The first step to having a smart home centered around Alexa is simple.
Buy an Alexa.
The $50.00 Echo Dot is the most affordable option.
But, if you'd rather not spend anything at all, you can just download the free Amazon app.
Tap the microphone in the top right corner, and boom.
You have Alexa access on your phone.
Next, decide where you want to set up your Echo device.
You can set it up in your bedroom if you want to use Alexa's alarm clock, or you can set it up in your living room to turn on your TV.
Just make sure you set it up in an area where you'll get the most use out of it.
Now, in order to use the smart capabilities of Alexa, you need a smart home device.
A good starting point would be the Belkin Wemo mini start plug, which cost just 35 bucks.
Plug it into your wall socket, then plug in a lamp, or any device you want to turn on and off using Alexa.
As you follow your device's set up instructions, be sure to chose a name that's natural and easy to remember.
Alexa will use whatever name you pick.
So keep it simple.
Something like bedroom lamp or desk fan.
Once all your devices are up and running, you'll to sync them up with Alexa.
In most cases you'll just say, Alexa discover new devices.
Other times you may need to use the Alexa app and punch in your log in info to get everything Something like that.
If you've got a lot of devices, consider putting them into groups to activate multiple gadgets simultaneously.
Another option is to create a scene.
Scenes are pre-established settings that allow you to group different devices to achieve certain effects.
These connected lamps, for example, have a scene called July 4th which turns the lights red and blue.
So when I say, Alexa, turn on July 4th.
It activates the scene.
So start simple, take your time, and don't feel like you have to automate everything in your house at once.