Best Smart Home Holiday Gifts 2017

Modernize your home with the latest and greatest smart home devices.

Echo Dot — $49.99

The best entry-level Amazon Alexa device that will become the backbone of your smart home.


Amazon Echo — $99.99

All the same features as the Echo Dot but with a bigger and better speaker. Looks great in any apartment.


Google Home — $129.00

Prefer Google over Amazon? Google Home offers similar features with Google Assistant built-in to play your favorite songs, tell you the weather forecast, connect your smart home devices and much more.


Google Home Mini — $49.99

Google’s entry-level smart home device, especially great if you have an Android phone.


Sonos One — $199.00

A rich sounding Alexa-enabled speaker, perfect for any music lover.


Nest Thermostat — $199.99

Easy-to-install smart thermostat, controlled by your smartphone, that will learn your desired temperatures and save you tons on your heating bill.


iRobot Roomba — $274.99

The only vacuum you need. At a push of a button, it will find every bit of dust on your floors and rugs, even under your bed and couch.


TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb — $19.99

A great entry-level smart bulb that connects to your home network and doesn’t require a hub.


Philips Hue Multi-color — $199.99

A great connected light system with LED bulbs that can display any color imaginable. Freak out your cat by changing colors with voice command using any smart hub.


WeMo Smart Plug — $34.99

Anything that is plugged into the wall can be turned into a smart connection with this handy Smart Plug.


StarTech Bluetooth Audio Receiver — $75.99

Play music from your phone on any stereo with this audio receiver — no cords needed.


SkyBell HD Smart Doorbell — $199.99

Ever wonder who is ringing your doorbell? With SkyBell you can see them before they see you.


Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm — $119.99

It’s about time smoke detectors were updated. Get notified on your phone if your smoke detector goes off.


Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera — $199.99

Keep an eye on your house when you’re not home with this smart outdoor security camera.


Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth Lock — $229.99

With this smart lock you can open your front door with your phone, but still have the safety backup of a key.


August Smart Lock — $229.99

Who needs keys when we have phones? You can even create temporary digital keys for friends or Airbnb guests.


The Best Smart Home Devices for Your New Abode — Part 2

This is part two of our series on the smart home devices you need to get your hands on this year! Make sure to check out part one here.

Lifx Color 1000 ($59.99)

Lifx bulbs are energy-efficient, color-changing light bulbs. An easy-to-use app allows you to select the exact color you like, as well as select between themes, such as “tranquil”, “cheerful” and “exciting”. You can schedule bulbs to turn off/on at set times, and select how long you want the bulbs to take to do so. You can have your bulbs slowly turn on over the course of 15 minutes, simulating a sunrise to ease you out of bed in the morning. You can even sync the bulbs to pulse in beat with music! Lifx bulbs also sync with the Amazon Echo, allowing you to execute commands like “Hey Alexa, dim the Lifx bulb by 20% and switch the color to blue.”

Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit ($39.99)

Think of this as a starter kit for smart home light bulbs. There’s no app or integration with third party devices like the Echo — this is simply a light bulb you can dim remotely with a small remote. Just screw in the bulb, pull the plastic from the remote to activate the battery, and you’ll be dimming in seconds! The dimmer remote can control up to 10 of these bulbs at once, and can dim them all the way down to less than 1% of the bulb’s full brightness.

August Smart Lock ($199)

Retrofit this device to your existing deadbolt (compatible with most Baldwin, Kwikset, Schlage models) and you will have added a smart lock to you home! This device connects to your phone via Bluetooth, letting you lock/unlock your door remotely, when in Bluetooth range. Auto-lock and -unlock features are also available. Just leave the house and the August smart lock will lock up behind you! You can also send your friends/family virtual “keys”, letting them connect to the lock via Bluetooth when in range, so they can enter your home without you needing to come home and give them a key.

SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell ($199)

This is truly the doorbell of the future! This doorbell features 1080p HD video, available to view livestream. You can set it up to record when its motion sensor is triggered (i.e. when someone walks up to the door) or when the doorbell is rung. It can also send you push notifications in both of these cases. Video recordings and snapshots can be saved and downloaded to your phone easy-peasy. The SkyBell integrates with Amazon’s Echo, IFTTT and Nest Cam.

iSmartAlarm ($149.99)

iSmartAlarm finally brings us a smart, affordable DIY home security system that competes with the big-name brands. A basic package includes a motion detector, two contact sensors (for detecting opened doors/windows), two remote tags for your keychain (allowing you to remotely arm/disarm the system) and the CubeOne, the system’s brain. You can add as many sensors, sirens, cameras and remotes as you like.

All of these devices are controlled via the iSmartAlarm app, available on iOS and soon on Android. In the app, you can arm/disarm the system, activate the panic siren, and go into “home mode” which disables the motion sensors but leaves the contact sensors on. When a sensor is triggered, the panic alarm will go off and you’ll receive a text alert telling you what’s happening.

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The Best Smart Home Devices for Your New Abode — Part 1

The future is upon us — finally, we’re starting to see the gadgets of our favorite sci-fi movies come to life! Moving is a perfect time to upgrade your home-living experience to the next level. Here are four smart home devices that will help you do just that:

Amazon Echo ($179.99)

The Echo serves as the all-around centerpiece of smart home devices. It can basically control your whole house! The Echo is a high-quality speaker, housed in a water-bottle sized black cylinder. It works like this: you say its “wake” word (“Alexa”, “Amazon”, or “Echo”), and then tell it what to do. It can do quite a lot, and the list is growing. It can play music for you, or podcasts or audiobooks, read you the news, give you weather/traffic reports, give you facts, do calculations, set timers, hail a ride from Uber, stream music from Spotify or order pizza from Domino’s.

Depending on what “skills” Alexa has (basically apps synced with the device), “she” can also walk you through cocktail recipes, tune your guitar, or help you with Minecraft. Echo also syncs and integrates with other smart home devices, such as lights, thermostats, garage-door openers, security systems, etc.

Amazon Echo Dot ($90)

The Echo Dot is half the price of the full-sized Echo, and much smaller: about the size of a hockey puck. It does everything the Echo does, with smaller speakers. You can sync it with your own sound system however, making this possibly the best smart home device deal on the market right now.

Belkin WeMo Switch ($49) + Motion (+ $30)

This device is small and simple. Plug it into any electrical socket, then whatever you plug into it you’ll be able to control from your smartphone, with the free WeMo app. Using the app, you can turn devices off and on remotely, schedule them to turn off/on at certain times, or program them to turn off/on when the motion sensor is triggered.

The WeMo switch also features full IFTTT integration. IFTTT (If This, Then That) is free online tool that allows you to link apps, Web services and smart devices together. The sky’s the limit here. Using IFTTT integration, you could set it up so that you get a text alert every time someone walks by the motion sensor, or when the kids turn on the Xbox.

Nest Learning Thermostat ($249)

At its most basic, the Nest is a smart thermostat that syncs to an app on your smartphone, allowing you to control the temperature remotely. You can set maximum and minimum temperature ranges while you’re out of the house and program temperature changes at specific times of the day. Nest helps you save energy and money by monitoring your daily energy usage, air humidity, and informing you (with a small green leaf in its beautifully designed display) when you’re in a temperature range that will save you money. The Nest will also learn your habits over time, eventually making temperature changes for you.

For more of the best smart home devices, make sure to check out part 2 of this series!

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