Staying connected to your home has never been so easy. Whether you want to increase your home security, keep utility bills lows or cater your home systems to your lifestyle, here are some of the top smart home devices of 2016.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Philips Hue Lighting System
For the homeowner who always leaves lights on
Available on Amazon, 2nd Generation Starter Kit $69.99
A relatively cheap and simple way to start your automated light system. The Philips Hue start kit includes two LED light bulbs that give you the ability to control your lights remotely from your smart phone. This is the perfect smart home gift for someone who travels often and wants it to seem like they are home (a home security essential), as well as someone who often forgets to turn off lights or wants their home lit when they get home late at night. Additional bulbs start at $14.99 and even come in mood-hued varieties.
Blink Security Camera System
For the homeowner who wants to keep a watchful eye
Available on Amazon, 2-Camera Kit $169.00
Blink is a wireless home security and video monitoring system that is both useful and stylish and doesn’t have any subscription fees or data storage charges. The battery-powered and Wi-Fi operated camera boasts a 2-year battery life and sends instant alerts to your smart phone when motion is detected. Motion detection prompts HD video recording, but if you’re just wanting to look in on your home, live viewing is available through Blink’s app.
For the homeowner with kids, pets and/or a hectic work schedule
Available at iRobot, starting as low as $375
Touted as the #1 Robotic Vacuum Brand in the US, Roomba is available in several varieties to meet your automated cleaning needs. The newest series of Roomba cleans an entire floor of your home at the push of a button, recharges as needed and resumes to get the job done, cleans all floor types, increases power on carpets automatically, and sweeps wall edges and corners.
Kevo Lock by Kwikset
For the homeowner who constantly loses their keys
Available at Home Depot, $229
The Kevo lock turns your smart phone into a digital key. Backed by military-grade encryptions, the Kevo lock recognizes your smart phone when you’re approaching your door and will unlock when touched (all without pulling your phone out of your purse or pocket). Through the Kevo App, you can send eKeys to your kids or 24-hour guest eKeys to neighbors and friends who need to access your home. Scheduled eKeys are also available for homeowners who have regular visitors like cleaning services, dogwalkers, etc. The app also allows you to see who is coming and going by recording key entries.
The 3rd Generation Nest
For the homeowner who is energy-conscientious
Available at Nest, $249
We listed the Nest in our list of 2015’s best smart home gadgets, but we’re listing the 3rd generation again this year because it’s a home improvement that essentially pays for itself. Independent studies show that is saves homeowners an average 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. This smart thermostat automatically adapts to your lifestyle. For instance, if you turn up the heat a few days in a row in the morning, the Nest learns that you prefer a warm home when you wake up and automatically programs itself to do so. The Nest also senses when a home is empty and adjusts the temperature for energy savings. See how you can save on energy costs through the daily energy report sent to your smart phone.
For the homeowner who is always doing laundry
Available at Best Buy, $701.99
Wash colors and lights at the same time with this smart washer which appears as a pedestal for your normal washing machine. You can buy LG Sidekick separately to add to your current LG model (fits most front-load models 2009 and newer) or as part of the LG TWINWash Bundle. The 1 cubic-foot washer is perfect for small laundry loads of delicates, handwashables or activewear.
Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator
For the homeowner who lives in the kitchen
Available at Lowes, as low as $3,898
The kitchen is the heart of the home and the Samsung Family Hub puts all the tools of your home at your fingertips. This refrigerator is a calendar, slideshow, camera, command center, app store and radio in-one. Oh, and it also keeps your food cold. The refrigerator portion features a flexible cooling compartment that can switch between a fridge or a freezer. The hub portion can sync family calendars, send notes to your smartphone, display photos on the touchscreen, send pictures of the fridge’s inside to your smartphone for easier grocery shopping, access recipes, mirror your smart TV, and more!
For more homeowner gift ideas, follow us on Pinterest. Interested in completing some major home renovations or home improvements in the new year? Download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for ways to roll the costs of your home improvements into your mortgage.