We’ve all been waiting for the day when smart homes would become reality.
Fast forward to 2020 and it’s easier than ever to make any home a home smart. There are hundreds of gadgets to make every day tasks around your house easier than ever. And we are here to guide you on your smart home journey.
Check out our recommendations for the best smart home devices in 2020, all of which are compatible with Alexa.
What is a Smart Home?
A modern smart home is designed to utilize intelligent devices to help with everyday tasks. That means controlling your appliances with voice commands, monitoring security from your smartphone, turning on lights without lifting a finger and more.
Basically, a smart home is an automated home.
You can control everything from lighting to music to climate from the comfort of your couch (or even from a hotel room in a different country).
Smart homes are intended to make your life easier, keep you safer and inform you of what is going on when you are not around.
How to Make a Smart Home
It’s imperative that you build your smart home with devices that sync together!
We are going to walk you through how to build a smart home where all the devices sync with Amazon’s Alexa. Most devices do pair with multiple operating systems, but all of these products are designed with Alexa in mind.
Best Indoor Smart Home Devices
Converting your home will not only give you peace of mind, but it can help you save money and energy.
Once you start building your smart home, you are going to become addicted. You have been warned!
Best Smart Home Thermostat - ecobee4
Do you want to save up to 23% annually on your heating and cooling costs?
We are guessing the answer to that question is yes. The ecobee4 will help you decrease monthly costs, balance overall room temperature and the best part; you can control your thermostat on the go.
You can control your smart thermostat from most Apple products (watch, iPad, iPhone) and your Android phone. With a built-in Alexa, the ecobee smart thermostat can be controlled by your voice.
Laying on the couch and super in a movie, but you forgot a blanket? Tell Alexa to turn up the heat!
Wake up in the middle of the night sweating? Tell Alexa to turn the air on.
Smart thermostats save you money AND encourage laziness, but we are okay with that.
A few more ecobee smart thermostat features:
- Smart Sensors - Put your thermostats (one sensor included, but you can buy an additional 2-pack) in the rooms you use the most. They will sense if there are bodies home and automatically adjust the temperature. This saves you money because there is no reason to cool down a room if no one is home to enjoy it.
- Easy Installation - The ecobee comes with an easy-to-use manual and a step-by-step guide on how to set everything up. The installation should take about 30 minutes and the ecobee app will walk you through everything.
- Alexa Capabilities - Not only does the thermostat control the temperature, but you can also ask Alexa to set a timer, check the weather and much more.
- Stay Informed - The ecobee app updates you on the amount of energy you’ve saved, the amount of money you’ve saved and alerts you when you need maintenance. You are always in the know.
Best Smart Home Lighting - Aisirer Smart Light Bulbs
Have you ever pulled out of your driveway and noticed the upstairs bathroom light is still on?
Well, now you can turn it off from your car! We do not encourage checking your app while driving, pull over and park it will take two seconds.
With Aisirer Smart Light Bulbs you can also control your lights on the go and monitor which lights are on in your house.
And did we mention, you can set the mood lighting you’ve always wanted? How romantic!
Smart lightbulbs are a great investment to save on costs, energy and time. The Aisirer Smart Lightbulbs come in a pack of 4 and offer warm light.
A few more Aisirer smart light bulbs features:
- Alexa Controls - Again, you can tell Alexa to adjust the lights with your voice. Dim the lights for a movie without having to leave the couch and turn up the heat, now we’re talking!
- Time Controls - Afraid of the dark? Don’t worry, you can set up your lights on a timer so they will automatically turn on 5 minutes before you get home. This is also a great security feature. Intruders might think you are already home if the lights are on.
- Mood Lighting - Dim the lights to whatever level you are in the mood for day or night.
- Energy Saver - The Aisirer smart lightbulbs are LED bulbs and can save up to 80% of the energy a traditional incandescent bulb uses. These bulbs will also last up to 30,000 hours (over 3 years).
- Lights App - You can control your lights with Alexa or from an app on your phone. You can control one light at a time or all the lights at once from your fingertips.
Best Smart Home Speaker - Echo
You are probably familiar with an Echo by now since Amazon is on its 3rd generation of the smart speakers. And most likely, you’ve heard people talk about Alexa at some point.
Alexa graced us with her smarts in 2014 when Amazon released their first Echo.
A smart speaker is pretty self-explanatory.
Yes, it plays music, and that is a great feature, but the Echo does so much more than just play music!
A few more Echo smart speaker features:
- 360 Degrees Audio - Audio comes out every angle of an Echo. Unlike a traditional speaker that has a dedicated sound side, the Echo pumps out music from the whole device.
- Talk to your Family - One of our favorite features of the Echo is that you can use it as an old school intercom. Use it to wake your kids up, tell your husband to take out the trash or drop a simple “I love you” throughout the day.
- Wiz Kid - Alexa is basically the wisest wizard out there. You can play games with her, ask her the weather or ask her any random trivia question and she is there to answer and help you out.
- Compatibility - Alexa can sync with lots of the other devices, like your lights, thermostat, TV and more.
Best Smart Home Plugs - Teckin Smart Plugs
Smart Plugs are the one smart home device that can fit within everyone’s budget.
Yes, you can spend hundreds of dollars and turn every outlet in your house into a smart plug, but that probably isn’t necessary.
Teckin Smart Plugs come in a 4-pack and pair with Alexa, so they are voice-controlled and have an easy to use app to manage with a WiFi connection. These smart plugs are round in shape, but there’s plenty of variety when it comes to smart plugs.
