How Smart Is Your Home?
Was I the only child that wished I could control things like the lights with my mind? Well now we all can. And not only lights, but everything. Speakers, cameras, windows, kitchen appliances, televisions, thermostats, doorbells, and so much more. And it doesn’t just stop at being able to turn things on and off. You can set timers, receive information, and send commands. If you told me twenty years ago that I’d be able set my thermostat to 72 degrees using my phone from across town, I’d think you were crazy. But what used to sound like science fiction is possible today. And not only possible, but plentiful and getting cheaper and more feature-rich by the year.
From security systems to gadgets that make your life easier, smart home and home automation technology has come a long way in recent years. So many different gadgets can be had for so little money, it doesn’t make sense not to automate your home. Here’s our list of best smart home gifts of 2017.
Nest is an amazing, well known company of all things related to smart home gadgets. This thing is everything we wished home security cameras were ten years ago. Having an Alexa and Wifi linked security camera is a major stepping stone fully decking out your smart home.
It’s compatible with Alexa and you get 24/7, 1080p HD, live video. The lens is quality – completely glass and has a 130° wide-angle view, allowing you to see a whole room at once. You can set it up to give you alerts and even snapshots and all you need to do is download the app. So easy. It has true night vision, no more fuzzy green images of the past. And the coolest part is that it has a built in microphone and a speaker. So not only can you hear what’s going on, you can tell the dog’s to get off the couch while you’re at work! The Nest Cam is the best smart home gift for peace of mind.
Do you know someone who wants to get into home automation but doesn’t want to jump right in? The Wemo Mini Smart Plug is at the top of the list for absolute smart home gifts to get your feet wet. It plugs into a normal outlet socket, leaving the second socket available, maybe for a second Wemo! Fill up all your outlets with the Wemo for the ultimate Smart Home.
You can control the outlet from anywhere using Wifi. No need for a subscription, a hub, anything. Just download the app and control your lights, appliances, whatever. It’s also voice activated, so you can control it with Google Home or Alexa. The ability to control any device plugged in the wall using Alexa or your smart phone makes the Wemo the absolute best bang for your buck of all the best home automation gifts.
Everything you know and love about Amazon Echo, but now Alexa can show you things on a high def screen. Since it’s the control center for nearly all smart home tech, the Echo Show is the best of the best for smart home gifts. Watch videos, listen to music, browse books, see the weather, stream the baby monitor, and make video calls. With two powerful Dolby speakers, you can stream your music through any of the popular stations – Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and others. Using eight microphones, Alexa can you hear from any direction.
This is the perfect gift to give someone who already has an Amazon Echo and wants the coolest upgrade, or just someone who wants to dive headfirst into a smart home. Since so many products are now linked to Alexa, the Echo Show is the best home automation gift of 2017.
What’s better than giving the gift of security and peace of mind? The Schlage touchscreen Deadbolt is just that. It connects to Alexa so you can control the lock with your voice, but also anywhere you have access to the internet or your smartphone. It can store up to 30 personalized codes, and has 3 different alarm settings. No smart home is complete without the ability to lock your house using your phone. Add this one to your “Home Automation” checklist.
The SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security system is a great gift for anyone who wants a little more peace of mind when they leave the house. The kit comes with a base station, which signals the alarm to the monitoring company, and sounds the alarm through the speaker, a motion sensor, four entry sensors, and the keypad that connects it all together. There are no wires, no plugs, no phone lines needed. Anybody can set up the sensors and the keypad, and have a secure home in just minutes. Any smart home owner knows an alarm system is worth its weight in gold.
The Nest Smart Thermostat is the best smart home gift for those person who’s always fiddling with the thermostat. Control the temperature in you house using your voice with Alexa or your phone, tablet or laptop, you don’t even need to touch it.
The best part is it learns what temperatures you set it at. Every day you set the temperature to 73 degrees and then put it to 70 before you go to bed? It remembers, and sets it automatically. It knows when you’re not home and saves energy, saving you money on your electric bill. And the screen also shows you the weather, your calendar, and many more things to make your life that much easier. The epitome of smart home technology.
The hundreds of thousand of people who own the Fire TV Stick can’t be wrong. This is the streaming stick you need in your life, and anyone would love as a gift. No smart home is complete without a full wireless media center.
Connect to Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, Youtube, Amazon Video, NBC, ESPN, Disney, and over 140 other channels. Paired with Alexa, it’s even voice controlled. No wonder everyone’s dropping their cable subscription these days. For such a small price tag, you get pretty much all of your favorite shows and movies. The Fire TV Stick is probably the best money I’ve ever spent and will be one of the best smart home gifts you could give someone. You could even shell out a couple extra bucks to get the 4K Ultra HD Fire Stick!
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is a nice addition to a smart home, making it a great gift for anyone. You never need to worry about who’s at the door anymore with the Ring Video Doorbell. You can watch over your home in 1080p HD video, even at night with infrared night vision. It has Live View, so you can see whats going on outside any time you want, and when a visitor rings the doorbell you get a notification to check the video. This doorbell can be paired with Alexa, your smartphone, tablet, or PC, so you can see who’s at your door anywhere you are! The security and ease of use makes the Ring Pro a great smart home gift.
Control the lights in your house without even touching them with the Wemo Light Switch. It connects to Wifi and Alexa, so you can use your phone or your voice to turn on lights wherever you are. Did you forget to leave a light on for the dogs? Forget to turn the lights off in the bedroom? No need to run back home, just open the app on your phone and control your lights from there. Can you really call your house a smart home without the ability to turn lights on and off wirelessly?
Still stuck on what to get someone as a gift? Everyone appreciates Amazon Gift Cards, they can choose from literally hundreds of millions of products. You can choose either a nice gift card in a box with a bow, or you can even print out the gift card at home right now!