Building up a smart home system is a matter of finding not only the right central unit but the right gadgets with which to populate your home. While there are plenty of different items you can add to your home’s network, there are only a handful of systems that are actually must-haves.
If you’re looking to build up your smart home into something that actually feels worthy of the name, you’ll definitely want to take a look at the six gadgets discussed below.
*TechImperatives.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
The smart thermostat has quickly become one of the most important parts of any smart home. Unlike some of the other gadgets out there, it’s one that not only has a very solid purpose, but one that can end up both helping the environment and saving users a good bit of money over time. If you’re looking for a great smart thermometer to help ensure that your home is at the proper temperature no matter where you are, one of the best choices you can make is to use the ecobee SmartThermostat.
One of the best things about this ecobee Thermostat is how easy it is to integrate into your current smart home set-up. While you can absolutely choose to use this thermostat on its own through the included smartphone app, it’s already got Alex on board. If you’d rather use a system like Google Home, adding it to your set-up is as easy as pressing a few extra buttons. It’s a thermostat that’s definitely made to work as part of a larger smart home set-up regardless of which particular hub you like to use.
Once set up, this ecobee Thermostat does a lot of work to make your home a little more livable. It has sensors that keep track of the air temperature, allowing it to adjust intelligently over time. It can be operated remotely or on a timer, allowing you to ensure that you’re using the proper amount of power at any given point. The ecobee smart thermostat is even intuitive enough to ensure that specific rooms are kept comfortable based on your daily habits. Taken together, the functionality of this ecobee smart thermostat can really help you to take control of your home’s temperature.
- AWARD WINNING: Named “The Best Smart Thermostat” by Tom’s Guide. With a crisp glass finish, vivid touch display, powerful quad-core processor, dual-band Wi-Fi, and far-field voice, it’s a smart thermostat like no other.
- SMARTSENSOR: Includes SmartSensor to keep important rooms comfortable by adjusting your thermostat based on occupancy and temperature.
- ENERGY SAVINGS: By reducing wasted energy in your home, you could save up to 23% annually on your heating or cooling costs (compared to a hold of 72°F). Plus, the eco+ free software works to further maximize efficiency. You can also see if your purchase qualifies for a rebate at ecobee.com/rebates.
Nest Protect Smoke Alarm
A good smoke alarm is a must in any home. If you’re looking with an eye towards safety when you start building up your smart home, you’ve got to take a look at this Nest Smoke Alarm. A combination of a smoke alarm, CO2 detector and carbon monoxide detector, this Nest Smoke Alarm does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to keeping your home safe.
The Nest Protect is definitely a far cry from the traditional models that you’ve probably used all of your life. It uses sophisticated sensors to not only pick up on smoke and CO2, but to alert you of exactly where they are building up as soon as they are detected. These few extra seconds of warning can make a huge difference, and the alerts can be sent not only to your smart speakers but directly to your phone. In fact, one of the best features of this smart smoke detector is that it will alert you to issues no matter where you are, allowing you to contact emergency services even if you are thousands of miles away from home.
There are also a handful of neat extra features that are packed into the Nest Protect smoke alarm. One of the nicest is Pathlight, a feature that causes the unit to light up whenever you walk under it. While this is probably meant to help you out of a house in an emergency, it’s also a great tool for ensuring that you don’t stumble around in the dark. The Nest Protect 2nd generation smoke alarm also sends alerts about its battery life directly to your smartphone, giving you notifications so that you can pick up batteries when you’re out of the house. Coupled with its very useful safety features, the Nest Protect 2nd generation smoke alarm is a can’t-miss part of any smart home ecosystem.
- Smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector that speaks up in a friendly voice to give you an early warning when there’s smoke or CO in your home
- Split Spectrum Sensor looks for both fast burning and smoldering ﬁres and tells you where the danger is
- Get phone alerts so you know something’s wrong even when you’re away from home
- CO detector looks out for carbon monoxide and tells you where it’s located
ARLO Pro 2 Wireless Home Security
Once you get serious about a smart home set-up, it makes sense to start looking at security. While security systems and even networked security systems have been common household accessories for decades, modern smart home systems take things a step farther than you might expect. These wireless home security camera systems make it easier to keep your home and your family safe even when you are not around.
The first things you’ll notice about this Arlo Pro 2 system are the cameras. They’re not only wireless, but they’re incredibly easy to mount. You can fit one of these cameras just about anywhere indoors or outdoors, and they’ll keep recording rain or shine. You can set up the cameras to record specific areas or to trigger when sound and motion are detected, giving you a crystal-clear recording of anyone or anything that happens to wander into the camera’s field of view.
Once the cameras trigger, they’ll set off an alarm. The siren is loud (100 decibels) and you can actually trigger it yourself directly from a smartphone. The system also makes use of a two-way audio system, so you can choose to talk directly to anyone who is on the camera or listen in on anything that you’re recording. All of this information gets recorded onto a local hard-drive, letting you comb through the footage if anyone manages to get into your home. These wireless home security camera systems give you surveillance powers that would’ve seemed impossible even a few short years ago, allowing you to keep your home and family safe no matter where you are.
