The year 2019 brought a lot of maturity into the smart home industry. The consumer confidence grew stronger on smart products as more and more products entered the smart home market. The market is still growing and according to Berg, 63 million American homes will be qualified as ‘smart homes’ by the year 2020. Similarly, the global smart home market is expected to reach a value of 53 billion USD in the next three years.
Smart products are supposed to add convenience to our daily chores plus improve the energy efficiency in our homes or businesses. As a consumer, we all need some sort of automation or smartness. We all want to control our homes remotely via our phones or computers. On a daily basis, we are bombarded with a plethora of smart products. Smart lights, which can be controlled from anywhere. Smart HVAC product to always maintain a perfect temperature. Smart locks to give remote permission to our rental guests. Smart switches to turn the blinds on before we wake up. The choices are many and possibilities are endless.
The motivation behind smart products is to save money, time, energy and improve the comfort of the end-users. It is difficult to make a group of smart devices which are essential for a true smart home but I have tried to select 10 most used smart home devices which are absolutely necessary for a truly smart home. Imagine your home. You will need a doorbell for your guests.
A door lock for you or your guests in your absence. A camera to watch the surroundings. Few smart lights to schedule. Smart HVAC to control the ducted or ductless heating and cooling. A smoke detector, air purifier and a smart plug to smarten remaining appliances in your home.
Let’s have a sneak peek!
Most Useful Smart Home Devices at a Glance:
We have compiled a list of the best smart home products which according to me are a must have for any home vying for smartness. Here is my list though not in chronological order. I’ll discuss the list one by one in later part of the article.
- Video Doorbell: Nest Hello
- Smart lock: August Smart lock pro plus connect
- Smart Thermostat: NEST
- Smart Room Air Conditioner (RAC) controller: Cielo Breez Plus
- Home security Camera: ARLO
- Smart bulb: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance
- Smart air purifier: LV-PUR121S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
- Smart Smoke Alarm: Nest Protect (2nd generation)
- Smart Plug: Wemo Mini Smart Plug
- Smart Vacuum: iRobot
The Best Video Doorbell: Nest Hello
This is a smart era with smart devices! The Nest Hello video doorbell is connected to your Wi-Fi and notifies you when there is someone at the door in real-time. It provides you with 24/7 live streaming and 3 hours of snapshot history for free. It can spot a familiar face, a stranger or any package in 160° field of view. Nest Hello is compatible with Google assistant and Alexa.
You can build your personal facial recognition database based on people who visit you frequently. The doorbell recognizes their faces and sends an alert when they show up at your door. The HDR imaging and night vision captures a clear image and sends you an alert when someone approaches, even if they don’t ring the bell. Nest Hello is connected to your existing doorbell wires and the voltage ranges from 14 to 30V AC or a transformer labelled from 16 to 24V AC.
Top 6 Benefits of NEST HELLO Smart Doorbell
- Real-time streaming
- Motion-based sensors
- HDR video shows sharp details even in bright and dark areas
- Person, sound and motion alerts
- Prerecorded responses
Nest Hello retails for $229 , though a bit costly from my liking but ROI is good. If you are concerned about your security, Nest Hello is the best pick for you. It is especially designed for residential users to ensure security. It surely is a worthy investment.
The Best Smart Lock: August Smart Lock Pro Plus Connect
August Smart lock pro plus connect allows you to lock and unlock your door using your phone. It is compatible with smartwatches, and smart assistants like Alexa, Google and more. It doesn’t only operate via phone but you generate temporary customized passcode just in case if you don’t have access to the internet.
Smart lock pro allows the user to schedule access and grant access to other household members. The auto-lock feature automatically closes the door. It doesn’t replace the original lock and allows you to use your original key as well. With August smart lock pro, you get a DoorSense that not only tells you if the lock is opened or closed but also notifies you if the door itself is opened or closed.
Top 5 benefits of August Smart Lock
- Smart scheduling
- Temporary customized passcode
- Installed in minutes on the inside of your door
- Works with most standard deadbolts
August Smart lock pro retails for $229 and the price includes Wi-Fi bundle, Z-Wave compatibility and DoorSense. If you are the sort of person who is always super paranoid about doors being locked or your home security, August smart lock pro should be your must have device.
The Best Smart Thermostat: NEST Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation
The NEST learning thermostat provides a range of features and its minimalist design is the best among wireless thermostats. The learning ability makes NEST learning thermostat one of the best smart home devices. Over the time, NEST thermostat learns your habits and adjusts the temperature and lowers your electricity bills.
The personalized schedule feature helps you to save energy. The smart thermostat automatically turns itself down when you leave your home and you can have access to it from anywhere in the world. It also provides you with energy usage statistics.
Top 5 Benefits of NEST Learning Thermostat
- Learning ability
- Personalized scheduling
- Range of colors
- Rechargeable lithium ion battery
- 2-year limited warranty
The NEST Learning thermostat retails for $249 with a range of ring colors that can complement your room.
