Got a new Echo Dot on Prime Day? These are the smart home devices I'd pair it with

Echo Dot on a side table near a smart lock and a smart thermostat
(Image credit: Amazon)

So, you've just purchased your first Echo Dot on Prime Day. Congrats and welcome to the world of smart home devices. It's an absolute, futuristic dream, one that comes with many advantages and some fringe benefits. You're going to love it.

But, your Echo Dot is just the beginning. Consider it your gateway drug of sorts to this admittedly addicting world. I've been trying to "smarten" my apartment now since I purchased my very smart speaker – the now defunct first-generation Echo Plus, may it rest in device heaven – and I know from experience that the only way you're going to take full advantage of its endless list of functionalities is to expand.

Here are my top five smart home device recommendations to set you off to a great start in your journey. With many Prime Day deals still offering deep discounts on smart home devices that work beautifully with your new Echo Dot (and Alexa), now's the best time to get them.

Kasa Smart Light Bulbs: $24.99

Kasa Smart Light Bulbs: $24.99 $16.99 at Amazon
Save $8 - 
If you're just starting to break into the world of smart homes, smart lights are the best way to start. One of the best ones out there is Kasa's smart bulb, which is dimmable and displays up to 16 million colors. This 2-pack also doesn't need a hub either so it's an easy setup for a beginner.

August Wi-Fi smart lock: $229.99

August Wi-Fi smart lock: $229.99 $149.99 at Amazon
Save $80 - 
Never get locked out of your home again. If you are a beginner smart home user who lives in an apartment, this smart lock is easy to setup and non-intrusive, especially if your building forbids permanent modifications. It also works with most exisiting deadbolts.

Govee TV LED Backlights: $109.99

Govee TV LED Backlights: $109.99 $69.99 at Amazon
Save $40 - 
Another smart home device that's easy to setup but can have a major impact in your experience is this TV smart backlight kit from Govee. By mimicking the colors your TV is displaying and bouncing those colors on the wall behind, it gives those movies, shows and games a bit more oomph to viewers.

Blink Outdoor: $99.99

Blink Outdoor: $99.99 $59.99 at Amazon
Save $40 - 
These days, setting up home security isn't as expensive or complicated, thanks to smart security cameras like this cable-free outdoor one from Blink. It works best with one of Amazon's smart displays so you can see the footage, but if you're just starting out, you can use it with your Echo Dot alongside Blink's mobile app.

eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid: $649.95

eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid: $649.95 $379.99 at Amazon
Save $270 - 
Our eufy RoboVac X8 review, which gave it a 4.5 out of 5 rating, proves that this line boasts some of the best suction prowess in the market. It's intelligent mapping feature, on the other hand, makes it more efficient. This hybrid model offers all that plus mopping abilities to remove stains and splatters.

Obviously, you can't just go all out and buy all the best smart home devices out there. I've learned the hard way that building a smart home takes a bit of research and careful planning, lest you end up with a hopeless mess of devices. 

But, you also have to start somewhere. Otherwise, you'll just be using your Echo Dot to ask Alexa to play music, tell lame jokes, do quick research, and add items to your Amazon shopping cart. Maybe play Jeopardy with you when you're bored and tell PG-rated "scary" stories on Halloween.

Hey, if those are more than enough functionalities for you, I'm supportive of that. I too have spent some nights with friends or family playing trivia games with Alexa. Still, there's a wealth of features there you'd really want to take advantage.

My smart lights and robot vacuum, for example, have helped simplify my chaotic life and taken menial tasks off my plate, giving me time for the more important ones. Meanwhile, my smart lock and home security camera made my home a lot more secure without forcing me to spend a lot of money on a home security service. As a single woman living alone in a big city, that part is just vital to me. 

And the Govee TV immersion lights in my list above have changed my TV watching experience forever. Non-lit TVs are just boring to me now.

Your new smart speaker can do a lot more for you (and your family), as mine does. Even if it's something as simple as never needing to physically switch your lights on/off again. Trust me: invest.

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Michelle Rae Uy
Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.