The 18 Things You Need to Have a Smart Home
Looking to maximize your home’s potential while doing as little work as possible? These smart devices will change your life.
Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Smart Art: Meural
The Meural Canvas is basically the Aura of the art world. Redefining the gallery wall, it turns any wall into a revolving art gallery, giving you the opportunity to display millions of dollars worth of artwork in your home—for the price of the frame and a $49 per year membership.
Smart Scent: Moodoo
Who needs candles and incense when you can infuse a room with the aroma of your choice via an app on your smartphone? Moodoo is an air-scent machine that works similar to a Keurig. Simply place fragrance capsules in the diffuser, and choose which one (or even a mixture of a few) you want circulating through your room. Within seconds, sweet smells will start permeating from the little machine. So which fragrance should you choose? These are the best fragrances for every room in your home.
Smart Security: SimpliSafe
According to the FBI, burglaries account for more than $15.6 billion in losses every year. A home security system can help to keep you from becoming a statistic. In the past, setting one up was complicated and expensive. SimpliSafe is the first-ever home security system that is entirely self-installed, customizable, with no long-term contracts.
Just purchase the package of your choice—which comes with things like the sleekly designed base station; a keypad that helps you arm and disarm the system; a key fob that lets you control the system remotely; and motion sensors, entry sensors, a video doorbell, and SimpliCam, their indoor security camera. Then, spend less than an hour installing it. No professional needed!
The system can be controlled by an app, which will alert you if there’s an intruder. However, customers do have the option of adding on a professional monitoring plan for $15 or $25 per month, which includes both police and fire-department alerts. There are several packages to choose from, but this eight-piece option will keep your home well-equipped and protected. Going out of town? Here are 14 things smart homeowners do before going on vacation.
Smart Clean: iRobot Roomba i7+
Here’s the deal: All high-quality vacuums are expensive. So if you’re going to spend the money on an efficient and effective vacuum, why not shave an hour or two off your weekly cleaning chores by splurging on a top-of-the-line robotic vacuum?
The iRobot Roomba i7+ is basically a genius. It features Imprint Smart Mapping, allowing you to label rooms and select specific rooms to clean. It automatically cleans itself, disposing of all that dirt and other icky stuff you don’t want to touch, as well as recharges itself. And it even features a High-Efficiency Filter that captures 99 percent of mold, pollen, dust mites, and dog and cat allergens.
If money isn’t an issue, check out the iRobot Roomba s9+. In addition to boasting a stronger motor than the i7+, it has wider brushes, a larger filter, a square front, and a new 3D sensor in the front of the robot that helps it get millimeters from the edge of the wall and deep into corners. Want to cut your cleaning time in half? Here are 16 genius cleaning hacks from professionals.
Smart Outlet: Kasa Smart WiFi Plug
When nearly 16,000 Amazon users endorse a product, you should listen. The Kasa Smart WiFi Plug gets rave reviews on the online retailer’s site, and it retails for under $15. Here’s why everyone’s obsessed, aside from the super affordable price tag: It lets you create a schedule to automatically turn on or off home electronics and appliances. You can control it with your voice through select Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana devices, or use the Kasa app on your smartphone. Ultimately, it will make your life easier and save you money on your energy bill. What’s not to love about that?
Smart Light: Philips Hue White LED Bulb
Let there be (smart) light! Techies love the Philips Hue range of smart light bulbs, which offers everything from your standard indoor bulb to outside floodlights. The bulb works with Amazon’s Alexa to support dimming through voice control. However, if you want the full Hue experience (for example, to take advantage of voice activation), you have to purchase the Philips Hue Hub or have an Echo Show or Echo Plus.
Smart Camera: Nest Security Camera
Whether you need to keep an eye on your kids in the other room, see what your pets are doing when you’re out of the house, or want to make sure there are no intruders lurking nearby, a smart camera is an essential to any smart home. The Nest Security Camera works with Alexa and the Nest app and will alert you when any unusual activity or movement is detected. It also has a two-way microphone and speaker, so you can hear what your kids are chatting about or yell at your dog if you spot him chewing up your socks. If you’re using other Nest gadgets in your house, this camera is a must-have addition. Not sure where you should put cameras? Here are 10 places smart homeowners install security cameras.
Smart Doorbell: Ring
Keep unwanted guests out with the help of a video doorbell. The Ring, which has HD video and infrared night vision, is Amazon’s best-seller and retails for less than $100. It works with Alexa to illuminate and send announcements to all your other Echo devices when your doorbell is pressed or motion is detected. You can also see, hear, and talk to visitors through Echo Show or Echo Spot, your phone, tablet, or computer, as well as send alerts. It works on any home, with any existing doorbell and even without existing doorbell wires. It also lets you check in on your home, no matter where you are. And oh yeah, it includes lifetime theft protection, so if someone steals it, you will get another one for free.
Smart Surveillance: Ring Stick Up Cam
The Alexa-compatible Ring Stick Up Cam, one of the latest offerings from the Ring family, is a truly genius product. The small camera is battery operated (meaning no ugly wires) and will give you great visibility as to what is going on outside of your home, via the Ring app or on your hub. It also features a microphone, so you can have a conversation with whoever is close by. Even better? It is super easy to set up. Everything you need—including a USB battery charger—is in the box. Want to amp up your security even more? Add the Ring Alarm to the mix! Now, find even more smart home devices that are worth every penny.