The NEST Learning Thermostat’ user friendly design makes it easier for the user to operate and it is one of the best smart home devices It is best for the people who are looking forward to make their home smart as well as want to save energy using smart home products.
The Best Smart AC Controller: Cielo Breez Plus
There are many smart AC controllers out there in the market but Cielo Breez Plus wins the competition. The controller is compatible with ductless air conditioners like window ACs, splits, mini-splits, and portable ACs that have an IR remote control. The device works with smart home hubs that include Cielo Home app, Amazon Alexa app, and Google Home App.
Cielo Smart AC controller has been creating ripples in the smart air conditioning market. Its most amazing features include on-device local controls, geofencing, smart scheduling, AC air filter status, a timeline of actions, temperature and humidity sensors and above all, comfy mode. Comfy mode with the help of humidity or temperature triggers maintains the ideal temperature of the room after you’ve set a preferred temperature range. This feature of Cielo Breez Plus helps you to save up to 25% energy.
Top 5 Benefits of Cielo Smart AC Controller
- Feature-rich ecosystem- Smart scheduling, location-based controls, voice controls, live AC filter status, usage history and much more.
- Only smart AC controller with dual powering up the option of 5V (Adapter) or 24V (hard wired)
- Mounting options- Wall-mounted or placed on the tabletop
- Super intelligent native mobile and enterprise web-apps
- In-built temperature & humidity sensors in combo with temperature or humidity-based auto AC triggers ensure perfect room conditions with a lot of savings
With an amazing range of controls, the smart AC controller retails for $119 and it is one of the reasons why Cielo Breez Plus wins the competition because of its affordability and great quality. Two in one!
Cielo Breez Plus caters residential and commercial users, both. For vacation rentals, the temperature range control feature gives the flexibility to set the temperature range of chosen minimum and maximum value. The air conditioner runs within that range and the set range can only be changed by the authorized user. This feature helps in ensuring energy savings.
The Best Home Security Camera: Arlo Pro 3
Home security is one of the major concerns of the modern era but with the increasing security hazards, we have smart solutions for such problems. Arlo Pro 3 is my pick for the best home security camera because of its remarkable attributes. The motion sensor senses motion and automatically turns on the spotlight with a 160° viewing angle. The 2K HDR feature zooms in on objects and gives precise details of the object.
The weather resistant camera design is built to withstand the heat, cold, rain or sun. The camera can be recharged quickly with the magnetic charge cable. The magnetic mount makes it easier for the user to mount it against the ceiling or under the roof. The smart siren is triggered automatically during unfortunate events.
Top 5 Benefits of smart home security camera
- Motion sensor
- Wi-fi free setup
- Weather resistant design
- Built-in Smart Siren
- 2-way audio
Arlo Pro 3 retails for $499 and the box includes 2 cameras, 2 rechargeable batteries, magnetic charging cable and a smart hub.
Just like Alexa smart home devices, Arlo Pro 3 is compatible with Alexa as well as Google Assistant. Considering its amazing feature set, it is best for the people who are extra cautious of their security and stay out most of the time.
The Best Smart Bulb: Philips Hue White And Color Ambiance Bulb
While talking about smart home, why don’t you make your lightening smart? Yes, you can do that and the idea of smart lightning is very fascinating. Smart bulbs make a substantial difference to the ambiance of the room. Phillips Hue White and Color Ambiance Bulbs provide a range of colors that can be unlocked using the Hue bridge. Hue bridge allows you to control up to 50 bulbs and use custom lightening feature.
You can set the lightening of the room according to your mood. Like any other Google and Alexa smart home devices, Phillips Hue White and color ambiance bulb is supported by Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit and more. The bulb comes with a 3-year warranty and can be controlled instantly via Bluetooth.
Top 5 benefits of smart bulb
- Color affects
- Easy Setup
- Brightness adjustment
- Smart Scheduling
- 3-year warranty
Phillips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulb is winning the game among smart bulbs and the pack retails for $49.99. To us, it is the best smart bulb considering it offers an amazing feature set and thus stands out in the market. After all, Phillips is the pioneer of the smart bulbs.
With the vivid range of colors, you can use Phillips Hue White and Color Ambiance for your kids’ room to give a funky feel to the room. You can also use it in your living room to give a comfy and warm feel to it. Among the best smart home devices, we believe Phillips smart bulb is the coolest one.
The Best Smart Air Purifier: Levoit-Pur131s Smart True Hepa Air Purifier
The smart air purifier provides you with information about what impurities you are breathing and what is being filtered out by the air purifier, unlike conventional purifiers. LV-PUR131S Smart True HEPA Air Purifier allows you to track air quality and provide live air quality readings via an app. It has fan speed controls that offer scheduling abilities via an app.
The auto mode of the smart air purifier with the help of internal sensors automatically adjusts the fan speed according to the air quality of your room. The company offers a 90-day money-back guarantee and one-year buyer’s assurance. The CADR rating (clean air delivery rate) is 135+ which means that the smart purifier can cater to the large-sized living room.
