Jacob Krol/CNN
CNN —  

Amazon unveiled new smart speakers and smart displays this fall, but that wasn’t all; it also showed off a new companion device. The $29.99 Echo Glow is an Echo or Alexa Companion. It’s a tiny smart light that can glow like a fireplace, count down a timer with rainbow lights, and really brighten up your space.

It’s not an Alexa smart speaker, but rather a small light that is controlled from an Echo speaker or display with Alexa. You can ask Alexa to turn on the Echo Glow, set the mood with a theme and even turn on a mode.

Safe to say it’s one of the most fun devices from Amazon I’ve ever used. It’s really a joy, even for a 24-year-old who’s using a lamp geared for kids. Let’s talk about why.

A simple and unobtrusive build

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The Echo Glow doesn’t scream technology. It’s a small ball that sits in a base and has a plastic build. Yes, it comes in only one color, white, but since it’s an LED lamp, it can transform into other colors once it has power. It’s really an orb.

Like a third-generation Echo Dot or Echo Show 8, the bottom has a rubberized texture to ensure it doesn’t flip over or move around if it gets bumped, or if an Echo shakes it during a bass drop with the volume up.

There’s a cord in the back that gives you ample length and ends with a USB Type-A port. Amazon also includes a 5W wall plug in the box, and that’s plenty of power for the Echo Glow. Above that cord on the back of the Glow is a physical button that turns the LEDs on or off. It’s handy for when you don’t want to control it with your voice.

Within the rubber ring on the bottom is some regulatory information along with a scannable square code that’s used for setup. The Echo Glow connects to your Echo device and network through Wi-Fi 2.4GHz. During the setup process, you’ll scan that code and the app takes care of the rest.

A ridiculously simple setup

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Step one might take the longest, and that’s choosing a spot for the Echo Glow. You’ll simply plug it in and then open the Alexa app for Android or iOS. It will notice that an Echo Glow is plugged in and pop up, asking you to set it up. You’ll hit next, name it and then you’re really good to go. It will automatically pair to the Echo nearest the device and you’ll be ready to rock.

After that, it’s just controlling it with your voice to change the color or enter a mode. Turning it on or off can be done by asking Alexa, or you can just tap that button on the back.

The Echo Glow can set the mood

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For just shy of $30, you’re getting a pretty remarkable and fun Echo companion. It won’t light an entire room, but then again it’s mostly designed for ambiance and experience lighting. It’s a companion that will entertain kids of all ages. The box even says “for ages 3 to 99.”

The tech specifications of the Echo Glow confirm that it’s not meant to light up an entire room. It has a warm light and color LEDs inside that all together can produce up to 100 lumens. It really can set the mood, or rather the room, in color.

You can ask for almost any color, from blue to red to lime green. It will cycle through different shades with a cool morph effect between the different shades. You can also Alexa to set the Echo Glow to a campfire effect, which is really awesome. I personally set the mood for writing with that one. The Echo Glow can even work with Alexa Timers to give you a visual indication of when the timer is nearing zero. The rainbow timer feature is especially fun.

Bottom Line

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The Echo Glow isn’t a whole-room light, and that’s fine. It’s a joyful little Echo Companion that fills a room with a glow, and the nature of that glow is really up to you and your voice. You can set it to a campfire, a specific color or even let it think on its own.

At just $29.99, the Echo Glow is a no-brainer device to pair with any Echo to charm and captivate users of any age.

Note: The price above reflects the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.