What the Tech? Smart home gadgets
So you haven't dipped your toes in the world of the smart homes. It's time.
You've no doubt heard about how you can control door locks, garage door openers, thermostats, lights and security cameras from a smartphone, but where do you start? Which gadgets are easiest to install and give you a taste of what a smart home is all about?
Here are four smart home connected tech gadgets to get started:
Philips Hue light kits come with a hub that controls up to 50 devices. You'll need a hub as you build your smart home. It connects to the internet and distributes a Bluetooth signal that everything can connect to. The Hue bulbs connect to fixtures like any other bulb, and you can control them through your smartphone, Alexa or just your voice. In addition to these bulbs, hue light kits have a light strip and table lamps. A starter pack with two bulbs and the hub are often on sale for less than $100.
Amazon's Alexa is in nearly everything, including a smoke alarm from First Alert. The One Link Safe & Sound detects smoke and carbon monoxide. Why? It has a speaker so you can listen to music. You can talk to Alexa through the detector as well, and if the alarm goes off, you'll get a notification on your phone.
The most popular smart home device is the Amazon Echo Dot that can control most all smart home devices. The Google Home Mini maybe even better, it just depends on whether you use Amazon products or Google products.
A security camera is a great first smart home device and makes a nice gift. This Canary camera doesn’t look techy sitting on a shelf. It actually blends in with your decor. Monitor any place in your home right from your phone. Get notifications if something moves.
You can also give smart thermostats and door locks but I suggest getting your feet wet with one of these gadgets to see how you like it.