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Common Alexa Voice Commands You Need to Know

So you’ve filled your home with Amazon smart home devices—now what? Learn the most common Alexa smart home voice commands to get you started.

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two people listening to music on a smart speakerShutterstock/ Kaspars Grinvalds

How To Control Music Through Smart Speakers

Long gone are the days of families huddled around a single radio hoping to hear a song they like. Now, music streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music make listening to the tunes of your choice simple and convenient. Speakers that are compatible with Alexa can pump music into your home with just a few short phrases.

Alexa smart home voice commands for controlling music:

  • “Alexa, play [genre]”
  • “Alexa, set volume to 5”
  • “Alexa, create a [genre] playlist.”
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How to Control Your Lights Through Smart Devices

One of the main draws for setting up a modern smart home is the amount of control and flexibility smart home lights give you. Smart bulbs compatible with Alexa are available from a variety of brands and allow you to control the lights in your home through some simple voice commands.

Alexa smart home voice commands for controlling lights:

  • “Alexa, dim the lights to 50%”
  • “Alexa, turn [name] lights off/out”
  • “Set the [name] light to blue.”
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Shutterstock/ Fedorovekb

How to Make Alexa Your Personal News Anchor

Staying up to speed on the goings-on in the outside world from the comfort of your own home has never been easier. If you know how to ask, Amazon Alexa can keep you informed on all of the day’s latest news, providing briefings from a variety of news sources. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, settle down on the couch and let your Alexa smart home tell you everything you need to know.

Alexa smart home voice commands for getting news:

  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”
  • “Alexa, what’s yesterday’s [team name] score?”
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taking a phone call on a smart speakerShutterstock/ Kaspars Grinvalds

How to Use Your Phone Through Smart Speakers

Connecting your phone to your smart home devices makes it possible for you to make and take calls handsfree from anywhere in your house. It works even if your phone is in an upstairs living room and you’re all the way down in the basement (as long as there is smart home device like an Echo Dot nearby). Alexa compatible devices can make calls, send texts and read messages if you know how to ask.

Alexa smart home voice commands for making/taking calls:

  • “Alexa, answer the call”
  • “Alexa, hang up”
  • “Alexa, play messages”
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How to Control Your Smart Home Security

There are a variety of Alexa compatible home security devices, ranging from five-piece alarm kits to security cameras to single door locks. With these devices set up and a few voice commands at your disposal, the Alexa system can provide a blanket of security for your home. With smart home devices with monitors like the Amazon Echo Show, you can even ask Alexa to pull up feeds from security cameras both inside and outside the house.

Alexa smart home voice commands for home security: 

  • “Alexa, lock the front door.”
  • “Alexa, show me [room name].”
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rainy day weather trafficShutterstock/ eakasarn

How to Get Traffic and Weather From Alexa Smart Home Devices

Did you know that Alexa can tell you about the weather and the traffic before you head out for work in the morning? First, you are going to have to let Alexa know a few details in the Alexa app, like your location and the starting point and destination of your commute. Once you’ve finished that set-up, Alexa can give you the rundown on whether that forecasted rain is actually going to happen and warn you if a bad accident means you need to take an alternate route to work.

Alexa smart home voice commands for learning about traffic and weather:

  • “Alexa, what’s the traffic like?”
  • “Alexa, what’s the weather like?”
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Television Blackregis/Shutterstock

How To Control Your TV Through Alexa Compatible Devices

Televisions that respond to voice control might seem like something out of the Jetsons, but they are already here. If your TV has Alexa built-in, you are already good to go. If not, many modern televisions can connect to devices that are compatible with Alexa, like the Sonos Beam soundbar, which allow your voice to turn down the volume without scrambling to find that constantly-lost remote.

 Alexa smart home voice commands for controlling your television:

  • “Alexa, turn on the TV”
  • “Alexa, turn down the volume on the TV”
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man shocked because he missed his alarmShutterstock/ Rachata Teyparsit

Set Up Alarms and Timers On Your Smart Devices

If you have a home full of smart home devices, you’ve pretty much lost your excuse for lateness. Personalized alarms are easy to set up through the Alexa smart home app and can play through devices in every room in your house so that they are nearly impossible to miss.

Alexa smart home voice commands for timers and alarms:

  • “Alexa, set alarm for 8am”
  • “Alexa, set timer for [X minutes].”
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Nest smart thermostat in kitchenFamily Handyman

How to Use Voice Commands for Home Temperature Control

An Alexa-compatible smart thermostat makes it possible to change the temperature in your home from any room with connected smart home devices. You will never want to go back to the old way of doing things after the first time you adjust the thermostat without even getting out from under your bed covers. 

Alexa smart home voice commands for smart thermostats:

  • “Alexa, set the temperature to 72 degrees”
  • “Alexa, what’s the temperature in the house?”
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Shutterstock/ Tungphoto

How to Plan Your Night Out Through Alexa

Nobody likes to waste their free time trying to figure out how to spend it. Luckily, you can find out all of your entertainment options in your area just by asking your smart devices a few questions. Alexa can help you plan a great evening out on the town so you know exactly what your night has in store before stepping out the door. 

Alexa smart home voice commands for finding entertainment:

  • “Alexa, what restaurants are nearby?”
  • “Alexa, what time is the movie [insert movie title] playing?”