A well-appointed smart home is built one product at a time. Whether you’re looking to boost security, add an A.I. assistant or automate your lights, there are plenty of smart home devices to choose from. But, what’s the best? We’ve outlined some of the top options on the market today for a variety of needs.
Smart Home Mission Control
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to begin transforming your house into a smart home. The Amazon Echo Dot offers an aesthetically pleasing design while remaining incredibly inexpensive. While it’s not a hub in the traditional sense, it has a built-in Zigbee radio that allows Zigbee-equipped smart home devices, including lights, locks and doorbells, to connect directly to your network without the need of a bridge. (A bridge is a small box that connects to your wireless router. Also, referred to as a smart hub, it acts as a “bridge” between smart devices and the internet, so you can connect, monitor and control all of your smart devices from your smartphone, anywhere in the world.) Next, learn if the Amazon Echo Dot is the right smart speaker for you.
You’ll love the Amazon Echo Dot’s small size, ease of use and smart home capabilities. Connect voice-forward products like lights, thermostats, cameras, door locks and much more to your Echo Dot to control them using your voice.
Plus, the following products all work with the Echo Dot to automate your home.
Smart Security Camera System
A smart surveillance camera is one thing, but a whole system gives you ultimate protection. Reolink’s 4K system delivers four times the clarity of older cameras, providing you with a crystal clear display, even when zooming in. The plug-and-play PoE (power over Ethernet) system ensures easy setup and installation using one single network cable that stretches to 330 feet. Enjoy continuous 24/7 recording and remote access and playback via the Reolink app.
Nest x Yale Lock (shown here)
Monitor access to your home with a Google home device like this smart lock. You can simply tap to lock, or use the Google Assistant to lock with your voice command. A perfect companion to Nest Security, you can quickly unlock your door when you see a friend coming, set visiting hours for friends, house cleaners, dog walkers, etc., create unique passcodes for family and friends and get notifications when those people come and go.
The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself to maintain the ideal temperature and help save energy. And, you can control it from anywhere with the Nest app. A great addition to your Google Home devices, you can use your voice to set the thermostat cooler, warmer or to set a specific temperature and more.
The starter kit includes four Philips Hue white A19 60W Energy Star certified LED smart bulbs, and the Philips Hue Hub that can control up to 50 Hue lights. It works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to allow you to switch the lights on and off with your voice, adjust brightness, change colors and ask if you left the lights on.
This video doorbell is a game changer in home security. It replaces one-dimensional peepholes with a smart system that keeps your home safer. It has HD live streaming, motion alerts, and for $3 a month, you can have access to saved video clips to review at a later date. And, because it works with Alexa, you can be sitting in your office and pull up a live feed and even talk to whomever is at your door, right from your Echo device.
Next, learn about the Apple home automation system: HomeKit.