Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for all the latest smart home tips, tricks and updates!

Does SwitchBot Need A Hub?

SwitchBot Mini on a table with an Amazon Echo Dot

In the ever-growing sector of smart home products arises yet another contender – the SwitchBot.  Released in 2016 on Kickstarter, then in 2017 to the general retail market, these simple, affordable, yet intuitive smart devices are practically in a class of their own.  They complete a variety of functions – from opening and closing curtains, … Read more

Using Your Philips Hue Dimmer Switch With Alexa – Is It Possible?

Philips Hue dimmer switch showing a red (error) light

The goal of most smart home owners is to get their homes to operate seamlessly and achieve interoperability with all of their smart devices. With the introduction of smart home hubs such as Amazon’s Echo, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple HomeKit, just to name a few, this goal of interoperability seemed to become a reality. However, … Read more

Help! My Amazon Echo Is Making Random Noises/Beeps/Chimes?! (How To Fix) – New Video

YouTube thumbnail for weird Amazon Echo sounds

This is a video guide to go alongside my blog post last year which walks you through everything to investigate if your Echo device is making random noises, beeps, chimes – or even weird train-like sounds! Echo devices are very useful, but they have been known to make “creepy” noises at times, which can be … Read more

New Video – Amazon Echo: Change Alexa’s Flash Briefing News & Weather To Suit You

YouTube video showing me, an Echo Dot in listening mode and the textg "Improve Alexa Flash Briefings"

The Flash Briefing feature on Amazon Echo devices is quite useful, unless you dislike the news or weather provider – in which case a very useful feature quickly becomes wasted. Thankfully it’s quite easy to change the news and weather provider used for your flash briefing, along with adding loads of other briefing sources – … Read more

New Video – Four Amazon Echo Show Features That I Like (#shorts YouTube video)

Echo Show 8 front - powered on

A YouTube #shorts video covering four features that I like on the Amazon Echo Show in less than a minute. The four features I cover on my Amazon Echo Show 8 device are: 0:00 Intro 0:05 Trending topics and news 0:15 View smart cameras and doorbells 0:27 Calendar management 0:40 Firefox browser and YouTube 0:50 … Read more

New Video – Echo Show Light Control: Kinda Useful, But Key Features Missing

YouTube thumbnail showing an Echo Show in the foreground, table lamp in the background and the text "So near and yet so far..." overlaid.

The touchscreen on the Echo Show allows you to control your smart light bulbs from the “Smart Home” menu, which is fairly useful if you want to quickly control your smart lights through your Amazon Echo device, but it’s also limited as it’s missing some key features that mean you have to resort back to … Read more

New Video – Looping Amazon Echo/Alexa Songs (& Within Playlists and Routines)

YouTube thumbnail showing how to loop songs on Amazon Echo devices.

Being able to repeat sounds and songs (via Amazon’s “loop mode”) on your Amazon Echo devices is a really useful feature – it can save you money (compared to paying monthly subscriptions for “premium music” on third party white noise skills), and it’s also useful for parties, night-time or where you simply love a new … Read more