When it comes to gifts for the holidays, people love the newest and freshest, and what can be newer and more fresh than smart home technology? With the time to buy gifts upon us, here are our top five smart home gifts!
- Smart Speakers: If the idea of saying “Hey Google” or “Alexa” and having your virtual assistant respond, look no further than smart speakers! While they will work with either Android or iOS, both Google and Apple have their own speakers (Google Home/Home Mini/Nest, and Apple HomePod, respectively), while the OG Amazon Alexa is still making waves, with the Echo Show, Sub, Plus, and Dot all giving various options and capabilities. While there is no real wrong answer for which you choose, a bit of research will help you decide which AI you jive best with.
- Lights: Making your home smart can seem a bit overwhelming when you start moving beyond speakers. To dip your toes in without drowning in the deep end, consider smart lights. Smart lights can help lower your power bill as all smart lights are LED, which take less energy than old-style incandescent bulbs, and even CFL’s. Add in the fact that smart lights are controlled by your smartphone, and can be scheduled to turn on and off, you’ve got the potential for even more savings.
- Smart Plugs: A smart plug is the easiest way to make your appliances smart. By connecting something to the plug, for example, a floor lamp, you can now control it through your smartphone or virtual assistant and set a scheduled time for it to turn off and on!
- Thermostats: We know someone who has a reminder on their phone to turn down the heat every night at 10:30 pm. It’s a good system and it works, but imagine if they could just set their thermostat to do it on its own! With a smart thermostat, you have the ability to set a schedule for your temperature to go up and down as you need it! It’ll save you on your power bill, and from being interrupted while you try to read the new book you just got into!
- Universal Remotes: There was a time where it was a big deal to have one remote that would control your TV and VCR. With today’s technology, there are remotes that will not only control your TV, streaming device, and BluRay player, but also your lights, and thermostat. There are even some remotes that can connect to Alexa so you can change the channel with your voice! Gone are the days of wishing out loud for the channel to change and nothing happening.