smart home hubs

Can I use Echo to turn on my lights?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1565

Henry from Prescott Valley, AZ

Henry has a few Amazon Echos and wants to know if he can turn his lights on/off with them. Leo says absolutely, but he'll need smart home lights that support the Echo. Philips Hue is one brand. But there are plenty of others out there. He can also get smart switches that enable him to turn things off with his voice. He should search Amazon for "works with Alexa" devices.

Would using a smart plug with my exercise bike cause a problem?

Amazon Smart Plug

Episode 1555

Gary from Cheektowaga, NY

The screen on Gary's exercise bike doesn't turn off unless he unplugs it, so he got a smart Wi-Fi enabled plug that he can use through Alexa. He's wondering if that could harm it in some way. Leo says it's the same as if he were just unplugging the bike and plugging it back in, so there shouldn't be any harm in that. The only exception is if it somehow sends a power spike to it when it turns back on, but it should be OK.