5 used from $249.99
- 100 percent wire free: Free of power cords and wiring hassles
- 1080p HD high quality video with sharper and brighter details
- Flexible powering options use wire free, plugged in. Rechargeable battery
- Weatherproof Pro cameras are weatherproof so you can place them anywhere indoors and out
- 7 days of free cloud recordings pro comes with recurring 7 day free cloud recordings. Live stream or view recorded video and audio for up to 7 days
Netatmo Weather Station
Some of the best gadgets for smart homes don’t necessarily control anything inside your house. Instead, they give you a better idea of how your world works. This weather monitoring station from Netatmo does do a bit of work monitoring the air conditions inside your home, but it’s also a great took for figuring out exactly what the weather’s going to be like outside of your door.
Smart home owners will probably get the most out of this device’s ability to measure the air quality in your home. A quick look at your phone or even a question to Alexa will let you know the CO2 levels in your home, letting you know the perfect time to open a few windows and to let the air circulate. Though this isn’t necessarily a replacement for any emergency monitoring devices, the NETATMO WEATHER STATION is a great tool for those who tend to get sick when the air inside their home gets a little too stuffy.
The NETATMO WEATHER STATION is also great for getting super-localized weather information. Whether you choose to pair the NETATMO WEATHER STATION with a hub or just use the phone app, you can find out the precise weather information right outside your door. It’s not just limited to temperature, either – barometric pressure, humidity, and more are all available at a glance. You can even keep track of your own weather data with handy graphs to get a better idea of what types of weather trends are happening in your area. If you want a more accurate forecast for your region, there’s simply not a better choice than this NETATMO WEATHER STATION.
1 used from $137.00
- UNDERSTAND YOUR INDOOR AND OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT: indoor / outdoor temperature, humidity, air quality, indoor noise levels, barometric pressure.
- RECEIVE REAL-TIME NOTIFICATIONS: use your Weather Station to customise indoor and outdoor alerts and get notifications on your smartphone. Ventilation alerts will tell you when it's time to air out your home.
- ACCESS YOUR DATA REMOTELY AND WITH YOUR VOICE: easily access your weather readings at any time from your smartphone, tablet, computer or by voice via Alexa on Amazon Echo or via Siri thanks to the compatibility with Apple HomeKit.
Withings Sleep Tracking Mat
A good night’s sleep is absolutely vital to your health. Unfortunately, tracking sleep is often a little harder than it needs to be. Even modern smartwatches, most of which have some kind of sleep-tracking function, aren’t great at the process and prove to be a little too uncomfortable to wear at night. That’s where this product comes in, allowing you to monitor your sleep at night without having to wear any external devices or having to do any work before you get into bed.
As a health tracker, the Withings Sleep Tracking Mat is definitely something special. You’ll set it up once, and then you’ll get all the data you could ever want from the device. You’ll learn how well you slept, how much you tossed and turned, even whether or no you were snoring more than usual. The data will all find its way to your smartphone app, allowing you to use special sleep coaching software to try to get yourself to a place where you can sleep better.
This device actually works incredibly well as part of a smart home. If you set it up with your various other smart devices, you can actually create a full ‘bedtime’ experience that will turn off your lights, set your thermostat, and set alarms for the morning. This largely hands-off process allows you to fully automate the process of getting your home ready for bed, making this Sleep Tracking mat one of the coolest products you can get for your home. This is definitely one item that can be integrated very well into any smart home set-up. This sleep tracking mat goes perfectly with a cooling mattress pad.
- MONITOR YOUR SLEEP - Delivers sleep cycles, tracks heart rate, detects snoring and breathing disturbances. Algorithms used to analyze the data have been validated with a team of sleep experts.
- LEARN WHAT MATTERS - Wake to a daily Sleep Score to understand what makes a good night's sleep and how you can improve.
- ENHANCE SLEEP ENVIRONMENT - Sleep is a sensor that can act as a switch to control lights, the thermostat, and more.
Amazon ECHO DOT 3rd generation
Amazon’s Echo home smart assistant has quickly become one of the most popular on the market, with each iteration of the device getting a little more advanced than the last. The third-generation Echo Dot is one of the best smart hubs out there right now, functioning not only as an excellent tool for anyone who wants to run a smart home but as an incredible entry point into the world of smart devices for those who still haven’t quite decided to make the jump into a full smart home quite yet.
If you’re familiar with the Echo Dot’s first two generations, you’ll be fairly familiar with what the amazon – echo dot 3rd gen can do. The amazon – echo dot 3rd gen is still a small smart speaker that responds to both a user’s voice and smartphone, it still connects directly with dozens of apps and programs, and it still gives users access to a wealth of content directly from Amazon. It’s a discrete little bundle of computing joy that’s absolutely meant to be heard and not seen, allowing it to blend into your decor when it’s not in use.
Most of the big upgrades here have a lot more to do with what’s under the hood. While most of the actual operational bits of the amazon echo dot 3rd generation are pretty much the same as they’ve always been, the speaker itself has undergone a major overhaul. Now it’s significantly louder and has much better sound quality than ever before. The cloth design also looks a little bit nicer than the original Dot, making the amazon echo dot 3rd generation an all-around better choice for those who are looking for a more impressive smart speaker at home.
1 used from $35.19
- Meet Echo Dot - Our most popular smart speaker with a fabric design. It is our most compact smart speaker that fits perfectly into small spaces.
- Improved speaker quality - Better speaker quality than Echo Dot Gen 2 for richer and louder sound. Pair with a second Echo Dot for stereo sound.
- Voice control your music - Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, and others.
- Ready to help - Ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, read the news, check the weather, set alarms, control compatible smart home devices, and more.