If you’ve been using Amazon Alexa to enjoy music or control smart bulbs, you’ll agree that Amazon’s virtual assistant makes things easy and fun.
Another cool way to automate your home is using smart plugs with Alexa. Find out how to quickly and easily connect a smart plug to Alexa.
What Is a Smart Plug and Which One to Buy?
You won’t need to buy any accessories for a smart plug as it is designed to fit into your existing wall sockets. With a device plugged-in to a smart plug you can control it remotely. So you can switch on/off appliances like coffee makers, lamps, space heaters, microwave ovens, air conditioners, and more.
But to control plugged-in appliances with your voice, you’ll need an Alexa device like the Amazon Echo.
So which smart plug should you buy? Remember to buy the one that works with Alexa.
There are many smart plugs available with different features—some that are rated for smaller devices like coffee makers and lamps, and some are designed to use with bigger appliances like air conditioners. There are also smart plugs that save energy, some that work outdoors, and some with USB ports.
But most standard smart plugs available today are compatible with Alexa. Just check on the plug package if it works with Alexa. If you’re buying online check the specifications for compatibility.
From Amazon’s smart plug to those from brands like TP-Link Kasa, Gosund, Wyze, and more, there are many affordable options available that will work well for your smart home.
How to Connect a Smart Plug to Alexa
It’s easy to connect a smart plug to Alexa, especially if you’re using the Amazon smart plug. Just plug in the Amazon smart plug into a wall socket and then open the Alexa app.
A prompt on the app will show you that Alexa is setting up the smart plug. And within seconds, the plug was set up and online.
But you might have a smart plug of another brand, not an Amazon one. So let’s explore how to connect any standard smart plug to Alexa.
First, insert the smart plug into a wall socket. Either the pairing light on the plug will start flashing or you will have to press the plug’s on/off button for a few seconds to put it in pairing mode.
Then open the Alexa app on your phone and tap on Devices on the lower-right and then on the + icon on the top-right. Tap Add Device on the prompt that appears.
The Setup page will open with the list of devices. Tap on Plug. That should open up the list of smart plug brands supported by Alexa.
Then choose your plug’s brand from the list of supported brands. The setup page will instruct you to download the manufacturer’s app and follow the steps, which would probably be to create an account on the app with a username and password. After that, you will be able to control the plug and the device plugged into it with the manufacturer’s app.
But you want to connect to Alexa, so you should return to the Alexa app and either tap on More > Skills to go to the Alexa skill store. Here you can search for your smart plug’s skill by its name. Alternatively, open your smart plug’s setup page on the Alexa app and tap on Next.
Both actions will take you to your smart plug’s skill page. You will need to link your smart plug manufacturer’s account (the one that you created in the app before) to Alexa, so tap on Enable to Use.
This will open your smart plug’s manufacturer’s sign-in page where you would need to enter your email ID and password (the same password you created for the smart plug’s app). Tap on Authorize to allow Alexa to control your smart plug and other devices by the same manufacturer.
Then you will need to let Alexa discover the device. Once done, you will get a prompt on the Alexa app that a new plug is found and ready to use.
If you have an Alexa device, Alexa will also speak out “New plug named (smart plug name) found. To control it, say Alexa, turn on (smart plug name).”
And then you can control your smart plug through the app or your voice along with setting routines for devices plugged into it. You can also change the smart plug name to the device name like coffee maker, lamp, or cooker to make it easy to control with a voice command.
What to Do if Alexa Doesn’t Recognize Your Smart Plug
So you’ve tapped Devices > + icon > Add Device > Plug on the Alexa app. But what if your smart plug brand is not on the list of Alexa’s supported devices? What will you do?
Simply scroll to the bottom of the list and select Other. In the setup page that opens click on Discover Devices. Alexa will search for devices and once it’s found, you can follow instructions on the Alexa app to connect your smart plug.
Or you could check if your smart plug connects through an Alexa skill on the skill store. Simply search for it by the manufacturer’s name. Once found, you can link it up to Alexa with its skill.
Also, if your smart plug connects via a hub like ZigBee or to an Echo with a built-in hub, you could link the hub on the setup page. Tap on the link named hub on the setup page and a list of supported hub brands will appear. Choose your brand and connect.
But to avoid any compatibility issues and ensure that your smart plug will connect to Alexa, only buy a plug that works with Alexa by checking the plug’s packaging and specifications.
Enjoy a Smarter Life by Controlling Devices with Alexa
You’ve learned that connecting a smart plug to Alexa is easy. Moreover, it gives you the power to control your devices too.
So go ahead and link up a few smart plugs to Alexa—and discover the fun and joys of a connected, smarter life.
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