20 Top Home Products from 2019
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Every day cool, new home products come out. Take a look at some of the home products that we loved in 2019.
The Smart Lock by Gate Labs is one of the few smart lock devices that has a solution for the shortcomings of other smart locks. You can create individual passcodes so others can get into your home without a key and without the app. You can still use a key while the video camera will let you know who’s at the door. Plus, you can speak to visitors through your phone while they wait at the door. Discover other available smart locks out there and how they differ.
The FORIOUS Assistive Touch Kitchen Faucet is a cool innovation that allows you to just touch the faucet to turn it on and off. Plus, it has a pull-down sprayer to make washing dishes easier. It operates off four AA batteries and is a quick install. Take a look at other kitchen and bathroom faucets if you need to upgrade yours.
With so many smart devices and mobile equipment in need of USB ports, this smart power strip by Xenon is a great item to have on hand. It’s a surge protector that you can control with a smart phone and it’s compatible with Alexa. You can set up individual timing for devices that are plugged in to start and shut off automatically. There’s no need for a hub or a subscription service to use it. Here’s why surge protectors are a must-have to protect your electronics.
The Ninja Supra kitchen blender is great because it can double as a food processor. It comes with two Nutri Ninja cups with to-go lids. It can make two pounds of dough in 30 seconds in it’s XL 8-cup food processor bowl.
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 960 takes robotic vacuum cleaning a step further by adding a mopping function. It will learn as it works so it will recognize items that are typically in the way as it cleans. It can simultaneously vacuum and mop to clear up to 99.26 percent of bacteria because it can automatically detect carpet. It can be customized so you can add areas you don’t want it to go.
If you need to beef up your TV and movie watching experience, then check out the Klipsch Soundbar. It comes with an 8-inch wireless subwoofer and it’s a 3.1 soundbar. Check out our guide to home theaters, sound systems and wireless speakers to get started.
File this under “What are they going to come up with next?” Because the umbrella ShadeCraft Robotics just unveiled is mind blowing in a lot of ways. The features are out of this world because this things does just about everything except your laundry. It’ll fit in nicely among the top 50 home tech products you need to add.
The Blossom uses solar power and is even functional on cloudy days because it will store power while you play music through its Bluetooth enabled audio system. But it doesn’t end there, there’s a controlled lighting feature with embedded LED panels to create the perfect ambiance for any outdoor setting. You might want to add any of these 12 solar landscape lights to your yard as well.
The wind sensor onboard the Blossom will detect wind speed as well as direction so it will close automatically if inclement weather approaches. Make sure you know these storm survival tips next time severe weather approaches.
You can also control the umbrella through an app and charge your device through a USB port on the umbrella. If an app is too old of a technology for you, you can run it through Alexa and use voice commands. Bet you didn’t know these 15 ways to use Alexa at home.
While that all sounds pretty awesome, here comes the gulp part. The Blossom retails for $7,500 on ShadeCraft’s website and is available for pre-order.
How often have you been at work worrying whether you left the iron or space heater on at home? Well, if it’s plugged into a Wemo Smart Plug, worry no more—you can turn the power off when you’re away. Controlled by an app on your phone and connected to your home WiFi, these units offer some great features:
- You can schedule anything that’s plugged into it.
- You can use Voice Control with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
- The “Away Mode” will randomly turn a lamp on and off while you’re on vacation.
- One model, the Insight shown above, enables you to monitor your energy use.
- Wemo Mini Smart Plugs are stackable and don’t block the outlet when they’re plugged in.
Note: These plugs control the power to the device that’s plugged in but not the device itself. For example, a lamp or humidifier will turn on when supplied with power, but a coffee maker will still need to have a button pressed.
Single units are $35 to $45, and multipacks are $60 to $100 at belkin.com.
I have a powerful backpack blower that moves mountains of leaves in spring and fall. But the rest of the time, I rely on my Worx 56-volt battery-powered blower (about $180). I use it to blow out my car, the shop and garage (no gas fumes!) and to clean vacuum filters. I even climb up on the roof and blast debris off the shingles. I’ve used lots of handheld battery-powered blowers, but none with the balance and power of this one. The battery lasts about 15 minutes, generally long enough for most tasks. —Travis Larson, Senior Editor
This is one tough flashlight, and it does a lot more than shine light where you point it. This flashlight was designed for those with unreliable access to electricity, for adventurers and for use in emergency situations. It can be powered by a battery that charges via USB or the sun through an integrated solar panel along the back of the handle. It has three lighting options: a flashlight/spotlight, a lantern light and a night-light. Depending on the lighting option, it has a run-time of up to 48 hours. The built-in USB port will also charge your devices. You can buy it at xtorch.org for $60.
