9/15/17 Alexa Fast Tips Friday

Welcome to LME’s 9/15/17 Alexa Fast Tips Friday. Today I’ve got news about new Fire TV devices and a tip for cantankerous smart bulbs.

 

Friday I Thought You Would Never Come

 

Two New Fire TV Devices
It seems two new Fire TV devices are on the way, and at least one of them is rumored to be due for release this month.

The higher end model of the new Fire TV looks like a smaller, cube-shaped Echo and reportedly will combine Fire TV and Alexa functionality in a single device. The new cube is also reported to offer infrared support, and if that’s true then it should allow for voice control of most TVs—not just those that support the HDMI-CEC standard. I’ll be buying this one when it’s released, so you can watch for a full write-up here then.

There will also be a new, dongle-type Fire TV device that plugs into the HDMI port of your TV like the current Fire stick, but offers a faster processor. Amazon has already launched the new Element TV with Fire TV built in, so they seem to have all the market bases covered.

AFTV News has the full scoop on the new Fire TV devices, including pictures.

 

Misbehaving Smart Bulbs – Could It Be A Power Issue?
I love my smart bulbs, but they’re prone to lose network connectivity anytime the power goes out and they don’t always automatically reconnect. A bulb power cycle or reset (depending on the bulb type) is often required. The power doesn’t go out where I live very often, but it’s not just outages you have to worry about here.

Many of us have outlets with a power supply that’s toggled on and off by a wall switch, especially in our bedrooms. They’re super-convenient when you’re not using smart bulbs, but a smart bulb in a lamp that’s plugged into one of those outlets can be plagued with connectivity issues unless you make absolutely certain the wall switch stays in the ‘on’ position at all times. This can be tougher to manage than it sounds, because when you walk into a darkened room it’s instinctive to flip the wall switch. Many of us have been trained to always turn lights off when we leave a room too. It’s hard to change the switch-flipping habit when you live alone, and nearly impossible when there are housemates or family members around as well. It’s much simpler to install your smart bulbs in fixtures that plug into outlets that have a constant power supply.

Outlets that are controlled by dimmer switches and outlets with questionable wiring or grounding are also going to make your smart bulbs less reliable. If you want reliable bulbs, you need to give them a reliable, constant power source.

 

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The LIFX (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb, Adjustable, Multicolor, Dimmable, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa (UK visitors – click here) is an easy way to get started with Alexa smart home. There’s no hub to buy, no starter kit: one bulb is all you need to experience voice controlled lighting. There’s also no longer any skill to install, because Alexa offers native LIFX bulb support. Currently rated 3.5/5 stars and priced at $59.99. Multi-packs are now also available, on the same page.

Advertisements make it possible for Love My Echo to bring you great content for free, so thanks for your support.

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