Do you have someone on your list who has hinted about their interest in creating a smart home, but you have no idea what gifts to get? We have put together a list of the best smart home gifts and the popular most popular home automation devices for this holiday shopping season.
Table of contents
- Best Smart Home Gifts: Assistants and Speakers
- Smart Home Gift ideas: Other Assistant Devices
- Smart Home Essential Gifts: Smart Plugs for Automating Devices
- Best Home Automation Gifts
- Best Smart Home Gifts: Around the House
If you’re planning a trip which involves a pool, lake or beach of any kind and you don’t want to buy a special waterproof camera or action camera, then a waterproof pouch for your phone could just be the solution you are looking for. Most of us have replaced our cameras and choose to travel with our phones and while there are some water-resistant models out there, protecting your phone with a waterproof pouch could save you a costly repair or replacement.
Some don’t like the idea of a connected home with listening devices and speakers, but many embrace it. The easiest way to start a smart home is with the use of smart plugs and home assistants.
If your gift lover has already started their smart home, you may want to go deeper and include smart lighting, home security or temperature controls. There are also several coveted smart devices to think about, including smart vacuums and lawnmowers.
Best Smart Home Gifts: Assistants and Speakers
Amazon Alexa Devices
Amazon continues to update its line up of Alexa enabled speakers. They adapt quickly to issues raised from customers adding mute buttons and camera shutters for video enable devices. I currently have 3 Alexa enabled devices in my home but am sharing the current line up so you can pick the perfect gift.
Why get an Alexa Enable Device?
From a good morning briefing which includes, traffic, weather and news localized to your region to turning on and off smart plugs and lighting inside your home. Alexa continues to evolve with new “skills” (the apps that teach her to do things) like reading audiobooks, playing Apple Music playlists, connecting to the family with the device or turning on lights in your home.
New this year is the Echo Show 10 and Echo Dot with a digital clock display. The Echo Show 10’s screen is not on a rotating arm, so the screen can follow you when you move around the room. This moveable screen feature is helpful for video chats when you have your hands full.
Smart Home Connections the Echo can handle: Philips Hue, Ecobee, Wink, T-link, iHome, Sony and more. Connect everything from home heating, security, lighting and more.
Music streaming services compatible with Echo devices include Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio.
Smart Home Gift ideas: Other Assistant Devices
If you have the budget and a person on your list that is brand loyal to Google Android, then the Google Home devices are perfect gifts for a smart home.
Most agree that Amazon devices are the best bang for their buck; however, Google and Nest have combined to form Google Nest, and they have some smart speakers and appliances to include in gifts for an intelligent home list.
Apple lags in the smart speaker market, relying on brand loyalty and no innovation. Their Home Pod also comes with a very hefty price tag, but if you have an apple crazy person on your list and can afford to splurge, this is pretty much the only Siri Enabled device.
Smart Home Essential Gifts: Smart Plugs for Automating Devices
A smart plug is the easiest way to get started for those starting to create their smart homes and who don’t want to do complex electrical installations. Most smart plugs on the market will connect to any of the devices above. I have them connected to my HomeKit on my iPhone, and Alexa can also learn how to operate them.
Amazon Basics Smart Plug
I’m going to start with the basics – Amazon Basics smart plug is currently my favourite smart plug device. Why? Even after power outages and modem resets, the Amazon Basics plug always reconnects to the network quickly. I have not had any issues with setting it up, and it syncs with Alexa devices easily.
Gosund Smart Plugs
What people love about Gosund smart plugs is that they are small and fit into both outlets easily. Some smart home plugs are bulky, but Gosund has many options that easily fit into your outlet spaces.
T-Link Smart Plugs
Another favourite smart plug on the market is T-Link, which has many starter kits you can purchase. Like the iHome plugs, they take up limited sockets. It is vital to ensure the plugs you buy don’t use up more than one socket space.
Best Home Automation Gifts
Smart Home Lighting from Philips Hue
Some smart home lighting fixtures require an electrician (or for you to mess with your electric wires) to install the switches. The smart home lighting from Philips Hue has a simple set up without an electrician or installing switches and dimmers. Their lightbulbs and systems connect easily to your smart home apps and devices. Amazon US | Amazon CA
Philips Hue Lightbulbs come in kits, including a wifi hub that plugs into a regular home electrical outlet. For those willing to do little electrical work, you can also buy kits that include dimmers.
- Hue White: These are just white light bulbs
- Phillips Hue Ambient: These are white light bulbs with some neutral colour dims
- Hue Colour: These are lightbulbs that can change colour in a spectrum
- Philips Go: Take this spectrum light on the go and move it around your house indoors and out. It charges up and can go anywhere.
Smart Home Automation Gifts for Comfort
I live in an older condo, so I haven’t set up a smart thermostat because they are not compatible with the building’s system. When purchasing an intelligent home thermostat as a gift, make sure you include a gift receipt as not all furnace systems are compatible. The two most popular models for automatic thermostats are Nest and Ecobee. Amazon US | Amazon CA
Best Gifts for a Smart Home: Home Security
There are numerous door lock and home security models at various price points. There are kits for many who wish to control their home’s security from their phone or tablet from door locks to kits with multiple cameras. Amazon US | Amazon CA
Best Smart Home Gifts: Around the House
The iRobot Vacuum now comes with smart home features that allow you to manage it from your phone. Some of the more expensive models include large storage bins allowing it to run many times before disposal. Other robot vacuum models from Shark and competing companies offer affordable options for your smart home lover. Amazon US | Amazon CA
Robot Lawn Mower
It was bound to happen eventually, and it finally did! Robotic Lawn Mowers, similar to the vacuums, can cut lawns on their own. An app on your phone will help you control the automated lawnmower with ease. The mower can detect rain or a low battery and return to its charger on its own. Amazon US | Amazon CA
Need more gift ideas? Check out these Gift Guides.