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Smart Home

Turn the Amazon Echo light ring into a night light

Put the light ring on top of your Amazon Echo to good use by turning it into a night light.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The light ring on the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot serves as a status indicator that can tell you a lot of different things about your speaker. Its primary function is to show you the volume level and to let you know its listening (or that the mic is off). But it can also tell you if you have missed a call or message or the delivery status for one of your Amazon packages.

What you might not have known is that it can also double as a night light.

This night light feature is enabled through a third-party skill aptly named Night Light. Several similar skills exist, but this particular one seems to be the easiest to use.

Since there are a handful of similar skills, I would recommend using the Alexa app to manually enable it. Open Alexa and select Skills in the left menu. Search Night Light and select the one by labworks.io.

alexa-night-light

Taylor Martin/CNET

Once the correct Night Light skill is enabled, all you have to do to use it is say, "Alexa, open Night Light." The light ring pulse between cyan and royal blue for several minutes.

It's not blindingly bright, which can be beneficial to a degree. Namely, it won't blind you or wake your significant other in the middle of the night. But it should provide enough of a glow for you to get your bearings in an otherwise pitch black room.

Unfortunately, there is no way to keep the ring from pulsing or have it glowing a steady color. And you can't change the brightness or color either. However, you can specify a length of time for it to glow by saying, "Alexa, open Night Light for 10 minutes" or "Alexa, open Night Light for 45 minutes."

To manually stop Night Light at any time, just say, "Alexa, stop."

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Being such a simple skill, what makes Night Light so great (and sets it apart from several similar skills) is that the developer has disabled all of Alexa's audio feedback. The skill just works, and Alexa doesn't make a peep -- an important detail when you're interacting with a smart speaker in a quiet house at night.

Check out other ways Alexa can be helpful around the house: