The process of assembling a smart home might be frightening given the availability of hundreds of amazing goods. There are a tonne of categories to examine, like smart displays, smart thermostats, smart lightbulbs, and video doorbells. Each category is also crowded with highly rated items that might be hard to tell apart from one another. There are many things to think about whether you're in the market for a new smart home device or are just beginning your smart home adventure.
Here is a look at the top smart home items of 2023 across many different categories in case you need assistance browsing all the available options. With devices from household companies like Ring, Arlo, Amazon, and Google, it's difficult to make a mistake, but if you want a little more direction, here are some of our best selections.
To enable voice-only control of your smart devices, you should first invest in a virtual assistant. You may choose between a smart speaker, which just has audio, and a smart display, which also has a touchscreen and allows you to engage visually with your assistant.
The smart speaker from Amazon, the Echo, includes Alexa, their virtual assistant. You can clearly hear your playlist from music streaming services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, or iHeart Radio thanks to the superb sound quality of the Echo 4th Generation. The revised Echo 4 retails for $100 and is available in the colours glacial white, twilight blue, and charcoal. You can operate additional Zigbee-specific smart home devices, such as lights, locks, and cameras, using Amazon's most recent smart speaker, which also serves as a Zigbee hub.
The Echo Dot with Clock sells for under $60 and has essentially identical functionality to the Echo, with the exception that its speakers aren't quite as strong and it doesn't include a Zigbee hub. On the front face of the Dot with Clock is an LED display that may show the time, the weather, or a timer. These devices should be on your smart home purchasing list since they integrate with many of the other items you purchase. Short commands work with Alexa, making life simpler and more enjoyable. By using only your voice, you may set alarms, ask questions, order pizza, shop, play games, and much more.
The Echo Show 5 is a terrific alternative if you'd prefer a smart display with a screen that allows you to conduct video chats, view song lyrics, and watch your security camera and video doorbell feeds because it's even less expensive than a conventional Echo speaker. However, the Show 5 has a small display. The Echo Show 15 could be a better choice if you want a bigger screen. Amazon's Show 15 has a wall-mountable design that allows for landscape or portrait viewing, interactive smart device controls, and a tonne of other awesome Alexa-powered features.
When your home has a smart lock, you won't have to stress about looking for your keys in the dark or giving a pet sitter a key to leave under the mat. The alternatives of today are convenient and provide peace of mind, and they install quickly.
For a variety of reasons, we love the August Smart Lock (4th Generation). You won't need to disassemble any of the hardware in your current door lock since the plug-and-play assembly enables you to attach the August lock straight to your existing deadbolt. Additionally, you can use the August app to give temporary unlock codes to loved ones who are keeping an eye on your dogs while you're away. We also enjoy the DoorSense function, which lets you check the status of your door from the Activity Feed page in the August app, showing whether it is open, closed, locked, or unlocked.
The Wyze Lock retrofits over your current deadbolt and, like the August Smart Lock, can be set to detect your phone when it is within range and to automatically lock or unlock your door as you approach. You can also use voice commands to operate the lock from inside or with the Alexa/Google Home app because it is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
If you're looking for a high-end tool, the Yale Assure Lock 2 is yet another fantastic choice. With the Assure Lock 2, which is available in a range of designs (including keyless and with a touchpad), you may create unique profiles for each member of the household or create temporary accounts for visitors. You'll have access to the option to remotely check in on your door to make sure you locked it before leaving if you choose the Wi-Fi version.
Security Camera and Video Doorbell
You can see who is at the door without getting up from the couch by purchasing a video doorbell. A security camera can also provide you more peace of mind because the majority of outdoor versions let you utilise an app on your phone to view activities around your home from anywhere. Many also have motion alerts, night vision, and two-way audio.
One of the top manufacturers of smart home products, Nest provides both interior and outdoor security cameras. One of the company's most adaptable cameras is the Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery), which has a 130-degree field of vision, a powerful digital zoom, smart motion detection, and voice assistant compatibility with Google Assistant and Alexa homes. The Nest Cam can be mounted on any indoor or external surface and is battery-powered and weather-resistant, allowing you to use the camera all year round.
But altogether, the Arlo Pro 4 is our favourite camera. The lens has waterproof construction, a built-in speaker and microphone for natural two-way audio, and clear day and night photos. You could also take into account the Arlo Pro 5S, albeit it is somewhat more costly, as it has a little longer battery life and some useful security features. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 is our preferred video doorbell. The battery-operated bell has two-way audio, motion detection, and can be customised via the Ring app.
On May 24, Ring will release a new Indoor Cam that combines 1080p video recording, colour night vision, two-way audio, and an integrated privacy shutter. At under $60, it should be a good option if you need something dependable that won't break the budget. However, you'll need to manually place the shutter because it cannot be remotely controlled through the app.
Lightbulb or Switch
Installing smart bulbs is the natural next step if your house already has energy-efficient light bulbs. As long as you have internet connectivity and the corresponding app, you may customise the appearance of your house and even turn lights on and off from a distance.
Voice commands and settings changes made using a smartphone app are recognised by Philips Hue lighting. Some bulbs, like Sengled A19 smart bulbs, don't need a hub, which might make installing smart lighting in your house simpler (and less expensive).
You're looking for something that supports Matter. The Nanoleaf Essentials A19 Light Bulb is now compliant with the interoperability standard, so have a look at it. You may choose from millions of colours with only one $20 bulb, which also comes with an easy-to-use smartphone app.
To gain certain "smart" capabilities, you don't necessarily have to use light bulbs with smart technology. Instead, combine conventional bulbs with intelligent light switches. You may save the hassle of changing out smart bulbs by utilising voice commands to turn on and off the lights with this switch.
Lutron Caseta offers one of our favourite light switch ecosystems. You can download the Caseta app and manage your lighting remotely, make individualised routines, and more after connecting the switch to Wi-Fi. We especially appreciate the Lutron Caseta switch's compatibility with Sonos wireless audio systems, Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Ring, Serena shades, and other smart home devices.
You will be able to use your voice to control all of your linked gadgets if you install smart plugs throughout your home. Users adore this function and find it to be very helpful in a variety of situations.
Even while a robot hoover may seem like an unneeded luxury, the time it will save you alone makes us strongly suggest incorporating one into your cleaning regimen.
The iRobot Roomba s9+ is the market's top robot vacuum in our opinion. Its ability to contain allergens and self-emptying function make it the better robot vacuum. Additionally, it will keep your floors pristine and comes with a tonne of fantastic customisation options and schedule-building tools via the iRobot Home app.
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is an option to consider if you don't mind spending a little extra. Although it isn't inexpensive, it really does provide a completely automated cleaning experience. The machine can mop and hoover in one operation, has a dust reservoir that lasts for weeks before needing to be changed, and even cleans (and dries) its mophead.
And the iRobot Roomba 694 is available for those of us who are buying on a modest budget. The flagship s9+ model's more sophisticated cleaning features are absent from the 694 in comparison, but you still get a number of essential Roomba features, such as three-stage filtration and Dirt Detect Technology, which keeps the Roomba sweeping in areas that require a more thorough sweep.