Top Home Tech Products You Need to Add
Homes are getting smarter all the time, thanks to great advances in technology. Check out our favorite home tech products and add a little brains to your abode!
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Ecobee Smart Thermostat
Nest has got it right with the second-generation model of its Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector. It integrates with Nest’s Learning Thermostat and Nest Cam. It will test for low batteries and communicate with other Nest devices in a home. It can tell you where the problem is and uses two wavelengths of light to look for both fast and slow burning fires.
Find out how to maintain smoke alarms in your home.
Lutron Serena Remote Controlled Shades
Sonos Wireless Speaker System
Those in search of that modern house feel will want to upgrade to the Electrolux IQ Touch Electric Range. The front control design, Flex-2-Fit heating elements and Perfect Taste Dual Convection will make cooking everything from the weeknight meal to holiday dinners easier. The easy-to-clean cooktop surface and seven cooking modes will help even the most novice chefs prepare marvelous meals.
Give your oven a break and control your dinner from anywhere with the WeMo Crock-Pot slow cooker. Just use your smart device and the WeMo App (free) to adjust or schedule cooking time and temperature. Dinner will be ready when you are!
The HAPIfork is an electric fork that helps you monitor and track your eating habits. It alerts you with the help of indicator lights and gentle vibrations when you’re eating that grilled steak too fast. The information is then uploaded via USB or Bluetooth to your online dashboard on HAPILabs.com to track your progress.
You’ll make the perfect drink every time with the Perfect Drink Pro. Great for your home bar, tell the Perfect Drink Pro via the app what you have in your liquor cabinet. Choose a recipe and this bar-top appliance will help you measure out just the right proportions for your drink. Then shake or stir.
The Brazen Plus Coffee Maker features adjustable settings for water brewing temperature and pre-soak, and guarantees brewing temperature to within 1 degree of your setting. The oversize shower head and pulsed water flow ensures complete coffee bed saturation for the perfect cup every time. And use a permanent filter or paper filters, and don’t forget to use those leftover grounds for pest control.
Neato Botvac Vacuum
Faber Hood T-Light
Anova Sous Vide with Bluetooth
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
Power, Cubed: E-More Cube
Best Night-Light in History: SnapRays Guidelight
- Everyone needs it: If the sun goes down where you live, you need a few night-lights, right?
- Anyone can install it: It takes all of 60 seconds. Remove the single screw on the old cover plate, snap in the Guidelight and reinstall the screw. That's it.
- It's inexpensive to operate: The three tiny LEDs come on only when it's dark, thanks to the light sensor built into the cover.
- It's not an ugly plug-in. It looks exactly like an ordinary cover plate. The LEDs at the bottom light up the floor right where you need it.
- The price is reasonable and they cost even less per light if you buy a bunch.
World's Coolest Hose Reel: RoboReel Water Hose Reel
Soil Testing Made Easy: General 4-in-1 Soil Condition Meter
Prevent Port Damage to Your Smartphone or Laptop
My 3-year-old granddaughter thought the USB ports on my son's laptop would be a great place to hide her hairclips. It was powered up at the time, and the clips shorted out the $800 main board (he had to remind himself how precious she is).
The service guy said port damage is common, and not just from little gremlins jamming hairclips in them. Dust, dirt and metal fragments can accumulate in the ports and cause damage when you jam the plug in. So my son sealed his smartphone and laptop ports with silicone anti-dust stoppers. It's really cheap insurance against costly repairs.
Rick Muscoplat, Contributing Editor
See Inside your Walls with the General iBorescope
Gift Ideas for New Homeowners: Smarter Smart Bulbs: GE's C Light Bulbs
Smartphone-friendly Garage Door Opener: Chamberlain HD950WF
Hide TV Wires: Power Jumper kit
LED Retrofit for Recessed Lighting: Halo RL560
Save 10 Percent on Your AC Bill with QwikSEER+ WattSaver
Reduce Cord Clutter with a PowerTap Grommet
WaterCop: Automatic Water Shutoff
Gift Ideas for New Homeowners: Vacuum Dustpan Saves Your Back
Answer or Open the Door From Any Phone with Viking Electronics
Control Your Tools With Your Phone
Super-Fast Wi-Fi Router
Electrical Tools with Onboard Voltage Tester
We had a problem with strangers disposing of their garbage in our dumpster here at work. On a few mornings, it was completely full of construction debris! We could either start locking the dumpster at night or keep paying the $80 early pickup fees. I bought a Master Lock Bluetooth padlock because I didn’t want to carry any more keys in my pockets or try to remember a combination.
The app on my phone lets me open the lock remotely (within Bluetooth range). I can also use the app to set combinations that my coworkers can use. If I give out individual codes, I can track who opened it and when—not that I don’t trust my coworkers. I can give out single-use codes as well. I bought the heavy-duty outdoor model No. 4401DLH online. — Josh Risberg, Lead Carpenter
Lutron Caseta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit
The Weber iGrill 3, which is compatible with the brand’s Genesis II and Genesis II LX gas grills, allows you to closely monitor your food so you get perfect results every time. The Bluetooth-enabled device supports up to four probes and sends information such as food temperature, cook time and even propane tank levels to your smartphone or tablet via the Weber iGrill app.
Smartphone with Thermal Imaging
The CAT S60 Android smartphone is far more rugged than a consumer-grade phone. It’s shatterproof up to a 6-ft. drop onto concrete, dustproof, shockproof and waterproof down to 5 meters for up to an hour. This phone works in temps from minus 13 to 131 degrees F, and the touch screen has glove-on and wet-finger tracking ability, so it operates in any weather.
The CAT S60 has a 13-megapixel camera as well as an infrared (FLIR) camera. Use the FLIR camera throughout your house to measure surface temperatures and find air leaks and temperature differences behind walls, electrical problems and even beehives. The S60 works with AT&T and T-Mobile and affiliated GSM networks using a nano sim card. It comes with 32GB internal memory and accepts a microSD card for extended storage up to 128GB.
Philips Hue Bulbs
Philips has finally provided an answer to whether the lights were left on at home with its Hue Bulbs. The Hue app connects to the lights, which you can turn on and off remotely. The app also allows users to set schedules for lights. Order these bulbs here.