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Alexa isn't just for Christmas

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Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« on: January 04, 2017, 07:33:03 am »
I normally love technology and embrace the latest and greatest, but alexa or Google home never really sparked an interest, I don't know why. Having had the echo for Christmas I now find myself with a device that I have no apparent need or excitement for, I'm sure I'll learn to love it but without any smart home systems it seems like a glorified news reader at the moment. I want to try replacing my lights with the alexa compatible WiFi bulbs, I see the Philips hue ones talked about a lot but do I need the bridge too as it seems all I'm doing is adding more hardware?

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 09:15:34 am »
Yes, you need the bridge for Philips Hue lamps, but it's a tiny little thing. It has to be plugged into your router directly with a network cable which is supplied. I wouldn't like to be without mine now, it's so convenient!

Re: Alexa isn't just for Christmas
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 09:34:47 am »
The Hue bridge and bulbs are a good choice if you're sure the only things you're going to want to control are lights (and even then only the types of lights that available from Philips as part of the Hue line).  But if you want to do more then you're going to want a more capable multi-function hub, like SmartThings, Wink, etc.  While there are quite a few devices that are WiFi based, and therefor do not need a local hub to control them, having a hub that can control them AND devices based on the popular and non-proprietary home automation protocols Zigbee and Z-Wave gives you far more options and flexibility, as well as a single central point of control for a multi-vendor automation environment.