HomeAutomation with Handyy

How We set up Echo Show 15 to Control Our Lights and Heating at Home UK for under £1k

How we were able to automate the lights, lamps, doorbell and heating at home for less than £1000

If your new to home automation, This post might come in handy especially if you want a home automated system that almost does it all!

As a Handyman, I have always been looking to increase value to homes and one way to achieve this is with home automation that works. In this post I am writing specifically about Alexa (amazon) and the Home automation that I have been fortunate to fit in my own home. so please do read on if you would like to find out more about the Alexa Show 15 Smart Display and all the equipment I have used wo make our home a little bit smarter.

Why Home automation?

For us it was a) Originally, it was because we needed to be able turn off many lamps and lights every evening and though this would be a practical use of home automation. 

b) Intrigued about using the tech for other uses such as the calendar, weather etc rather than to keep picking up my mobile phone.

Lights…

Every night started to be come a chore with over 20 lamps plus other lights we needed to turn on and off. So we started our home automation journey with this lamp pictured. It was using a Phillips Hue light bulb and the phillips hue app link in the picture. We still use it to this day.

hallway lights in house controlled by echo show 15

Why Amazon?

So if you look around at the home automation market to brands Such as Crestron, Control 4 and Lutron, all of which I must add perform really well but they need to be programmed, hardwired and installed by a trained professional. That means a healthy budget. My Budget was to spend a max of £1000 for the set up.

So shopping around we came up with 2 contenders for home automation, One being the Google Nest and the other system was Amazon. At home we were already using google WIFI (5 of them) with the little ‘pucks’ being used as a WIFI mesh. Naturally we looked at the rest of the nest system, but we felt that with Amazons advanced voice control and after seeing a demonstration of the Echo Show 15 on YouTube, the Amazon direction was our path to home automation on a budget.

Google Wifi

Google Wifi Puck, easy to set up and use and really does extend the wifi throughout the house. It also had a handy network cable out if you need a hard wired connection via cat 5 to a Printer/ Laptop or PC.

google wifi puck reverse

Echo Show 15 -The Sleeper of Home control

If there was one piece of equipment that can do all the tasks an average family need around the home its the Amazon Echo Range and in my personal experience its the Echo Show 15.

I don’t believe Amazon did this smart product justice when launched. Being a an Amazon Prime member for what seems forever. I would of thought the Echo show 15 would of been rammed down my eyeballs. At the time, I had only come across it as I was googling for another type of smart touch screen that I could use.

Fortunately I did find the Echo Show 15 on a review video and was amazed on what it could do. Even more so Black Friday was approaching fast and with the generous discounts I knew I had to have one (or 2).

What is the Echo Show 15

The Echo Show 15 is a Touch Screen Smart Home Device that is intended to be the hub of the home. The Echo’s screen size is 15.6 inch Full HD Smart Display that can either be wall mounted or desk mounted. It can be used in both portrait and landscape orientation and is Made by Amazon to flagship the Echo Range.

The Show 15 can be used as a digital calendar which can pull information from your Google calendar. The Echo can be Used in the Kitchen and is handy to find food reciepes, as a clock, showing digital pictures from your amazon cloud account. If all this is not enought, you can watch YouTube, Amazon prime and Netflix to name a few. 

Also it can be used as home automation with many apps from manufacturers Such as Hive and Philips Hue. Uses in our home Include control of heating, Indoor Lights, Indoor Lamps, Door Bell chime ( entrance camera ) and to communicate to all rooms in the house aided by smaller Alexa echo’s like the Dot and other show devices.

We also use it to play Radio and the Kids watch it every morning whilst having breakfast.

Here are a few of the specifications taken from amazon

Wiring the Echo Show in

The Echo Show 15 comes with a UK power cable and is 1.5m length. The Cable can be extended with a 1.6meter cable or a 5 meter cable from Amazon. It has a UK plug on one end and a Small push in round connector which is easily pushed into the Echo Show.

 

Echo Show specifications and sizes

The Echo Show 15 Full Tech Spec

Size

402 x 252 x 35 mm (15.8” W x 9.9” H x 1.4” D)

Weight

2,215 g
Actual size and weight may vary by manufacturing process.

Display

15.6” with 1920 x 1080 resolution. Use in landscape or portrait orientation.

Camera

5 MP + camera cover (photo quality/size may vary)

Audio

Dual 1.6” full-range drivers

Wi-Fi connectivity

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11 ax) is not currently supported. Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO). Supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks. Does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or IBSS) Wi-Fi networks.

Bluetooth connectivity

Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from your mobile device to Echo Show 15 or from Echo Show 15 to your Bluetooth speaker. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices. Hands-free voice control is not supported for Mac OS X devices. Bluetooth speakers requiring PIN codes are not supported.

Smart Home Device Compatibility

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh, and Matter

System requirements

Echo Show 15 comes ready to connect to your Wi-Fi. The Alexa app is compatible with Fire OS, Android and iOS devices, and is also accessible via your web browser. Supported operating systems. Certain skills and services may require subscription or other fees.

Setup technology

Amazon Wi-Fi simple setup enables customers to connect smart devices to their Wi-Fi network in a few easy steps. Wi-Fi simple setup is another way Alexa is always getting smarter. Learn more about frustration-free setup.

Processor

Amlogic Pop1 octa-core SoC with Amazon AZ2 neural network engine

Sensor

ALS RGB + Accelerometer

Included in the box

Echo Show 15, power adaptor (30 W) and 1.5 m cord (white), wall mount, anchors, screws, mounting template and quick start guide. Setup requires Wi-Fi. Device can be wall mounted (electric drill required) or placed on a stand (sold separately).

Warranty and service

Amazon Echo Show 15 is sold with a 1-year limited warranty provided by the manufacturer. If you are a consumer, the limited warranty is in addition to your consumer rights and does not jeopardise these rights in any way. This means you may still have additional rights at law even after the limited warranty has expired (click here for further information on your consumer rights). Use of Amazon Echo Show 15 is subject to the terms found here.

Privacy features

Wake word technology, streaming indicators, Microphone/Camera Off button, camera cover, the ability to view and delete your voice recordings and more. Visit the Alexa Privacy Hub to explore how Alexa and Echo devices are designed to protect your privacy.

Accessibility features

On Echo devices with screens, text subtitling are displayed when you enable Alexa Subtitling and subtitling for supported content. You can magnify the screen, toggle colour inversion, and choose between colour correction options. You can also enable the VoiceView screen reader, or use Show and Tell where Alexa helps identify products when you say “Alexa, what am I holding?” With Tap to Alexa you can interact with the screen via tiles or a keyboard instead of speaking. Learn more about Alexa Accessibility.

Language

Alexa speaks English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
Certain features on Echo Show 15 may only be available in English.

Alexa skills and features

Alexa makes your life easier, more meaningful and more fun by letting you voice control your world. Alexa can help you get more out of the things you already love, and discover new possibilities you’ve never imagined. Discover and learn what Alexa can do.

Where to get Smart Lightbulbs?

When we chose our lightbulbs we initially went to Argos. Order online and collect in store. If I remember rightly the bulb cost was around £29.00 but I see that Argos is selling the same lightbulb for £19.99 (for a Philips Hue E27 white smart bulb)

There are many places you can find smart lightbulbs in the UK, Find our google search.

 

  • Amazon
  • Currys
  • Toolstation
  • Argos
  • John Lewis

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