Home automation is all the rage nowadays, and if you’re looking to smartify your home with cool gadgets, there are certainly a number of new products to consider. While this year’s CES 2016 mostly focused on camera drones, there were quite a few announcements regarding new smart home tech — meaning there are tons of new smart products to tickle your techy fancy.
With that being said, the list below gathers 10 great new smart home products of 2016. We’re not too far from being able to control your entire home from afar through its Wi-Fi connection, but we still haven’t received an all-encompassing automated solution. However, a great deal of the new tech that’s announced seems to be bringing us one step closer. So whether you’re looking to make your home easier to manage, safer for the family, or simply cool, there are many pieces of new tech that suit your needs. Here are the top 10 best smart home products of 2016 so far:
1. Ring Wi-Fi Smart Video Doorbell
It doesn’t matter if you’re upstairs or out to dinner, with the Ring Wi-Fi Smart Video Doorbell, you can see and speak to visitors using your smartphone or tablet. This smart home product alerts owners with a live video feed when motion is triggered at their front door or the doorbell is rung. The little camera also has night vision capabilities so whether it’s night or day, you’ll be able to see who is at your door. It’s incredibly easy to setup, as you simply mount it and sync it to your Wi-Fi network. It can be powered with a rechargeable battery or it can use the existing doorbell wiring, replacing your old dumb doorbell. What’s more, Ring backs their doorbell with a guarantee, so if it breaks or it’s stolen at anytime in your lifetime, they’ll replace it free of charge. And, you can record footage after it happens, meaning if you’re robbed, you’ll likely have perpetrator on video.
2. Ilumi: A19
There are plenty of smart lightbulbs out there that allow you to control your lights from anywhere in the house, but the Ilumi A19 is the best we’ve used. It has a great app to control it with, bringing numerous colors and levels of brightness to your fingertips. It uses best in class brightness and color quality using their patented HyperLux LED technology, so that you can use it for any shade of white or any rich color you can imagine. The bulb lasts up to 20 years, and it’s easy to setup and pair. So if you’re ready to light up your life, check out the Ilumi A19s (there are also different sizes available).
3. Elgato Eve Energy
Although we mostly know Elgato as the leading game capture card company on the market right now, they also have some great smart home products. One of the most useful products of theirs is the Elgato Eve Energy, which allows you to not only switch whatever is plugged into it off remotely, but it also allows you to see how much energy that product is using. It can also be connected to Siri, so that you don’t even have to do any tapping (you lazy person, you). It’s super easy to setup, and you’ll find yourself buying more than one to monitor all of your power consumption to see where you can save.
4. Nest Learning Thermostat
The latest Nest Learning Thermostat model is its best yet, even working with Alexa for voice control. It has an auto-schedule feature that learns from your preferences and adapts to programs itself. It has a color LCD screen with a 5.3cm diameter. It connects to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi connections, and it works with 95% of 24V heating and cooling systems. So whether you’re hooked up with gas, electric, forced air, radiant, oil, hot water, solar or even geothermal heat, you’re able to use Nest. It also helps that this thing looks super cool and futuristic, which is a big step up from the thermostat you probably have.
Price: $229.99 (8 percent off MSRP)
5. Quirky + GE Aros Smart Air Conditioner
It was only a matter of time before smart home technology made its way into the air conditioner space, given that air conditioners tend to be such power hogs. The Quirky GE Aros Smart Air Conditioner not only is highly functional, allowing you to control your air conditioner from any WiFi connection, but it also looks like a million bucks. It’s even more futuristic-looking than the Nest thermostat, and it’s immediately noticeable. It eliminates the need to run it all day, and you won’t ever have to walk-in to a stuffy home again. It’s controlled with any iOS or Android device, and the app is intuitive. In fact, with the app, you’re able to set a monthly budget for the air conditioner, so that you know when you’ve exceeded the budget or when you’re coming close. It’ll allow you to adjust the settings to keep those costs down. And, you can schedule your air conditioner to come on at a certain time or turn on as you enter the house (and turn off when you leave) with GPS enabled. What’s more, it surprisingly comes in at $239, which is surprisingly cheap for an air conditioning unit.
6. Schlage Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt
There are quite a number of good smart locks for the home that can be controlled via Wi-Fi nowadays. However, the Schlage Connect Camelot is LOADED with features. You can lock or unlock the door remotely, and you can set 30 different access codes so that everyone can have their own access number. This means you’ll always be able to know who is entering or leaving your house. The touchscreen is also impressive-looking, using a touchscreen with a matte finish to protect against fingerprints and smudges. The Schlage also has a built-in alarm that notifies you when there’s any activity (entering or leaving), when there is tampering, or when someone has entered your home with force. If keeping your family safe is one of your biggest concerns, Schlage’s Connect is a great option to advance your home.
Price: $183.04 (58 percent off MSRP)
7. Mr. Coffee WeMo Coffeemaker
Mr. Coffee’s WeMo Coffeemaker is a smart home product that is used daily in my home. You can set the coffee up before going to work so that you can start the coffeemaker as you’re on your way home, allowing you to have coffee ready upon your arrival. There are a number of uses for it. You can create a schedule (far into the future, I might add), tap the coffeemaker on with the simple push of a button, or use it manually when the time is needed. Its best use, in my opinion is to always have a pot of coffee ready without any of the fuss, so that you’ll always have a cup of joe available for your guests upon their arrival.
Price: $129.52 (19 percent off MSRP)
8. Oco Wireless HD Security Camera
There are tons of wireless HD cameras that are Wi-Fi enabled, but the best we’ve tested — and we’ve tested a lot of them — is the Oco Wireless HD Security Camera. It’s been around for a year or so, sure, but it still remains as one of the best, simply because it’s so accessible and easy to setup. You can hang it from your ceiling or set it on a shelf with ease. It plugs in via USB, and the resulting video is in high definition. You can also communicate with the person in the room it’s in, which is especially handy. In fact, I use that feature frequently, as it allows me to communicate with my wife when she’s not answering her phone because she’s playing Stardew Valley. It also comes with a full year of cloud recording, allowing you to view 24 hours of footage and save as necessary.
Price: $95.40 (5 percent off MSRP)
9. Amazon Echo
Before you read my thoughts on Amazon Echo, first eliminate all of the stuff you originally heard about it. Admittedly, there’s a stigma attached to this device. However, it’s been updated dramatically since launch, and now it’s super useful. Want to order Dominoes without even picking up your phone? “Alexa, order pizza.” Want to turn on your Mr. Coffee Wemo Coffeemaker? You can do that as well. It now works with tons of devices, and it has tons of apps that can give you what you want. Whether it’s information you’re seeking, or you want it to complete a task for you, Alexa is as close as we’re going to get to having an AI assistant (at least, right now). It has exceptional voice recognition capabilities, and you’ll rarely find yourself repeating what you’ve said, thanks to its unique omni-directional setup. I consider it one of the best tech toys for adults.
10. Logitech Harmony Elite
The Logitech Harmony Elite is the most advanced remote control on the market, and it’ll certainly step-up your home’s entertainment sector. It’s a smart home product that works with over 270K devices, allowing you to control your TVs, satellite, streaming media players like Roku, your Blu-Ray player, your game console, and your smart lights, locks, thermostats and more. It truly serves as a remote control for your smart home. Through a Wi-Fi connection, you can control your lights from across town or from the couch (for you lazy folks like myself). You can also setup one-touch all-inclusive buttons for a variety of situations, such as a “Welcome Home” button to turn on your lights, coffeemaker and the like, as well as a “Goodnight” button to put everything to sleep while you catch some Z’s. It is, by far, the most advanced remote on the consumer market.
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