Cool Things to Do with Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot without MountSeems like every technology site has an article about cool things to do with Echo Dot so why not join the crowd.  After living with a bunch of these for several years, we’ve learned of some useful skills and smart home automation.  Today, we share some cool things to do with Echo dot.


Coupled with one of the mounts described in our article about mounting the Echo Dot around the home or office, turn the device into a built-in speaker.  There are a lot of skills that allow playing your favorite radio station.  We’re in New Jersey so have activated the NJ 101.5 skill.  In the morning, it’s a matter of telling “Alexa to play New Jersey 101 point 5” and our favorite radio station plays.

It’s actually preferable to playing it over the radio.  Why?  Firstly, like a DVD player, radios are becoming more and more scarce at home or the office.  Secondly, living in Northern New Jersey, the reception on this station isn’t great but over the Echo Dot, it comes in perfectly.  As an added bonus, nothing gets bleeped over the internet.

Music from Pandora, Spotify or Amazon can also be played over the Echo Dot.  Just say something like “Alexa play cool jazz”.

I’ve set up an audio group called “everywhere” that includes all my Echo devices and tell “Alexa play smooth jazz everywhere”.  This will play a smooth jazz station on my Echo devices to deliver multi room audio.

Turn on the Lights

We’ve written about WeMo lights and plugs several times.  These are great devices for turning anything on and off either by a schedule or remotely using a smartphone.  Allow the Alexa app to discover your WeMo devices.  Create a Smart Home Group called “lights” and add the WeMo lights into this group.  Now tell “Alexa turn on lights” and let there be light.

Adding the lights into a Smart Home Group doesn’t preclude controlling each individually.  Say “Alexa turn on bedroom light” to control a single light.

Use Echo Dot as a Night Light

That ring around the Echo Dot is bright.  Too bright.  Well, don’t that go to waste.  Turn the Echo Dot into a night-light.  This is a in the category of strange but cool things to do with Echo Dot.

There are several Alexa skills that activate the ring light around the Ech.  The one we use is called Night Light written by a company called ltd.  Once the skill is activated, just say “Alexa, open Night Light”.  To turn it off, just say “Alexa close Night Light”.  You can also simply say “Alexa, stop”.

We reviewed this in detail along with some good mounts to make it easier to use an Echo Dot as a Night Light in an earlier article.

Control the Temperature

Using a smart thermostat such as the Honeywell RTH9580, use Alexa to change the temperature in the house or office.  Activate the Honeywell Total Connect Comfort skill, connect it to the thermostat and say “Alexa set house temperature to 71 degrees.  It’s particularly useful in the middle of the night when you need to adjust the temperature.

These are a few the cool things to do with Echo Dot that we use regularly.  As we discover other worthy skills, we’ll be sure to update the article again.