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Voice controlled home automation has been a vision of science fiction writers for decades, but only recently became a reality. With the limitations of voice assistants such as Siri, it’s understandable why high end automation systems had steered clear of audio commands.  However, there is finally an option for audio based control.

Originally created to assist with DIY home automation, Amazon echo (powered by Alexa software) works as advertised.  Simply say “Alexa” (or “Amazon” or “Echo”) follow by your command. Echo was originally for DIY automation but Control4 quickly realized the new ability it was allowing other brands and worked with Amazon to create a driver for their system as well.


  • Turn on and control a single light or group of lights
  • Turn on and control your television and Control4 connected source
  •  View your cameras through your TV
  • Turn on and control your audio system and connected sources
  • Raise and lower shades
  • Turn pre-programmed scenes on and off


  • Alexa understands you on the first try.  She even understands accents and “little kid”.
  • While Alexa needs to be set up on your device (phone or tablet) along with your Amazon Prime account, your phone does not need to be present for Echo to work
  • Guests in your home do not need any passwords or access to your prime account to use Echo
  • Echo has multiple noise cancelling microphones which allows for an impressive detection range
  • Echo must be visible, you cannot hide it in a cabinet or put it directly against a wall or other surface
  • Multiple Echos can be combined via your Prime account to work in unison throughout your home
  •  There are 3 types of Echos, all in black, however there are skins available to dress them up
  •  Amazon Echo: PlayOne/large candle size speaker with impressive range
  •  Amazon Echo Dot: Same diameter as the Echo but it’s much shorter since the speakers are greatly reduced.
  •  Amazon Tap:  You have to tap the button to wake Alexa up before you can give it a command, it will not automatically respond to the command words.


Currently, Savant has a remote that features voice control, but you have to press the microphone button before you can give a command. According to industry reports, we should expect the Savant- Amazon integration announcement soon.