Ready or not, Thanksgiving is almost here and Black Friday deals started, well, yesterday. That means it’s time to start making our lists of gifts to give and those we hope to get!
As a team of smart, connected living tech junkies, I bet you could guess that we all have a new smart home product at the top our lists this season. We spend all day, every day researching tech products to integrate into our property management platform. After trying and testing everything on the market, we’ve compiled our own Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide – a list of easy to set up crowd-pleasers, perfect smart home beginner looking to dip a toe in the Internet of Things.
SMART HOME HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
DEAKO SMART SWITCH
Justin Christian, @StartupJC
Front End Developer
My family just bought our first home and we have 15-month-old baby, so making sure all the lights are turned off around the house while trying to get him ready to head out the door is a challenge everyday. That’s why my number one Smart Home item for Black Friday is the Deako Smart Switch.
The Deako Smart Switch is a smart light switch that can turn off all the lights in your house, set a scene with multiple lights for something like movie night or even manage your lights through voice commands on Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
With Deako, I can press one button on the switch and know all my lights are off and not have to lug my backpack, diaper bag and son from room to room to make sure all the lights are off. Deako Smart Switches will save me so much time and also my back as my son keeps growing.
A SUPERIOR SMART SWITCH
Deako really stands out from other smart switches because of its upgradeability. We plan to start with one or two smart switches and replace the rest of our switches with Deako Simple Switches, which still look like a smart switch, but act like a normal light switch. These switches can easily be upgraded to Smart Switches down the road just by popping out of the switch from the Deako backplate and inserting the Smart Switch whenever you want to upgrade. The process is as easy as changing a pair of batteries.
WHERE TO BUY DEAKO SMART SWICH ON BLACK FRIDAY
Deako has an incredible Black Friday sale on their website, which if my math skills are working correctly, they are offering ~20%-60% off devices.
AMAZON ECHO PLUS
Chris Piggott, @nullrefexc
The Amazon Echo Plus is the perfect device to start building a smart home. It has Alexa built in, one of the best voice assistants around, and will connect with most commercially available IoT device on the market. It also doubles as a great entertainment speaker, allowing you to play cheery holiday music during the annual tacky sweater party, or some calming music to listen to while reading a book next to a fire. With multiple Echo’s throughout your smart home, you can also control everything in your home anywhere Alexa can hear you. While I usually control all of my devices from my phone, it gives me another way to control my smart home if my hands are ever full, or it my phone is elsewhere.
AMAZON ECHO VS GOOGLE HOME
I chose the Echo over Google Home because of all the devices that can be connected, and it has the biggest app market of all the smart home hubs around currently.
WHERE TO BUY AMAZON ECHO PLUS ON BLACK FRIDAY
Alex Todd, @at0dd
Full Stack Developer
The ecobee4 Smart Thermostat is one of the best thermostats to add to your smart home this season. One of the coolest features of the ecobee is the ability to adjust the temperature in individual rooms, all with your voice. The Amazon Alexa integration lets you control all of your smart home devices and use the existing Alexa skills that you’ve grown to love.
MOVE OVER, NEST!
There’s no comparison – the ecobee4 is the best smart thermostat available today. It has a responsive display, a remote sensor and tons of smart integrations, including a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker (which is why I chose it).
WHERE TO BUY ECOBEE4 ON BLACK FRIDAY
ecobee has made holiday shopping super simple with a signup to get notified on Black Friday deals.
Phillips Hue Lighting
Tucker Hewitt, @Tucker_Hewitt
Sales and Activation Manager
I’m living in an apartment which I can’t modify, but love the idea of having a smart home. Phillips Hue Smart Lights are my first step in creating a smart home as there’s no modifications to my apartment required. Using my phone I can turn my lights on and off, change their colors, and sync them to music or the Chiefs game when I have my friends over. And the best part is they’ll be staying with me when I move out!
BEST LIGHTS A RENTER CAN BUY
The Phillips Hue lights are both the easiest to install and operate, and integrates with the widest variety of smart home systems. My next step in creating a smart home will be purchasing a smart home assistant. I don’t know which I will get, but the Hue lights integrates with the all the top brands. So whether I chose Amazon’s Alexa, Apple Home Kit, Google Home, or Samsung Smart Thing’s Hub I know I can fully integrate my lights to any system and I won’t be pigeon holed into any smart home product that I don’t want.
WHERE TO BUY PHILLIPS HUE LIGHTING ON BLACK FRIDAY
Amazon is currently running great deals on the 3-Bulb Starter Kit and Home Depot is advertising a 4-Bulb Color Starter Kit available on Black Friday for $160 ($40 off).
Kevo Smart Locks
Ashley Coleman, @VFEXrt
iOS Software Engineer
Kevo Smart Locks are a must have for my apartment. They provide simple and easy access into my home. My favorite feature is the touch to unlock. As long as my phone is in my pocket I can access my apartment with ease. It is super convenient when I am loaded up with grocery bags. Furthermore, I can control this device and many others using the Homebase app which brings everything together in one simple and easy to use location.
MOST CONVENIENT SMART LOCK
Kevo’s deadbolt allows users to unlock their doors with the tap of a finger on the lock itself, making it one of the easiest locks to use The locks have a minimalist design that is visual appealing on any door and are also budget friendly. Ranging from $150 to $250 they are some of the cheapest locks on the market.
WHERE TO BUY KEVO SMART LOCKS ON BLACK FRIDAY
The Kwikset Kevo is a terrific buy at full retail, but if you use the coupon code 20KEVO2 during the month of November you’ll save 20%!
Whether you’re getting or gifting something from our Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide, this list will help make the holiday one the whole house can enjoy.