Safety.com’s Top 3 Smart Home Gadgets

Best of the Best Smart Home Gadgets

Echo Plus

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$149.99

Why we picked it:

  • Built-in Zigbee smart hub to easily connect to other smart home devices without buying another hub
  • Use Amazon’s smart assistant, Alexa, to control other smart home gadgets hands-free with 50,000 voice commands
  • Includes seven built-in microphones and 360-degree audio for crystal clear sound from all angles

Best Energy-Saving Smart Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$228.69

Why we picked it:

  • ENERGY-STAR certified to manage your home’s temperature and create a schedule for your thermostat based on your preferences
  • Automatically uses your smartphone and thermostat sensors to detect when you’re away, helping to save energy using Eco-Temperature
  • Control the thermostat using your smartphone and the Nest app when you’re away

Best Home Safety Gadget

Ring Video Doorbell 2

Rating:

4

Cost:

$199.00

Why we picked it:

  • Automatically sends an alert to your smartphone when a visitor rings the doorbell
  • Includes a microphone and speakers for two-way audio to see and speak with visitors when you’re away
  • Connects with Amazon Alexa to get real-time footage of your home anytime, anywhere

Factors to consider when building your smart home

Power outages

During power outages, you’ll want to make sure that your smart home devices have a backup power system to keep your home running normally. Security systems, doorbells or smart locks are just a few of the examples that may use your home’s electricity to keep your home safe and secure. Thankfully, most smart home devices continue to work normally and have factored power outages into consideration. But, if your smart home gadgets don’t have a backup battery, consider add-ons or other manual backup options to keep your home safe.

Network security

Your smart home will rely on a network connection to enable most smart electronic features. You’ll need a secure network connection to safely store your gadget’s data, information and control your home. The smart home devices will also need a network strong enough to support your home’s day-to-day activities – cellphones, tablets, gaming consoles. Consider a special home network system or smart home hub to safely and easily use your devices.

Usability

Smart home devices are designed to provide ease and efficiency. When considering smart home devices, consider the compatibility to other devices within the home. Answer a few quick questions before buying smart home devices. Will it easily connect to other smart electronics? Is it easy to use? Does the device save you time and money? With many options to choose from, you’ll want to get the best bargain that will save you both time and money.


The best smart home device features

Voice commands

The best smart home devices allow you to easily control your home hands-free. With voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Siri, you’ll be able to cook dinner while checking the weather without lifting a finger for convenience.

Remote access

When you’re away from home, you should be able to control your smart home devices with ease. Most smart home devices allow users to control the home gadgets such as the thermostat or door lock using a mobile app. For example, with a Nest thermostat, you’ll be able to set your home’s temperature while away using the Nest mobile app.   

Interconnectivity

Smart electronics should connect to other home automation devices with ease. Look for devices that are compatible with others to make the most of your smart home gadgets. For example, many smart locks pair with doorbells and security cameras for your ease and convenience.

Energy saver

The best smart home devices won’t send your electric bill spiking. Instead, they’ll save money while you’re away. Most smart home gadgets enter ‘power-saving’ mode when you’re away from home or the device isn’t being used.  


The best 15 smart home gadgets

Echo Plus

Best of the Best Smart Home Gadgets

1. Echo Plus

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$149.99

Description:

Amazon’s next-level Echo Plus functions as a smart speaker and hub that connects to multiple smart home devices for better convenience and control. The well-known smart assistant, Alexa, is designed to respond to over 50,000 voice commands that make day-to-day tasks easy and hands-free.

Key Features

  • Uses seven built-in microphones and noise cancellation to listen and respond to each voice command clearly
  • Control the lights, thermostat, and other smart home gadgets with Echo’s built-in Zigbee smart home hub
  • Create your own home intercom to chat with family members in other rooms using Echo’s Drop functionality
Buy on amazon
Nest Learning Thermostat

Best Energy-Saving Smart Thermostat

2. Nest Learning Thermostat

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$228.69

Description:

This smart thermostat is one of the most popular smart home electronics. Use up to six Nest Temperature Sensors per thermostat to remotely control each room’s temperature. Even when you’re away from home, you’ll have control of your home’s temperature through your smartphone and the Nest mobile app.

Key Features

  • Automatically reduces the temperature when you’re away from home
  • Controls each room’s temperature using the Nest Temperature Sensor through the thermostat or mobile app
  • Uses Bluetooth Low Energy to control the thermostat while saving energy
Buy on amazon
Ring Video Doorbell 2

Best Home Safety Gadget

3. Ring Video Doorbell 2

Rating:

4

Cost:

$199.00

Description:

This smart electronic is growing popular with built-in technology to keep your home safe and secure. Features including two-way audio, 1080p HD real-time video footage and motion-detected mobile alerts keep you in the know of who’s at your door even when you’re away.

Key Features

  • Sends instant mobile notifications when the doorbell’s motion detector senses a visitor within range
  • Uses a built-in microphone and speaker to see and speak with visitors from your smartphone
  • Pairs with Amazon’s Alexa voice commands to see real-time video hands-free from your mobile device
Buy on amazon
Amazon Echo Dot

4. Amazon Echo Dot

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$49.99

Description:

Amazon’s Echo Dot serves as a smart home hub for countless home automation devices ranging from thermostats to security systems conveniently. Use this smart hub to connect devices and make voice commands to control your home.

Key Features

  • Connect other Bluetooth speakers for true home surround sound
  • Use voice commands to control music from streaming services
  • Conveniently ask Amazon’s smart assistant for help with over 50,000 skills
Buy on amazon
Kasa Smart Plug

5. Kasa Smart Plug

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$44.99

Description:

Save money on your electric bill by remotely controlling your outlet’s power using the Kasa smart plug. Control the smart plugs in each room by assigning each a name during set-up using the Kasa mobile app or smart assistant commands.

Key Features

  • Sleek, condensed design to plug-in 2 smart plugs in the same power outlet
  • Pairs with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa’s voice commands to switch plugs on and off
  • Automatically schedule the Kasa Smart Plug to turn on and off using voice commands or the Kasa mobile app
Buy on amazon
iRobot Roomba Vacuum

6. iRobot Roomba Vacuum

Rating:

0

Cost:

$349.00

Description:

Keep your hardwood, tile or carpet floors free from dust and dirt with this robotic smart vacuum. This home automation device cleans floors in three stages and uses wall-following to clean around furniture and tight corners.

Key Features

  • Simple, one-touch button to start cleaning your floor
  • Automatically docks to the home station to recharge
  • Uses cliff-detecting functionality to clean stairs without tumbling
Buy on amazon
Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs

7. Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$43.99

Description:

This two-pack smart light bulb can be controlled hands-free for convenience. Easily dim the lights, set a timer, or manage your morning lighting settings using your smartphone or smart assistant.

Key Features

  • Connects with the Philips Hue Bridge to control white light shades
  • Uses voice commands to control the light settings and timers
  • Interconnects with other smart home automation devices to create a remote-controlled home lighting system
Buy on amazon
Pure Enrichment Air Purifier

8. Pure Enrichment Air Purifier

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$199.99

Description:

This air purifier clears 99.97 percent of dust and dirt particles as small as 0.03 microns. It cleans the home’s air in four stages in rooms as large as 190 square feet. The purifier includes a smart air quality checker to automatically detect when the air should be cleaned for your convenience.

Key Features

  • Automatically purifies your home in four stages for air free from mold, odor or dust
  • Includes a filter reset indicator to automatically remind you to change the carbon or air filter
  • Built-in three-speed fan to keep rooms cool and waving clean air
Buy on amazon
August Smart Lock

9. August Smart Lock

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$179.99

Description:

Automatically unlock your door and connect to other smart devices using the August Smart Lock. With this easy to install and battery operated smart lock, you’ll be able to install this smart home electronic over your current lock while still keeping your original keys.

Key Features

  • Pairs with smart assistants to lock and unlock the door using voice commands
  • August Auto-Lock feature to automatically lock your door for peace of mind just in case you forget
  • Use the August mobile app to review the digital log of who enters and exits your home, while giving loved ones key-free access on the go
Buy on amazon
Sonos One

10. Sonos One

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$199.00

Description:

Sonos’ Hi-Fi speaker uses Alexa for convenient voice commands and impeccable sound throughout the home. The small, but mighty speaker gives you complete control of your home through the Sonos app or Alexa using your mobile device.

Key Features

  • Pairs with the Amazon Echo to manage music, news, and other commands hands-free
  • Plays over 30 streaming services including Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify
  • Connect multiple Sonos speakers surround sound and an interconnected sound system throughout the home
Buy on amazon
ADT Pulse

11. ADT Pulse

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

Description:

ADT’s premium security system offers 24/7, 365 professional monitoring services. With this smart home security system, you’ll remotely control smart home devices using the ADT Pulse® mobile app and Alexa voice commands.

