The smart home market is ever-expanding and opening up exciting new opportunities for modern homeowners. Namely, as technology advances by leaps and bounds, we are in a position to make our living environments more awesome, functional, and safe. Then again, all products are not created equal and you want to avoid gimmicks and subpar gadgets. Instead, focus on those that add real value to your home and upgrade your daily life. To help you in your search, we compiled a list of amazing gadgets based on our tests and existing reviews.
Amazon Echo (2nd generation)
Smart home speakers such as Echo are popping up in homes and offices across the globe. The second generation of Amazon’s flagship is smaller, cheaper, and simply better than its predecessor. It is capable of playing music, setting alarms, producing weather reports, managing shopping lists, making calls, controlling other smart devices, etc. All of this you can do hands-free, using just your voice. After all, this enhanced speaker contains seven microphones, a Dolby processing unit, as well as 360-degree, omnidirectional audio.
The next product on our list is one of the best home DIY security systems currently in the market. It is actually an eight-piece set that comes with two window sensors, alarm hub, two door sensors, a motion sensor, and two keychain remotes. Those who go for a pricier, premium package also get an HD security camera. The system includes customizable settings, integration with an app that tracks everything, and app- or keychain-enabled controls. Users can also choose to receive notifications via email, text and phone calls.
Ring Video Doorbell Pro
This one is more than just a wireless doorbell. It is also a smart video product that seamlessly connects to your smartphone. Yes, that means you can have conversations with your visitors without having to get up and stop what you are doing. Besides, you get a product that doubles as a security camera. Did I mention that recorded videos are stored via cloud and that with an optional accessory receiver, you can hear the doorbell anywhere in your home? The only bummer to speak of is the price tag. Here is the list of some of the best wireless doorbell products.
Programmable thermostats enable homeowners to improve heating and cooling patterns and save a lot of money in the long run. Ecobee4 is a standout product that pays for itself after less than two years. It has a user-friendly responsive display and remote-control functions. Advanced sensors analyze occupancy and temperature to automatically determine the most optimal modes. There are a bunch of smart integrations, but I would say that one killer feature is a built-in Alexa speaker. This means you can control it via voice or smartphone app.
Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit
Philips Hue White is a soft light bulb you can manipulate remotely. Namely, smart controls are intuitive, a dedicated app automates the whole experience, and there is also support for Hue’s well-connected platform. What is more, you can easily add extras to your setup if you wish it so: Hue Dimmer Switch, Hue Tap, Hue Motion Sensor, etc. The product is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The right ambience for your mood is just a few taps or voice commands away.
August Smart Lock
Smart locks have revolutionized home security and August is certainly worth your while. The interface is simple and easy to put to good use. You do not have to replace your keys, which is utterly convenient. There are auto-locks and auto-unlock features that really make your life easier. Moreover, you can count on the smooth HomeKit, Alexa, Siri, and Nest integrations. The app experience is solid and the components are well-made and sturdy. Just bear in mind that there is no alarm included in the package.
Play it smart
In this day and age, the market is flooded with cutting-edge gadgets and smart devices. They span nearly every room and automate various home systems and features. Thus, they give you a chance to be in full control of your environment. Try to stick to devices that are easy to install and use, as well as those that speak to your inner “techie”. So, it is time to comb through the internet, and embark on your own shopping adventure. Put together an intricate framework for a high-tech, 21st century home.