Top 5 benefits of Smart Air Purifier
- Smart Scheduling
- Sleep timer
- 3-stage filtration
- 90-Day money-back guarantee
- Caters to the large-sized living room as well as small rooms
- Air Quality Monitor
The Smart True HEPA Air Purifier with a range of functions and features retails for $189.99. The box contains a smart Wi-Fi air purifier, Preliminary/HEPA Combination Filter, activated carbon filter and the user manual.
Get rid of all the contaminants in the air using a smart air purifier. It is for everyone because health is important and impure air can cause health problems. It is the best purifier for people with pets because it filters out pet hair present in the room. Like Google smart home devices, it is compatible with Google Assistant as well as Alexa.
The best Smart Smoke Alarm: Nest Protect (2nd generation)
While talking about smart home devices, it is very important to have smoke and fire detectors. Smoke alarms should be smart enough to notify you about the danger when there is a slight problem so that your family and loved ones stay safe. Nest Protect is a smart smoke protector that sends an alert if they sense something amiss. You can call the fire department directly or can ask your neighbors to check up on your house.
You can temporarily silence the alarm’s piercing sound. Nest Protect sends speedy alerts if it senses smokes or carbon monoxide. The heads-up warning pops up before the siren is triggered. Moreover, Nest protect tells you exactly about the room that is under danger. In the middle of the night, if you want to drink water from your kitchen, Nest Protect lights up your way and it is one of the loved features of Nest Protect.
Top 5 benefits of the Smart Smoke Alarm
- Tells where the danger is
- Light ring (Heads-up)
- Remotely operated
- Family accounts
- Lights your way
- Heat and Humidity Sensor
Nest Protect costs $119 but nothing is important than your safety. It is the best deal that you can get and many other pricier options are available in the market. We believe it is one of the important smart home devices that you should definitely get!
If you are someone who stays out for work with kids at home, this smart smoke detector is for you. You can directly call the fire brigade or ask the neighbors to check up on your kids after receiving heads-up/alerts. It can also be used by commercial users i.e. schools, malls and more.
The Best Smart Plug: Wemo Mini Smart Plug
If you want to upgrade the way your wiring works, you can switch to smart plugs. Wemo Mini Smart Plug provides you with wireless control of your lamps, heater, microwave, and other home appliances. You can operate your device using the Wemo app. You can control your devices remotely from anywhere in the world.
With the amazing range of controls, Wemo Mini Smart Plug makes your life easier with smart scheduling. Lamps and appliances can also be synchronized with sunset and sunrise timings. The sleek space-saving design doesn’t cover the outlet. It works with IFTTT making it a lot easier to operate. Just like any smart home device, it is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Top 4 benefits of the Smart Plug
- Control your appliances from anywhere
- Three-year limited warranty
- Modular system: You can add additional mini smart plugs
- Works with IFTTT
It is one of the best smart home devices and retails for $29.99 dollars. The Wemo Mini Smart Plug isn’t heavy on the pocket and comes with a limited three-year warranty.
If you are looking forward to making your home smart, Wemo Mini Smart Plug should be on your list. You can easily turn off the television when your children’s TV time is over or you can switch off the television using the Wemo app. The wireless access to the appliances makes it easier to control your home appliances if you are out of the station or vacationing in Miami.
The Best Robot Vacuum: iRobot Roomba 960
You must have seen Robots serving drinks at the bar or maybe transporting goods from one place to another but have you seen a robot vacuum? Yep! Your tasks have been made much easier with the invention of a Robot vacuum that never gets tired of cleaning. iRobot Roomba Vacuum cleaner has been users’ first choice because of its amazing performance. It has a camera at the front and the clean button sits at the top.
There is a dustbin at the back of the vacuum and the dirty work is done by a pair of roller brushes fitted beneath the vacuum. The side brush cleans the walls, furniture legs, and the baseboard. Since it is Wi-Fi enabled, it can be controlled via the iRobot Home app. It runs up to 75 minutes and automatically recharges, resumes the work itself.
Top 5 benefits of the Robot Vacuum
- Smart Scheduling
- Control from anywhere
- Cleans all floor types
- Advanced dirt detect technology
- High-Efficiency filter
- Automatic recharge and resume
iRobot Roomba 960 offers advanced features like any other robot vacuum and retails for only $599.99. What’s better than having a robot vacuum at such a reasonable price?
It is an ideal robot cleaner for you if you have a pet at home since it cleans the dirt and pet hair precisely. The High-efficiency filter traps 99% of the cat and dog allergens. It also traps pollen and particles as small as 10 microns. Moreover, it is your best pick if you are a clean freak.
Smart home industry has come a long way but let’s not forget that smart home industry is still in its infancy and is continuously evolving. While choosing a perfect smart home, the priority always rests with the home owner and at the end of the day it is you who has to decide to go for what type of smartness and how much ROI can be achieved. Good luck and happy hunting.