Discover 6 ways voice assistants can be used to improve your home

Our tech experts share 6 ways voice assistants can improve accessibility, energy efficiency, and personalization in your home

Ways voice assistants can be used in your smart home
(Image credit: Google)

Voice assistants are an excellent addition to any smart home, offering various benefits that can be customized to suit your needs.

These smart home must-haves can help enhance your home life, offering everything from information access to home automation. With simple voice commands, they can streamline your routines, improve home security, and optimize lighting controls with minimal effort. 

So, whether you want to make eco-home improvements or streamline your home's maintenance, integrating a voice assistant with other smart home features can give you complete control of your home. 

This guide covers six ways you can use voice assistants to set up a smart home.

Ways voice assistants can be used in your home

'By integrating voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit, users can effortlessly control connected devices and systems throughout their home,' says Finn Wheatley, Executive Consultant of Data & Technology at Xtrium. 'With the ability to understand natural language and respond to verbal prompts, voice assistants offer a seamless and intuitive way to interact with the smart home ecosystem.'

1. Energy efficiency and sustainability

A small orange smart thermostat on a beige wall above a brown sood side boared with red and yellow flowers

(Image credit: Nest)

Balancing convenience and energy efficiency is always a challenge when it comes to maintaining a home. However, integrating voice assistants with smart home devices and energy-efficient appliances can make it effortless for users to control and monitor their energy usage. This, in turn, contributes to a more eco-friendly and sustainable living space.

Taimur Ijlal, tech expert at Netify explains: 'By using voice assistants, you can set up automated routines that can truly optimize energy consumption. For example, you can configure your lights to turn off automatically when you leave for work or set thermostat schedules that adjust based on the time of day or whether a room is likely to be occupied.'

These smart routines can help cut energy bills while also minimizing the effort required to manage settings each day.

Google Nest Thermostat | Was $129.99

Google Nest Thermostat | <a href="" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Was $129.99, now $113.99
This programmable smart thermostat comes in four colors and should be used with an Alexa for voice control.

2. Health and wellness monitoring

Smart bedroom

(Image credit: King Living)

Voice assistants can be incredibly helpful in monitoring your health and fitness, and streamlining exercise routines. 

By integrating voice assists with various health-tracking devices and apps, such as smart bedroom tech that tracks your sleep, you can easily monitor your vital signs, activity levels, and sleep patterns. You can also ask for information on your heart rate, calories burned, and other health metrics.

With this data, your voice assistant can provide you with insights and recommendations based on your health goals, such as suggesting healthy meal options or specific exercises.

Voice assistants can also guide you through workouts or exercise sessions, allowing you to focus on your fitness routine rather than looking up the next step. Additionally, you can ask your voice assistant to schedule exercise reminders to help keep you on track.

3. Streamlining routines

Robot vacuum

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When connected to other smart home appliances, voice assistants can be used to simplify a whole host of your daily routines and tasks, making them great features for a low-maintenance home.

Customize routines: Voice assistants can automate various tasks, so you can customize routines on a timer or by a verbal cue.

'For instance, when you say Good morning, your assistant could turn on the coffee maker, raise the blinds, and begin playing the news or your favorite playlist. For evening routines, you can set a relaxing ambiance with soft lighting and lower the thermostat,' explains Kelly Indah, tech expert at Increditools. 'The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to customizing routines for convenience.' 

Smart home control: Voice assistants can also be used to simplify tasks in different rooms. 

For one, voice assistants can be used to streamline cooking and make a kitchen more accessible. They can work with smart kitchen appliances, provide status updates, suggest grocery list additions, and organize shopping. You can ask for measurement conversions, set timers, or have recipes read step by step. 

For home chores like cleaning, you can voice-control your washing machine or set your remote vacuum to start. 

Kelly Indah
Kelly Indah

Kelly Indah is a tech expert and security analyst at Increditools. She has worked in the tech field for over a decade, primarily as a software developer and security analyst. She also has a Master's degree in Computer Science and holds a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

4. Improved accessibility

Google Nest Audio

(Image credit: Google)

Voice assistants offer a hands-free experience, eliminating the need to physically operate switches and controls. This makes them an ideal way to future-proof your home for later life

With voice assistants, you can effortlessly perform tasks such as turning on/off lights, opening curtains, checking the contents of the fridge, or locking/unlocking doors. This makes it easier for elderly people or people with disabilities to navigate their homes, particularly those with limited mobility or visual impairments.

'Voice-controlled technology is particularly useful for supporting seniors or people dealing with cognitive challenges,' explains AI expert and Founder of AIPRMI, Christoph Cemper. 'Instead of disturbing alerts, reminders come across as kind messages tailored specifically for what each person needs.' 

'Flexible settings allow families to program notifications with reassuring phrases aimed at avoiding anxiety or misunderstanding,' he continues. 'Messages may even change throughout the day to account for typical routines as well as personal details like the affectionate names loved ones use.'

SwitchBot Automatic Curtain Opener | Was $89.99

SwitchBot Automatic Curtain Opener | <a href="" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Was $89.99, now $71.99 from Amazon
This Bluetooth remote control smart curtain opener with app control and timer can be used with Alexa, Google Home, and HomeKit to open and close your curtains without moving a muscle. With this device, you can <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"">make a bedroom more accessible without compromising on style. 

5. Enhanced home security

Smart doorbell

(Image credit: JUNG)

Voice-enabled devices such as Ring or Nest can integrate with security systems, enabling users to monitor and control their home's security through vocal commands.

'Smart locks, doorbell cameras, and motion detectors can be voice-controlled, allowing users to arm or disarm alarms, lock doors, and monitor cameras with ease,' says Max Shak, tech expert and Founder of Ner Digital. 'Real-time updates and voice-activated alerts also provide updates on any suspicious activity, adding a layer of convenience and peace of mind,'

Some voice assistants are also equipped with the ability to recognize different voices, making them a secure way to grant access to trusted individuals.

6. Lighting controls

Kitchen lighting

(Image credit: Caffe Latte)

'Voice assistants can be seamlessly integrated with smart lighting systems, enabling users to adjust lighting levels, color schemes, and ambiance with voice commands,' explains Max Shak, tech expert. 'These can also be used for energy savings by remotely turning lights off in unoccupied rooms or scheduling lighting. This not only contributes to energy efficiency but also enhances the overall atmosphere of the home.'

You can use these Kasa Smart Light Bulbs, from Amazon, which are compatible with Alexa and Google Home,

Kelly Indah recommends that you carefully read privacy policies before using a voice assistant and exercise caution when providing critical information:

'You should also be watchful for third-party talents or apps that request greater data access than necessary,' she adds. 'To minimize possible eavesdropping, you may consider turning off microphones when not in use. Additionally, it is important to keep your software updated with the latest security updates.'

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past five years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including recipe articles, reviewing products, writing ‘how to’ and ‘when to’ articles. Lola now writes about everything from organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate student, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.