Smart Home Product Recommendations

If you are looking for Smart Home and other useful home related product recommendations, following is the list of products that I have found useful. I will keep this updated as I find more useful products. So, do remember to bookmark and subscribe to the changes. Also, please feel free to evaluate these for your specific needs.

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Indoor Devices

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ProductRatingQuick Review
Ecobee Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat that can help conserve energy by learning home usage, such as, reduced energy consumption when a room is not occupied. The best part is its wireless remote sensors that can help balance the temperature across multiple rooms/areas as opposed to only relying on the temperature of the area where the thermostat is installed. It is Alexa enabled.

Limitations
At times the thermostat or remote sensors loose network connectivity even though there are no issues with your WiFi network.
Ecolink Smart Motion Detector
A Z-wave enabled motion sensor that can be used to program Smart Home scenarios based on a motion trigger. It's convenient to mount in corners to get a wider coverage area. Good price point. Motion sensitivity can be controlled via jumpers.

Limitations
At times the motion detection does not work well.
SmartThings Water Leak Sensor
Install in areas like under kitchen sink, near sump pump or areas where water leakage can occur.
First Alert Smart Smoke and CO Detector
A combined smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector. Easy to install. Decent battery life.
GE In-wall Smart Outlet
A Z-wave enabled outlet that can be installed in-place of a standard outlet. It offers one always on and one Z-wave controlled outlet.
GE Smart Dimmer
A Z-wave smart dimmer that offers multiple dim levels. It has a configurable LED that makes it easy to find switch in dark.
GE Smart Switch
A Z-wave toggle switch. It has a configurable LED that makes it easy to find switch in dark.
GE Add-on Switch
An add on switch to be used with the GE Smart Dimmer or GE Smart Switch to form a multi-way configuration, such as, a 3-way configuration.
Samsung SmartThings Hub
A must have for a serious Smart Home DIY users. It offers several key benefits like
  • Compatible with a broad range of Z-wave and ZigBee devices
  • Alexa enabled
  • Geo fencing (that allows using phone as a presence sensor)
  • Constantly adding more devices
  • A super active community

Limitations
Low battery notifications are bit flaky and not accurate, no good out-of-the-box integration with garage controller.
Samsung SmartThings Kit
A bundle of SmartThings hub and some commonly used smart devices. Good value for money.
Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor
A sensor that can be used for open/close, temperature and knock sensing. It is Alexa enabled.

Limitations
Knock sensing is not very accurate.
Visonic Door Window Temperature Sensor
A sensor that can be used for open/close and temperature sensing. The expected battery life is about 3 years. Overall, great value for money. No tilt sensing.

Limitations
Initial set up may have challenges and it may take some time for the hub (about 15-20 mins) to recognize the device and status).
Samsung SmartThings Outlet
A good alternative when the in-wall outlet cannot be replaced or for temporary needs, such as, indoor lighting.
TanTan Wi-Fi Smart Plug
A good alternative when the in-wall outlet cannot be replaced or for temporary needs, such as, indoor lighting. It works on WiFi and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. Smart Hub is not needed and the plug can be programmed using the Smart Life app.

Limitations
For existing Smart Hub users only: Uses a separate app to manage the plug.
Sylvania Lightify Smart LED Bulb
A multi-color Zigbee LED bulb. Good value for money.

Outdoor Devices

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ProductRatingQuick Review
August Smart Lock Pro
Easy setup, replaces inside of the deadbolt, configurable access keys (used via phone), keys can be activated for restricted timing, automatically unlock/lock as you approach/leave (using Bluetooth LE). It easily integrates with a Smart Hub like SmartThings.

Limitations
Bit pricey. It requires August Connect for remote access or a Smart Hub.
Foscam Smart Camera (PoE)
Easy setup, HD, PoE (Power over Ethernet) support, motion detection, SD card slot and network storage support. The accompanying mobile App provides live monitoring and notifications.

Limitations
Not as easy to integrate with other Smart Home solutions, such as, Smart Hub.
Foscam Smart Camera (WiFi)
Easy setup, HD, WiFi, motion detection, SD card slot and network storage support, free cloud recording. The accompanying mobile App provides live monitoring and notifications.

Limitations
Not as easy to integrate with other Smart Home solutions, such as, Smart Hub. It supports free limited cloud recording.
GE Outdoor Smart Outlet
Easy setup.
MyQ Internet Gateway
Easy setup, can control multiple garage doors/MyQ devices, convenient mobile App.

