon’s Alexa to control smart home devices is the need to sometimes say “Alexa, ask…” before issuing a command. Prefacing a command with “ask” or “tell” is necessary when a smart home device manufacturer provides capabilities that go beyond what Amazon supports in their regular set of Alexa smart home control commands. Amazon is now allowing developers to extend the capabilities of regular smart home Alexa skills with extra functionality so that they don’t need to resort to a custom skill that requires the user to say “ask” before issuing an advanced command. Read more ›
Get this Wemo Dimmer Switch Deal
The Wemo Dimmer Wi-Fi Light Switch has just gone on sale for $49.99. This matches the lowest price it has ever been and is $30 off the regular price of $79.99. This is the same price it was during Black Friday last year and around Prime Day this year, so it’s unlikely to drop any further for Black Friday this year. This smart light switch replaces any standard light switch to give you remote control of the lights connected to the switch through the app or through voice using Alexa. If you have a room full of lights that are controlled by a switch, like recessed lights in a ceiling, it makes much more financial sense to add a single smart light switch like this one, than to replace all the bulbs with smart bulbs. This Wemo switch offers a few handy features even if you don’t plan to control it through the app or Alexa, such as a setting that lets you control what dim level the lights turn on to at specific times so you’re not blinded by bright lights in the middle of the night. It has great reviews and is the best-selling smart dimmer light switch on Amazon and it does not require any sort of external hub to work.
Amazon is currently having a sale on dozens of Alexa-compatible smart home devices that are 20% off using promo code SMARTHOME20. Included are Kasa/TP-Link plugs, switches, cameras, and bulbs. There are also Sengled bulbs, both with and without hubs. Several Arlo Pro cameras and security lights are included, as are several camera products from Ring. Continue on for the full list of products on sale. Read more ›
Amazon has started a new large promotion on several Alexa compatible smart home devices. Most devices are 20% off with the promo code SMARTHOME20, but two special sales are easily the best deals of the bunch. If you use promo code SMART10 at checkout, you can buy either the TP-Link Smart Plug Mini or the LIFX White Smart Bulb for $10. You are limited to one purchase at a discount, so you cannot buy each for $10. The TP-Link plug is among the most popular Alexa compatible smart plugs. The lowest price it has ever been in the past was $19.99, so this is a fantastic deal. The lowest price the LIFX bulb has been is $21.49, so it too is a great deal at $10. Both of these smart home gadgets do not require any kind of hub. Simply plug/screw them in, set them up on your WiFi network, and you’ll be able to control them through Alexa or through their smartphone apps. Offer is only good for “owners of Echo Family and 3rd party Alexa-enabled devices.”
The Wemo Dimmer Wi-Fi Light Switch has just gone on sale for $49.99. This smart switch has a retail price of $79.99 but normally sells for $64.99. This sale price matches the lowest price that the switch has ever been, which occurred during this past Black Friday. This smart light switch replaces any standard light switch to give you remote control of the lights connected to the switch through the app or through voice using Alexa. If you have a room full of lights, like recessed lights, it makes much more sense to add a smart light switch than to replace numerous bulbs with smart bulbs. This Wemo switch offers a few hand features even if you don’t plan to control it through the app or Alexa, such as a setting that lets you control what dim level the lights turn on to at specific times so you’re not blinded by brightness in the middle of the night.
The TP-Link Smart Plug Mini is currently on sale for $20.99 when you apply the promo code TPLINK at checkout. This price is just $1 more than the lowest price this plug has ever been, which occurred for just a few hours on Cyber Monday. The regular price of the plug is $27.99 and the promo code knocks off 25%, which makes this a great deal for one of the most popular Alexa compatible plugs. The “mini” nature of this plug allows you to plug it into a standard outlet without blocking the adjacent outlet, or you can stack two of these plugs in the same outlet. The 25% discount will be applied to as many plugs as you want to purchase. There are many cheaper no-name Alexa compatible plugs available of questionable quality, but it seems like TP-Link has hit a sweet spot with both affordability and quality, which is why their products dominate Amazon’s list of best-selling plugs.
It appears as though this deal is targeted towards specific people because the promo code is not working for everyone. For me there is a banner at the top with the promo details and the $7 discount is applied at checkout. You may need to have an Echo device registered to your Amazon account for the promo code to work.
The Wemo Smart Light Switch has just gone on sale for $29.99. This switch allows you to replace any light switch so that the connected lights can be controlled through Alexa or through a mobile app. Of course, the light switch still works as a regular physical switch. This sale price is just $1 higher than the lowest price this switch has ever been, which was during Black Friday 2016. This light switch is the #1 best-selling light switch on all of Amazon.
For Amazon’s early Black Friday deals, they have the Wemo Mini Spart Plug on sale for $24.99. This is the new lowest price that this plug has ever been. This is Wemo’s newest WiFi plug model that improves on the previous design by slimming down the device so that two of them can fit on a single outlet. You can turn on or off anything plugged into this smart plug using either Alexa or the Wemo phone app. You can also use the button on the plug to manually turn the power on or off. Wemo devices, including this plug, do not require any type of smart hub, so all you need for this plug to work is the plug itself.