You can create your own ‘scenes’ within the app. Say you want to have just the kitchen lights and outdoor lights on when you arrive home, set the scene to ‘Evening Kitchen.’
Or you want to leave the exterior lights on when you leave the house; you can set the scene to ‘leave home.’ All of the scenes are customizable and you can set them up for whatever setting makes sense for you and your home.
A few more Teckin smart plug features:
- Alarm Clock - You can schedule a timer and turn your lights on in the morning to wake up and even better set a timer for the coffee maker to turn on so you have a fresh pot waiting for you.
- Extra Security - By being able to schedule your lights on and off you can discourage burglars. No one wants to break into a house if they think people are people inside.
- Limit your Kids Screen Time - Since you can control outlets from the app on your phone, you can turn off your kid’s PlayStation and TV instantly without having to yell at them again to come downstairs for dinner.
- Save Energy & Money - You can shut down everything on the app if you are out of the house and save on energy consumption and costs with smart plugs. You can monitor which devices are sucking up the most energy and adapt your habits to use energy more efficiently.
Best Outdoor Smart Home Devices
Now that the inside of your home is super smart we can move on to how to make the exterior smart. We have rounded up a few of our favorite smart devices to keep your home protected and safe while you are away.
Best Smart Home Security - SimpliSafe
Keeping your home safe and secure is so important. Our top smart home security package is Simplisafe for many reasons.
It’s easy to install and you can do it yourself. There’s no need to schedule a 4 hours window for a maintenance person to come out and help you install it. There’s no additional monthly fee associated with it and it can connect with your Echo.
There is a plan available, the Interactive Plan, which gives you 24/7 professional monitoring for $24.99 per month.
There is no contract, which means you can cancel at any time. The interactive plan can alert you via text or email if someone rings the doorbell or opens the front door keeping you in the loop while you are away.
A few more Simplisafe smart security features:
- Entry & Motion Sensor - The entry sensor helps protect doors and windows, making it difficult to notice and easy to sense an intruder. The motion sensor can detect when someone is in the room. Don’t worry, it won’t pick up your pet moving from the couch to your bed throughout the day.
- Base Station & Keypad - This smart security system comes with a base station that is what alerts the monitoring system and has a siren. The keypad is a standard and you can put it anywhere in your house for easy access for activating the alarm.
- Simplicam - The camera allows you to see what is happening in real-time around your house from your phone, computer or tablet. There is a shutter on the camera that you can control to activate total privacy when you are home and do not want it recording.
- DIY Instant Protection - This smart security system is ready to go right out of the box and does not require outside help for installation or maintenance, unlike other security systems.
- Optional 24/7 Protection - For an additional monthly fee, you can have professional monitoring which will also record audio for the police and fire department in case of an emergency.
Best Smart Home Doorbell - Ring Video Doorbell 2
Ding dong ditch days are over now! Smart doorbells will catch you every time.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a great investment and like the security system easy to install and also owned by Amazon. The two-way talk feature allows you and your visitors to easily communicate. Ring is easy to install next to your door or you can easily replace it with the current doorbell.
The camera automatically records what is going on outside and you can get alerts sent to your phone. The motion sensor will also notify you if someone is moving in front of the door, keeping you very informed.
The camera quality is 1920p X 1820p and records at 15fps. It tends to get a little blurry if there’s a lot of quick motion in front of the camera. But still, shots are very clear; remember this is just a doorbell, not your smart home security system.
A few more Ring Video Doorbell 2 smart doorbell features:
- Talk to your Visitors - You can easily talk to your delivery people, guests or anyone else at your doorstep from your phone, tablet or computer.
- Night Vision - Ring comes with infrared night vision to make it easy to see what is happening at any hour.
- Weather Resistant - Ring is water-resistant and can withstand temperatures of -5°F to 120°F, making it durable year-round.
- Live View - You can view what is going on at your home in real-time from any location.
- Theft Protection - If someone steals your doorbell ring will replace for free. And hopefully, you will catch the little thief on camera.
Best Smart Home Locks - August Smart Lock Pro
We’ve all left the house before and wondered, did I lock the door? There’s no need to worry anymore if you forgot to lock the door if you install smart locks.
With the August Smart Lock Pro, doors automatically locks when you leave, making sure your home is safe and secure. Don’t worry, it auto unlocks as you approach too, so you don’t need to dig around in your bag for your keys. Just make sure you have your phone on you; that is your new house key.
You can install the August Smart Lock right on top of your existing deadbolt and still use your keys if you want.
The smart technology with the August App, Door Sense, will let you know if someone left a door open or if there is a door unlocked and who entered, giving you total control and insight into what is going on at your house.
A few more August Smart Lock Pro features:
- Quick and Easy Install - All you need is a screwdriver to install your new smart locks. Installation takes about 10 minutes and then you are good to go.
- Remote Access - Remote access allows guests to enter when you are not there. This is great for Airbnb, VRBO, dog walkers, house cleaners or anyone else that needs to enter when you aren’t home.
- Activity Tracking - You can monitor who is coming and going through the door through your phone app. This is great for tracking teenagers sneaking out of the house.
- Voice Control - You can also ask Alexa to lock or unlock the door too, if you need her help.
So there you have it, the best products to make yourself a smart home (without having to build a new house from the ground up).
Take control of your home today and connect all of your devices. Sit back, relax and unwind and sleep easy in your new smart house.
The future is in your hands.
Best Smart Home Devices: