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The Best Smart Home Devices for Working from Home

Safety Team
Updated Dec 23, 2020
5 min read

Working from home can be a difficult equation to get right — in part because there are many factors that contribute to the ideal productive setup. Tech gadgets can turn your home office into a place where you feel secure, productive and happy working. 

Smart home devices such as smart locks, automated lights and home hubs can help you create a great work-from-home environment. Let’s take a look at the best smart home devices you can use to level up your home office.

 

The 10 Best Smart Home Devices for Working from Home

1. SimpliSafe Smart Lock: Best Smart Lock

SimpliSafe’s Smart Lock is designed with simplicity and convenience in mind. The Smart Lock uses either a timer feature or you can lock or unlock it through a smartphone. It also includes a protected PIN pad that warns off intruders and can even call the police in the event of a break-in. 

Equipment price: $99

Smart home compatibility: Can be synced with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa

Pros:

  • Remote locking/unlocking
  • Smartphone alerts
  • Theft protection
  • Easy to set up without professional installation
  • Can integrate with other SimpliSafe home security products

Cons:

  • Needs a SimpliSafe plan to use 
  • You must install it yourself or pay $79 for the full SimpliSafe installation
  • Remote control requires a SimpliSafe Interactive Plan 

 

2. Blue by ADT Doorbell Camera: Best DIY Smart Doorbell Camera

The Blue by ADT Doorbell Camera is one of the best smart video doorbell cameras you can pick up. This doorbell camera can send instant alerts when it detects motion, and you can also use the camera’s two-way talk to speak to guests from your smartphone.

Equipment price: $199.99

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Amazon Alexa and IFTTT

Pros:

  • Easy to set up without professional installation
  • Can use facial recognition to detect familiar faces
  • Mobile app will alert authorities in the event of suspicious activity

Cons:

 

3. Echo Show 8: Best Smart Home Hub

An Echo Show home hub is a great way to save time when managing smart devices. This device offers an HD screen and can be used for video calling and managing other smart devices. Enabling the Alexa Guard feature triggers smart alerts if your hub detects the sound of smoke alarms or breaking glass. 

Equipment price: $129.99

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Alexa devices

Pros:

  • Hub can be used for video calling as well as device management
  • Alexa Guard offers home security protection
  • Great voice recognition/activation
  • Can be used for watching videos 

Cons:

  • Only compatible with other Amazon devices 
  • No Netflix or YouTube apps — only Amazon Prime Video
  • No Dolby processing for audio

 

4. Google Nest Learning Thermostat: Best Smart Thermostat

For those wanting to save energy, a smart thermostat is ideal. Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat has saved an estimated 39 billion kWh of energy in millions of homes across the world. All your savings can be easily viewed through the Nest app, which you can use to remotely control your thermostat. 

Equipment price: $249

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Google Home Assistant, Amazon Alexa and IFTTT

Pros:

  • Save money on your energy bill
  • Control your heating and hot water from your smartphone
  • View how much energy you’ve saved from the Nest app 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Designed for professional installation, which comes with extra costs
  • No Apple HomeKit support

 

5. LG CX 55″ 4K Smart OLED TV: Best Smart TV

While a smart TV may not help you work from home, it’s a great addition if you are building a smart home system. The LG CX 55 inch OLED TV offers great image quality, sound quality and compatibility with several smart home devices. 

Equipment price: $1,999.99

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Pros:

  • Great voice recognition, using LG’s ThinQ AI, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
  • 4K display
  • Easy-to-use UI

Cons:

 

6. Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 15C MAX: Best Smart Vacuum

The Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac is a great way to keep your home clean with minimal effort. This robot vacuum uses high-pressure suction on both carpet and hard flooring but also operates quietly to save it from disturbing you. Its drop-sensing technology will even detect stairs so it doesn’t fall down. 

Equipment price: $279.99

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant

Pros:

  • Small enough to clean under furniture
  • Quiet operation
  • Cleans for up to two hours before needing a recharge

Cons:

 

7. Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit: Best Smart Lights

The Philips Hue starter kit is one of the best ways to get started with smart lights. This kit lets you control up to 50 smart lights from a central hub. These bulbs pair well with Alexa, so you can use voice activation for hands-free usage. 

Equipment price: $99.99

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit

Pros:

  • Compatible with lots of other devices
  • Illuminates over 50,000 shades of white
  • Can use voice activation to switch lights on

Cons:

  • Comes with just four bulbs
  • Buying additional bulbs can get expensive
  • You need a bridge to set Hue up to control the bulbs

 

8. Lutron Serena Smart Shades: Best Smart Window Blinds 

For additional privacy and lighting control, smart shades are a great way to block out the outside world while working from home. The Lutron Serena Smart Shades are pricey, but they are easy to install and work well as part of a Google smart home setup.

Equipment price: From $464

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Google Assistant

Pros:

  • Can be controlled with a smartphone app
  • Several different sizes
  • Easy to install

Cons:

 

9. Amazon Smart Plug: Best Smart Plug

Smart plugs are a great way to reduce energy costs for all your devices. The smart plug from Amazon can be controlled with your voice or smartphone to save time by integrating with Alexa. You can even create a customizable routine for the appliance so that it turns on or off when you need it to. 

Equipment price: $24.99

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Amazon Alexa

Pros:

  • Voice-activated
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to install 
  • Allows you to control devices without a smart home hub

Cons:

  • Not compatible with devices other than Amazon Alexa
  • No IFTTT support
  • No energy reporting to see how much you can save

 

10. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3: Best Smartwatch

To finish off your smart home setup, a smartwatch is a great way to manage other devices and stay healthy while working from home. The Samsung Galaxy Watch is a great way to get notifications, set your schedule or call people from wherever you are. 

Equipment price: $399

Smart home compatibility: Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Pros:

  • Fitness tracker 
  • Manage calls, emails and other notifications 
  • Can connect to other smart devices

Cons:

 

What Makes a Smart Device “Smart”?

A smart device combines connectivity, automation and context-awareness into one device. Just because a device can be programmed doesn’t mean it’s a “smart” device, though. A smart device can perform an action as a reaction to something else. For example, the action could be reacting to a timer, voice command or temperature change.

 

What Are the Benefits of Smart Devices?

Above all, smart devices are designed to make our lives easier. Smart devices can save us time (devices that switch on automatically), money or energy (energy-efficient thermostats) or even keep you safe (smart locks).

 

Can Smart Home Devices Be Hacked?

Smart home devices can be hacked, but there are a few different ways to protect your devices from cybercriminals. Some tips for keeping safe include using strong passwords and creating a secure Wi-Fi network. 

 

Do I Need a Smart Home Hub to Manage My Smart Home Devices?

A smart home hub can save a great deal of time since you don’t have to control each device individually. However, not all smart home devices require a central hub; those that don’t can be set up with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. 

 

What Features Should I Consider When Looking for a Smart Home Device?

To get the best out of a smart home device, one feature you should consider is whether it’s compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to make managing it a bit easier. Other features include voice activation, energy-saving options, security features and its user interface/functionality.

 

Conclusion

Smart home devices can be very useful for saving time, protecting your home or just making life a bit easier. It’s easy to get distracted while working from home, so time-saving tech gadgets, such as robot vacuums or home hubs, can be great for increasing productivity. 

One thing to look out for is whether the device can be added to a central hub. Even if you only buy one smart device now, you may want to expand in the future and connect a variety of devices together under one hub for a fully connected smart home.


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Home Security Experts

Safety Team

The Safety Team is a group of experts that handle provider research, product reviews and recalls to make your home safety and security search as easy as 1-2-3.

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