Whether you’re building a smart home or just adding some tech to your existing house, these must-have gadgets are perfect for any modern homeowner. They’ll save you time and money and make your home feel more comfortable and secure.
The arrival sensor makes it easy to turn on lights and start your AC when you arrive home. It can also help you find your keys if they’re lost.
1. Ecobee3 Thermostat
The ecobee3 is one of the most popular smart thermostats available. It is ENERGY STAR certified, can automatically save you up to 26% per year on energy costs and has room sensors that help manage hot or cold spots throughout your home.
It also integrates with Alexa — you can use voice control or an external speaker to control the thermostat. You can even get notifications of things like a dirty air filter.
If you don’t want all the bells and whistles, there is also the ecobee3 Lite. It doesn’t have the smart home/away feature because it relies on motion sensors instead of activity tracking. You can still get it in a variety of colors and can pair with multiple sensors. You can also buy a smart plug that works with the ecobee thermostat to add voice control to other devices in your home.
2. Onelink Safe and Sound
Earlier this year, First Alert introduced the Onelink Safe and Sound — a smart smoke and CO detector with an Alexa-enabled speaker. The device has a number of features that are similar to the Nest Protect, including support for Apple HomeKit (which modestly speeds up app setup).
The Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with a Premium Speaker has Amazon Alexa Voice Services built-in, which means you can ask for information like the weather, play music, control smart devices and more. It also comes with a night-light feature, which you can adjust in the free Onelink Home app.
The Onelink Safe and Sound is a hardwired device, which means it needs to be connected to AC power (but it does have a 10-year backup battery). If you’re looking for an alternative to the Nest Protect, this might be worth checking out.
3. Ring Video Doorbell
A video doorbell allows you to see and speak to anyone at your front doorstep. This can be very helpful for keeping tabs on deliveries and communicating with couriers or workers who are completing home projects.
The Ring 2 has a good field of view, offers free alerts without having to subscribe to one of its recording options and is fully compatible with other HomeKit devices. It is also very affordable, which makes it a great choice for smart homeowners on a budget.
The Lorex LNWDB1 has a lot of the same features as the Ring but is much cheaper. It has a decent field of view, excellent data security and fast response time for alerts and loading live feeds. It also comes with Amazon Alexa baked in, which is a bonus for some users.
iRobot is the market leader when it comes to robot vacuums. Their i7 model can be controlled manually, or via the app on your smartphone. The i7 has smart mapping technology, which enables it to learn your home and avoid major obstacles such as stairs. It can also trigger other connected devices, like a Nest thermostat or August door look, using simple IFTTT commands.
If you’re looking for a Roomba that also mopses, the company makes one called the Braava jet m6. It uses the same advanced navigation as the i7 and i9 models to map out your home, adjust cleaning routes, and identify basic obstacles it should avoid. The app lets you label rooms, set schedules, and create virtual no-go zones that the Braava will not enter.
5. Treatlife Smart Light Switch
The Treatlife Smart Light Switch is a great gift for anyone who wants to start upgrading their home with smart gadgets. This switch allows users to control their lights, ceiling fan and appliances with a smartphone app or voice commands. It also lets users set automated schedules that help conserve energy.
Another cool smart home gadget is the Ring video doorbell. This device lets you see who’s at your doorstep from anywhere and talk to them if you choose. It also lets you record and save footage of visitors.
Other useful gadgets include a Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector, which alerts you of potential danger and sends you an emergency response. It also has a built-in display that allows you to visually manage your connected devices.