Alexa is more illuminating when she lives inside the C by GE Sol lamp

Alexa is everywhere and has even started showing up in non-Amazon devices. By moving the voice assistant out of speakers or puck-like devices and into a fridge, for example, it becomes a feature of something you already use, rather than an object taking up space on the credenza. The first Alexa-enabled lamp, C by GE Sol, is available today, so you can get your weather updates and morning alarms (and all of Alexa’s other tricks, like smart-home control) from your bedside light.

The lamp’s base looks a bit like a taller Dot. Inside are the microphone and speakers. The ring lights up in various shades of white, going from crisp white to more yellow tones. You can set it to wake you up with the brighter color and switch to the more muted one at night. In addition, blue and red dots chase one another around the inside of the ring, indicating the time.

There are several controls on the lamp’s base: one for muting Alexa, another for turning on the lamp,  and two each for turning up and down the volume and brightness. You’ll have to set up scenes (like “wake” and “movie time”) in the app, and then you can ask Alexa to adjust the Sol accordingly. You can also say, “Alexa, turn my Sol light to warm.” But don’t say, “Alexa, make the Sol light warm,” or she won’t understand you.

We tried out a demo version of the lamp and app. It functioned much like any other Alexa product, but it did give a visual representation — via its glowing inner ring — when we set a timer. To set it up, you’ll have to either link it to an existing Alexa account or create a new one. When it’s all done, it will tell you, “Your Sol is ready.” Hooray?

One big drawback of any non-Amazon Alexa device is it won’t have the “ESP feature.” If you have two Dots or an Echo and a Show, these devices will use their microphones to determine which you’re closest to, and only that one will respond. We found our Dot and Sol would both answer our questions and try to play music when we were in close of proximity to both.

At $200, the Sol is a bit more expensive than the Echo, but it’s also a cool-looking lamp. If you want Alexa to be a bit more functional and don’t have any nearby voice-assistant devices that will interfere with it, just let your Sol glow.

Editors' Recommendations

Smart Home

Alexa’s latest skill helps patients manage high blood pressure

People who need some help managing their high blood pressure are getting some help via a new Alexa skill developed in partnership with Omron Healthcare that will work directly with the manufacturer's monitors.
Home Theater

These top-line smart speakers conduct the most sophisticated symphony: Your life

Stuck talking to yourself? Get an A.I. assistant to keep you company! Whether you put your stock in Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, we've picked out the best smart speaker for any smart home ecosystem.
Smart Home

Amazon Alexa enhancements add geolocation, kids’ Routines, and more

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa continues to evolve and its newest features should appeal to busy people and parents on the go, including location-based routines and reminders as well as Routines aimed toward kids.
Smart Home

Amazon’s Fire TV Cube gets intercom-style Alexa Announcements feature

Owners of the Amazon Fire TV Cube can now use the media streaming service with Amazon's one-way intercom feature called Alexa Announcements to broadcast messages to other Alexa devices in their home.

Save big on these Braun electric razors and women’s epilators

Amazon and Walmart are currently offering limited-time deals for Braun electric razors and women's epilators. If you plan to make your way through all the festive parties this year with fresh smooth these tools will help.

The best air fryer deals you can still snag before Christmas

Christmas is closing in on us fast, but you still have a little bit of time left for last-minute kitchen gifts. We've searched the depths of Amazon and Walmart to bring you the best air fryer deals going on right now.
Product Review

The Brava Oven takes all the thinking out of cooking

Using bulbs to cook food at different light frequencies, the Brava Oven lets even the clueless cook a tasty meal. But your own smart chef doesn’t come cheap.

Best deals on smart locks so you’ll never have to worry about unlocked doors

Is your front door locked? We found the best deals on smart home door locks that take the worry out of wondering if your home is secure. You can lock or unlock your doors remotely and some models let you control locks with voice commands.

These Amazon kitchen deals are perfect for Christmas gifts and healthy eating

Today is day 10 of Amazon’s “12 Days of Deals,” and it’s all about kitchen. From blenders to Instant Pots to KitchenAid mixers and more, practical yet highly coveted small appliances are available for up to 50 percent off.
Smart Home

Ring Alarm vs. Nest Secure: Which one is right for you?

Thanks to the advance of technology, it's become really easy nowadays to secure your home and protect it from thieves, intruders, and unwanted guests. Which one of these two top contenders is right for you?
Smart Home

The Apple HomePod gets a whole lot cheaper today at Target

Apple's HomePod hasn't been the most popular smart speaker on the market but for users who are all in on Apple's heavily policed ecosystem of devices, this smart speaker is on serious sale at Target this week.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Smart Home

Uber Eats is testing a system for cheaper meal delivery

You know how Uber Pool offers cheaper trips if riders share a car? Well, Uber Eats is currently testing the same idea for meal delivery, and it could mean cheaper orders for customers.
Smart Home

Dear Instant Pot Smart: I love you. Thank you for changing my life

After taking the Instant Pot Smart WiFi Programmable Pressure Cooker for a spin, one long-time product reviewer finds much to love about the device she long coveted, despite that it’s not really that smart.