Limitations
Not as easy to integrate with other Smart Home solutions, such as, Smart Hub.
Ring Smart Door Bell
Easy setup, live monitoring, motion detection, 2-way audio, convenient mobile App. It easily integrates with a Smart Hub like SmartThings.

Limitations
At times, the mobile App freezes and connecting to device takes a long time.
Schlage Door Lock
Great looks, easy setup, configurable access keys, keys can be activated for restricted timing, good battery life. It easily integrates with a Smart Hub like SmartThings.

Limitations
It requires a Smart Hub for remote access.

Home Theater Products

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ProductRatingQuick Review
Logitech Harmony Hub
Allows control of multiple devices, facilitates integrating Home Theater devices, such as, TV and remote into rest of the Smart Home solution. It can be easily integrated with a Smart Hub like SmartThings and also with Alexa.

Limitations
Bit pricey.
Logitech Harmony Remote
Easy to use, great battery life, supports 1000s of devices out-of-the-box, simplifies home theater usage. Good value for money.
Logitech Harmony Touch Remote
Easy to use, supports 1000s of devices out-of-the-box, touchscreen support.

Limitations
Bit pricey.

Amazon Devices

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ProductRatingQuick Review
Echo Dot (2nd Generation)
A smart speaker and a voice enabled platform that continues to add value to users, be it fun games or simplifying the way you buy things. The audio quality is decent and can be connected to a bluetooth speaker as well. It can be connected to various smart home devices like switches, lights, thermostats, etc. Good value for the price.
Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
Newer generation of Echo Dot with better sound quality and fabric exterior. Not much difference in actual functionality.

Limitations
Bit pricey compared to Echo Dot 2nd Gen.
Echo Spot
Adds video experience to the Amazon Echo family of products from viewing content, such as, Amazon Video to other useful features like video calling. It has a decent sound quality and can be connected to a bluetooth speaker as well. It can control various smart home devices like switches, lights, thermostats, cameras, etc. Good resolution and looks.

Limitations
Bit pricey. Small screen.
Echo Show (2nd Gen)
Adds video experience to the Amazon Echo family of products from viewing content, such as, Amazon Video to other useful features like video calling. It has a good sound quality and can be connected to a bluetooth speaker as well. It can control various smart home devices like switches, lights, thermostats, cameras, etc. Good screen size and looks.

Limitations
Bit pricey.

Home Networking Products

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ProductRatingQuick Review
Netgear R78100-100NAS
A fast router with a good range (even for big homes), easy setup, great for gaming and video streaming (including 4K), Network storage ready with USB 3.0 port.
TP-Link 24-Port Gb Ethernet Switch
A 24-port 10/100/1000M Ethernet port switch. Extremely fast and no management needed. Ideal candidate for networking multiple rooms. No fan (no heat and noise).
TRENDnet 8-Port Gb Ethernet Switch
A great little 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch. Extremely fast and no management needed. Good candidate for home theater networking. No fan (no heat and noise).
APC 550VA UPS
A helpful power backup (few minutes typically), surge protector, provides multiple battery + surge protector outlets and multiple surge protector only outlets, audible alerts.
Synology DS218j NAS
Easy setup, multiple RAID configurations, user-friendly UI, multiple apps supported, power savings mode. It is recommended to use this with a NAS HDD. Good value for money.
WD Red 3TB NAS HDD

A NAS HDD (designed for always on).

Tools

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ProductRatingQuick Review
Black Decker Drill and Power Project Kit
A great toolkit for DIY and home enthusiasts. Multiple tools are included for various projects. It comes with drill (cordless), bits, battery as well as a storage bag. Overall 68 hand tools and accessories are included.

Limitations
The bag may not be most optimal for organizing the tools.
CH Hanson Stud Finder
A must have tool for DIY home owners, can easily help find stud locations and iron pipes, in-built 2-way level for ease of marking. It is magnetic and does not require batteries.
Klein 11-in-1 Screwdriver
A multi-purpose screwdriver set useful for electrical work.
Klein Non-Contact Voltage Tester
Can detect low voltage (12-48V AC) and high voltage (48-1000V AC), audible alerts.

Limitations
It may need some time to get used to.
Stanely Plier Set
Nice grip.

 

Interested in learning more about how to set up a Smart Home? Check out our Smart Home – Beyond The Buzz course.

Interested in making the most out of your Amazon purchases?
Shopping Guru - Plan, Shop & Save With Amazon

  • Make goal driven purchases
  • Manage ad hoc item purchases
  • Monitor prices and get price drop alerts
  • Buy when prices drop and save money!

Use the FREE Shopping Guru mobile app to plan, shop and save with Amazon.

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