If you’re like me, you have a certain love for gadgets but you don’t want to go overboard. In recent years, the “smart home” has really started taking off. What began as a small club for elite users has trickled down to the masses with helpful products that don’t break the bank. With this in mind, we put together a list of our top 5 smart home gadgets that you can add today.
If you love your home, but want to make it a tad bit smarter, you’re not alone. Smarter homes are better-connected homes with the ability to control many essential functions remotely. That can save you lots of time and hassle by providing access or features that would have cost lots of money just 15 years ago. So let’s take a look at what we feel are the top 5 smart home gadgets we currently use today. These may not turn your home sentient, but they will definitely add some convenience and features.
Nest Learning Thermostat
One of the biggest regular expenses to homeowners is the heating and air conditioning. That is why the Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the best investments in smart home gadgets you can make. It proposes to help you save big on electricity due to a self-scheduling feature that intelligently learns your habits. In reality, we simply find it very convenient. It knows when you are in the house, or when you leave, and thus when to turn on and off the heating.
The added benefit to all this cost-saving is less wasted energy. In the event you do want to control the thermostat remotely, this functionality is included in the app. This and other mobile controlled smart technologies are leading the way in the smart home revolution.
Bagotte BG800 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
While not new to the world of smart home gadgets, we find robotic vacuums truly useful. They work well for either hardwood or carpeted surfaces. These “robot servants” work tirelessly to keep your floors clean day in and day out. This model comes with integrated smartphone control. It lets you set timers from afar and then forget about them while they clean your house.
About the only downside to most robotic vacuums is the fact that you have to empty the bins daily. If you absolutely don’t want to do that, check out our two alternate picks. They’ll cost you a bit more, but include an integrated collection system that lasts up to a week or more before requiring emptying. These might be the smartest home gadgets on our list.
Alternate Smart Home Vacuum Gadgets Picks
- iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot Vacuum w/Automatic Dirt Disposal – Buy here
- Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL RV1001AE Robotic Vacuum – Buy here
Sylvania Smart+ Wi-Fi Dimmable A19 LED Light Bulbs
Smart lights are the way forward for lighting homes thanks to the many tangible benefits they offer. Some, like these from Sylvania, have various hues for mood lighting and preferred color temperature. You can also dim them and assign them to timers for lighting automation and scheduling.
They also work with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri Shortcuts and support voice controls. They feature a fairly accurate 90+ CRI (Color Rendering Index) and set up easily with the free Sylvania Smart WiFi App. Since they connect directly to your WiFi network, they don’t require a bridge or a separate hub like bulbs from Ring and others.
We consider these almost a staple in the world of smart home gadgets. If you don’t have smart lighting, your home isn’t very smart.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
You stream shows from one or more online services. The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K aggregates all of those sources into one. It covers everything from Amazon Prime Video to AppleTV content, Netflx, Hulu, Disney+, Paramount+, and more.
The device truly works as a jack of all trades for streaming media. It allows you to watch tons of digital content and even play a huge selection of games. What makes the latest iteration of this entertainment room staple indispensable for your smart home is its new integration with Alexa for voice control. Want to know the best part? You can pick up this amazing device for under $50.
Ring Video Doorbell
The Ring video doorbell provides a lot more features than you get with a peephole. It transmits instant video you can view on your smartphone from anywhere in the world. Of our top 5 smart home gadgets, this may be the coolest.
We actually use the Ring Pro video doorbell due to its smaller size and excellent features. The advantage to Ring, of course, is they also supply an entire array of security products. That includes keypads, sirens, cameras, sensors, and even monitoring services.
Did We Miss Anything?
Did we miss anything? Of course we did! This list can’t possibly cover all of the excellent smart home gadgets available on the market today. It does, however, reflect a nice slice of products that we either use daily or have some personal experience with.
We know you have your own recommendations, so please leave us a note in the comments as to what smart home devices you love and use. We want to hear from you!