Courtesy of Ego
Can a battery-powered snow blower really do the job? Well, Mother Nature provided the ultimate test last winter. In Minnesota, we got sloppy wet snow, deep snow and more, more, more snow. Each time, my neighbors fired up their gas blowers while I switched on Ego’s 56-volt blower. Twice I would have traded for the power of a gas blower. All the other times, I felt I had the smartest choice on the block: good performance without gas, start-up problems or maintenance. And never once did I have to stop to recharge the batteries, despite my 90-ft. driveway. Ego’s 2102, powered by two 5-amp batteries, costs $650. The 2103, with 7.5-amp batteries, costs $800. — Gary Wentz, Editor-in-Chief
Courtesy of Moen
The Moen EXL100C garbage disposal does everything it’s supposed to do and does it well. Its 1-hp motor grinds up food like the best of them. The Universal Xpress Mount system fits most existing garbage disposal mounts and makes installation a breeze.
What sets it apart is its motion-sensing light, which allows you to see what’s underneath the sink. When you open the cabinet door, the garbage disposal lights up the space, letting you find the carpet cleaner that would otherwise be hidden in the dark. Find it for $290 at The Home Depot.
Telescoping ladders allow you to reach the same height as standard extension ladders, but they eliminate all the hassles: They’re lighter and easier to transport and take up far less space in your garage.
There are a few different brands, and each has models that extend to various heights. We got our hands on the Xtend + Climb 770P, and we’re big fans. It retracts to just 32 in. tall and extends in 1-ft. increments, up to 12 ft. And it weighs only 27 lbs. You can get one online for about $190.
By the time we’d get to the dinner dishes after putting the kids to bed, my wife and I would often find melted cheese and lasagna residue stuck to our plates. But when I remodeled our kitchen, I installed a Kohler faucet with a sweeping sprayer pattern that acts like a scraper to rinse off dishes. It doesn’t replace elbow grease in extreme cases of dried-on dinner, but it definitely works better than the faucet we had before. This is the Simplice kitchen faucet, which is available at Home Depot for $180, but Kohler makes several models with this convenient feature. — Mike Berner, Associate Editor
Is it better to hand-wash or use the dishwasher? We can tell you.
Courtesy of MirrorMate
If you’re thinking about a way to upgrade your bathroom, here’s an easy one. Put a frame around the plain mirror above your vanity. MirrorMate simplifies that by cutting a frame to fit for you. After you supply the mirror dimensions on its website, including how much space is around your mirror, it will ship a frame to your home along with special connectors and glue to put it together. Just glue the ends together, pound the connectors in, and stick it on. You can choose from 65 frame styles in different pricing tiers at mirrormate.com.
Trimming flowers, trees and shrubs is a workout with conventional pruning shears. Even in your prime, your cutting hand can ache in no time, and if you have arthritis or a weak grip, you might think you have to hang up your gardening gloves for good. But ratcheting pruners use leverage to make cuts much easier—you can cut through a branch as thick as 1 in. in three or four easy squeezes. Expect to pay at least $20 for a pair of ratcheting shears. This top-of-the-line pair from The Gardener’s Friends ($40 online) features a replaceable blade and a built-in blade cleaner.
Wet vacuums make short work of cleaning up messes, but disposing of them can mean lugging around gallons of liquid. The Quick Connect Pump Accessory for Ridgid wet/dry vacuums lets you swap the heavy lifting for the flip of a switch.
You just attach the pump to your vacuum’s drain port, hook up a garden hose to the pump, and send the contents outside or to a drain. Turn the pump on and watch it empty the vacuum. The Quick Connect Pump fits onto a standard-size drain port, but check your vacuum to make sure it will fit. If you have a wet vacuum, you need one of these! It’s available for $50 at Home Depot.
Shop vacuums are incredibly useful around the house. Learn how to dry out carpet with one by clicking here.
This Drain King drain cleaner from GT Water Products is my go-to tool for removing tough clogs. When drains in basements, bathrooms or kitchens stop up and homeowners can’t plunge the clog out, I hook this tool up to a garden hose, feed it into the drain and turn on the faucet.
Here’s how it works: The bladder swells and wedges itself in the pipe, and its patented dispersing valve vibrates the pipe while shooting jets of water to dislodge the clog safely, without chemicals. — John Wood, Plumber for ProMech
This Kuna Maximus Camera Floodlight shines bright, rolls the camera and gives you peace of mind while you’re away. When motion is detected, the light turns on and the built-in camera starts recording. There’s a two-way speaker you can speak through or use to sound an alarm. Through the connected app on your smartphone, you can always take a peek at what’s going on while you’re away—perfect for checking on your latest Amazon delivery or finding out how late your teen actually got home. — Aaron Massey, DIYer at mrfixitdiy.com
Kuna also makes a more discreet version of this in the form of an outdoor sconce. The video is clear and the app sends a notification to your phone (if you want) when the motion sensor is set off.