smart home hubs

Why do my Philips Hue lights disconnect from WiFi?

Philips Hue Lights

Episode 1716

Jonathan from Scottsdale, AZ

Jonathan has a Philips Hue lights and uses the Wiz App to control them. But they keep disconnecting. Leo says that's a common problem, and he says that using the Home Hub will make WiFi connection to the lights more consistent. But Leo also thinks that the smart lights are more of a gimmick these days and really more hassle than they are worth. And they are expensive too. 

In general, smart home IoT as a technology still has a long way to go. 

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.