Key Features

  • Remotely manage your security system using your smartphone to disable and arm your home using the mobile app
  • Connect ADT Pulse® to other smart locks and security cameras for a safe, smart home
  • Review your home’s activity over the past few hours, days or month using the ADT Pulse® app to never miss a moment when you’re away
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Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower

12. Husqvarna Robotic Lawn Mower

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$1820.69

Description:

Let your grass mow itself with a smart lawn mower. It instantly detects close corners and narrow paths to best cut these areas without damaging the mower. The lawn mower also detects weather conditions to best cut the grass – whether wet or dry.

Key Features

  • Control the lawnmower without stepping outdoors using your smartphone
  • Built-in LED lights to operate the lawn mower, even in the dark
  • Ability to control the lawnmower timer based on your grass growth
Buy on amazon
Anova Precision Cooker

13. Anova Precision Cooker

Rating:

4

Cost:

$153.00

Description:

This precision cooker uses smart technology to cook meals hands-free only using a pot, water and sealed bag. Your meals are cooked evenly for moist, locked-in flavor. The smart precision cooker is controlled using a one-touch button and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.

Key Features

  • Start cooking even when you’re not home by using the precision cooker’s Wi-Fi and the Anova mobile app
  • Receive mobile notifications to your smartphone on the status of your meal
  • Ability to control food cooking preference and timer, even when you’re away from the kitchen
Buy on amazon
Samsung Smart TV

14. Samsung Smart TV

Rating:

4

Cost:

$2797.99

Description:

Samsung’s Ambient Mode blends into the wall to turn your home into the perfect movie theatre. The TV uses a One Connect Box for easier installation and connection from the box instead of the TV. It includes Bixby voice to quickly search for your favorite show without flipping through channels.

Key Features

  • See movies and shows better than before with the smart TV Quantum Dots to provide brighter picture quality
  • Uses a Q Engine processor to show movies and shows in 4K, using over 8 million pixels for the best viewing
  • Q Smart technology to control the TV using voice commands or the Samsung SmartThings mobile app
Buy on amazon
Logitech Harmony Remote Control

15. Logitech Harmony Remote Control

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$279.90

Description:

The Logitech smart home gadget is designed to control your home no matter where you are. Turn off the air or power on the lights using this touchscreen remote regardless of where you are in the home. Or, use Amazon Alexa to make any voice commands from the Harmony Elite with ease.

Key Features

  • Use one remote to control over 15 smart electronics throughout the home/li>
  • Control the Harmony remote using the mobile app, even when it’s out of reach/li>
  • Conveniently control cable boxes and other devices within reach, but behind closed cabinet doors using the Harmony Hub
Buy on amazon

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Home automation FAQs

How do home automation devices work?

Simply put, smart electronics connect to a Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth or a hub using radio-activated Z-wave systems. Once synced, the smart home gadget can be conveniently controlled using the product’s mobile app, voice commands, or other handy features. With a hub like the Amazon Echo, you’re able to connect multiple devices under one smart home gadget with many options for quick and easy control.

How easy is it to maintain smart home devices?

While it may be tempting to purchase a home automation system that comes with many bells and whistles, it’s better instead to look for simple solutions. When you want to automate a simple process, it’s better to start small. Consider starting with a smart speaker or a smart assistant. Also, find out if the device will need to be updated in order to have the latest technology to use years from now.

What is a smart home device hub? Do I need one?

A smart home device hub connects all of your home automation devices for easy use from one system. To use a smart device hub, you’ll connect it to your Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth, and use the same connection to pair to your smart home gadgets. With a smart hub, you’ll achieve a true smart home without the need to control multiple mobile apps – unless you want to. But, before you buy into a smart hub, double check to make sure you don’t already have one. Some devices, like the Amazon Echo, serve as a smart hub and home gadget all in one to save you time and money.


The benefits of home automation devices

Home automation devices include many benefits, from saving energy to better usability. But, no matter which smart home gadgets you choose, there are a few big benefits.

Convenience

With time of the essence, cutting seconds can make a big difference in the day. Allowing a smart vacuum to clean your floors while you handle other chores can save you time and energy for the moments you’re needed most.

Control

Smart home devices give control you wouldn’t have otherwise when you’re away from home. Home automation devices allow you to connect to a mobile app to quickly unlock your door, see who’s at your home or start dinner. You’ll always have peace of mind at home, even when you’re away.

Cost

While some smart home devices may seem costly upfront, you’ll reap the rewards of the investment over time. Most smart electronics are energy efficient to lessen bill totals. Some smart home devices also qualify for home tax credits, as well.


Wrap up and learn more

When shopping for the best home automation devices, make sure to consider features, requirements, and set-up options for your home. Check out our top 5 smart home devices to start building the perfect smart home today.

Top 5 smart home devices