how can I use the Amazon Alexa website to set up a multi-color wireless light bulb?

Hello and Good Evening Everyone,

           I am wondering how I can set up a wireless multicolor light bulb through Amazon Alexa's website so I can use voice commands to manipulate the contrast and color of the lighting.  

           Any step by step guide for accomplishing this task will be greatly appreciated.

           Thank you

           George
GMartinAsked:
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
You would either need a new Echo that has a smart hub built in, or a smart hub (like Philips Hue) that has an Alexa skill for controlling the bulb.

For example:
Buy a Philips Hue starter kit.
Add the Philips Hue Echo Skill
Add your hub to Alexa
Name your bulbs
Control you Hue bulbs with voice command.

Or, Buy a bulb like this: https://amzn.to/2N5hrf7 that does not require a hub IF you have the newer Echo devices.
The app will help you add it to Echo
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Morning Owen :-)

           Thank you for taking the time to address my question.  After reviewing your feedback, I do have just one follow up question regarding your given link.  While the bulb is exactly what I have in mind, I am wondering if I can set up the different colors through the Alexa website.  The reason I ask is because my phone is very basic and does not have any apps on it.  That said, perhaps there is a way of downloading and installing an application on my laptop and set it up through the Alexa website so I can use voice commands to control services of the bulb like contrast and color output.

            What are your thoughts regarding what I have in mind?   My Amazon Echo is 2nd generation and has been automatically updated with the latest system software which was done when it was first set up a few days ago.

            George
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Martin NguyenHelpDesk TechnicianCommented:
Hey GMartin,

Here's a older CNET article detailing the functionality of voice control over the colors of lights.
https://www.cnet.com/news/finally-alexa-can-change-the-color-of-your-smart-lights/

Does that help guide you through setting it up? If not I can find another resource for you.
Martin Nguyen
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Martin

            Thank you for your follow up link.  I will check it out tonight when I get home.  I believe I mentioned this earlier, but, I am basically wanting to screw in the bulb into the light socket and use Alexa as a standalone device to set it up.  If this is not feasible and requires software, perhaps there is  a program which I can download onto my laptop and set it up.  My phone is very basic and without apps.  So, if I can possibly carry out what is needed through Alexa as a standalone device or use it in conjunction with my laptop, that would be great.  Your submitted link may contain the content needed to resolve this question.  If not, perhaps you know of a resource which can answer this for me.

             Thank you

             George
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Martin NguyenHelpDesk TechnicianCommented:
Hi George,
The CNET article doesn't discuss how to set up any of the light bulbs to work with Alexa, just mentions their functionality.
I recall in another question you mentioned a TP-Link bulb, so I looked one up on Amazon that has multiple colors and which you can dim: https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Dimmable-2500-9000K-Equivalent-LB130/dp/B01HXM8X88/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1538072196. This one states you can change the light levels and colors through your Alexa device by voice commands, in addition to using a phone app (which you do you want to do). It also says it can connect to your home Wi-Fi directly, without the need for a hub.

In the other question you asked I believe I linked to the TP-Link Kasa app in the Alexa store, which you can use to set up the app on your Alexa device from your computer, and then use your Alexa device to finish set up.

If you aren't picky about brands, you could search for other brands to compare reviews. Owen Rubin mentioned Phillips Hue, which is probably the oldest and best supported brand of color changing, voice controlled lights.

Hope this helps,
Martin Nguyen
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
Hi George. I have not used that particular bulb, just aware of it. But it does look like it needs the app from what I read. But there may be other that will work with the Amazon Echo Web page. See my list below. . A good Google search on Smart Bulbs may help match up the skills with te bulbs.

However, typically to get the full use of an Echo, you would need to use a smartphone to set it up and add most skills and settings.  I have not used the Amazon website until today (was not aware of it) so I went to that page and re-set-up one of my Echo Dots. And it does look like the website will let you add skills and  use it to control you Echo devices and items connected to it.

Here is an image of the website interface when adding a skill for a "smart bulb" and one example of one of the skills.
It looks like you will have to pick a bulb that has a skill that can be used with the website.

Screen-Shot-2018-09-27-at-11.27.28-A.png
Screen-Shot-2018-09-27-at-11.29.26-A.png
So what I worry about if if that example bulb I listed has an app that talks directly to the bulb? If that is the case, the it won't work for you. So I went to the web site "app" and asked for skills that support smart bulbs. Here is a list of skills when searching for Smart Lights that work from the web page "app." I would buy a bulb that is supported by one of these apps to be sure it will work from the Amazon web page:

  • Geeni - Smart bulbs, plugs, and smarthome
  • Hue
  • Lucero Smart
  • WiZ Smart Home skill
  • Sansi Hey Light
  • Hive - Optimized for Smart Home
  • Lumenty Smart Devices
  • Iotton Smart Things
  • Smart Life
  • KMC Smart
  • Globe Suite
  • Voion Home
  • atomi smart
  • iView iHome
  • Wink
  • EufyHome
  • Lenovo Smart Home
  • Tuya Smart
  • HeeLight
  • C by GE
  • Xtreme Connected Home
  • Kisslink home
  • Home Recipe by Merlot
  • OPEN-LIT
  • iLuv Home
  • Energy Product Finder
  • Yeelight

There may be more, I just did a quick search.
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Martin NguyenHelpDesk TechnicianCommented:
Great list Owen!

I don't mean to hijack the question, but since you are logged into the Alexa website and connected to your Echo's, are you connecting to them through being on the same Wi-Fi network or through Bluetooth? I know on my phone I can connect to my Echo through Bluetooth to facilitate set up, but I was wondering if the only thing that is necessary is a Wi-Fi network. This could be helpful for George when setting up his smart bulbs.

Thanks,
Martin
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
I put the Echo into set up mode. The web app asks me to connect via Wifi, a network the Echo creates for set up. Then it asks me to pick a local network, and then switched both my Mac and the Echo to that network, and then connects via Wifi back to the Amazon Alexa web page to control the device.  So it looks like only WiFi.

And I see no hijack, just someone else trying to help. Thanks.
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Evening Owen and Martin,

            Thank you very much for your thorough and detailed feedback in addition to the links provided to this post.  To be forthright and candid here, you both did an excellent job of answering my question.  With the information provided here at hand, I am confident I have enough clarity to get started with this project.

             Thanks again.

             George
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Martin NguyenHelpDesk TechnicianCommented:
Glad to be of assistance. Please keep up updated on your project and what you used that works. I have been meaning to set up my own voice controlled lights, and seeing as a hub is no longer required I might want to make that investment soon as well.

Cheers,
Martin
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GMartinAuthor Commented:
Will do, Martin.  

Thanks again for your help :-)

George
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