Home automation and smart home devices are continuing to gain popularity this holiday season. Whether you’re looking to increase energy efficiency, home security, or simply make you home a cooler place to reside, these are some of the best smart home gadgets to add to your holiday wish list.
Home Security Camera
Netatmo Welcome, $199
This home security camera is a great investment for the working parent. Netatmo’s facial recognition software alerts homeowners when familiar faces enter the house and also sends an alert when an unrecognizable person enters the home. The video and identification data stays entirely private thanks to the local SD card storage and screenshots of each event are stored for free in the cloud, meaning no contract, no subscription and no hidden fees.
Home Locking System
Kevo Kwisket, $185
Say goodbye to fumbling for door keys and making copies for temporary visitors. The Kevo Kwikset allows homeowners to unlock their door with their Smartphone. Through the Kevo app, homeowners can authorize temporary digital eKeys for family members, friends and neighbors who need to get into their home.
Air Quality Sensor
On average, we spend 90% of our time indoors where pollutant levels can be up to 10 times higher than outside, according to Awair. Studies have shown that air quality can have direct impact on your health, including your sleep quality and productivity at home. The Awair air-quality monitor senses dust, CO2, humidity, temperature and VOCs to determine your home’s air quality and gives your recommendations on how to improve it based on your lifestyle needs, like sleep, allergies, productivity, wellness, beauty or pregnancy.
Home Electronics Control
Belkin WeMo Switch, $50
If you habitually leave the house in the morning, get half-way to work and wonder if you turned off your curling iron, lamp, TV, etc. than the WeMo Switch is for you. The WeMo Switch gives you the ability to control your home electronics from anywhere by using your existing home Wi-Fi network to provide wireless control of anything you plug into it.
The 2nd Generation Nest Thermostat, $249
The newer slim design of this smart thermostat works with 95% of low voltage systems. The Nest learns what temperatures you prefer, adjusts itself when you’re away and can be controlled from virtually anywhere with Wi-Fi. This thermostat boasts up to 20% savings on your heating and cooling bill, so it’s a gift that essentially pays for itself over time.
Home Security Alarm System
SkyLink Alarm System Starter Kit, $169
This self-monitored security system with no monthly fees is a great way for homeowners to gain a sense of home security when home or away. Starter kits begin at $99 and build up to $263 with the ability to have as many as 10 wireless cameras. Benefits include:
- Keychain fobs to arm/disarm system
- Panic button, which sends alerts to authorities in case of emergency
- Window and door motion sensors
- App push notifications for any new activity
- Live video monitoring
Energy-Efficient Washer & Dryer
Whirlpool Smart Front-Load Washer & Dryer, $1,600 each
If you’ve got your eye on a higher-end Christmas gift, the Whirlpool Smart series is top of the line for energy efficiency and tech savviness. This washer/dryer set works with the Nest Thermostat to leverage the Nest’s “home” and “away” modes to help keep clothes in the wash fresh until you get home to switch over wash loads. The biggest “smart” aspect of this duo can determine peak-energy using hours and automatically delays your washing or drying cycles.
Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
SkyBell turns even the simplest feature of your home, the doorbell, into a technological advancement. SkyBell allows you to "answer" your door without being home, perfect for the avid online shopper waiting for packages to arrive. Featuring one-way video, two-way audio, motion sensor detection, photo snapshot, night vision, silent mode and more, you can keep an eye on your front entrance from basically anywhere using your phone.
Looking to upgrade your home in an even bigger way this year? Download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for options on combining the costs of renovation, rehabilitation or improvements into your mortgage loan.