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The smart home What Is A Smart Home? What Is A Smart Home? We recently launched a Smart Home category at MakeUseOf, but what is a smart home? Read More movement is picking up quickly, and a lot of people want to get in on the trend to make their homes more efficient, connected, and — let’s face it — cool. Whether you have someone on your list who’s already a smart home enthusiast, or you just think that one of your techie friends or relatives would appreciate a little more connectedness in their life, these seven gifts will be appreciated!

Nest Learning Thermostat

smart-home-energy-saver-nest-thermostat

This is a no-brainer. The learning thermostat that helped kick off the smart home craze is useful, beautiful, and a sure money-saver. It learns the temperatures that you like to automatically adjust at the right times of day, senses when you’re away from home to reduce your heating and air conditioning bills, and can be controlled remotely from your phone. Plus it’s super easy to install and can work with just about every home hub Battle of the Smart Home Hubs: What's Out There and What's Coming? Battle of the Smart Home Hubs: What's Out There and What's Coming? Read More out there.

Buy the Nest learning thermostat from Amazon ($250)

Nest Learning Thermostat, 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa Nest Learning Thermostat, 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa Nest saves energy by automatically turning itself down when you're away Buy Now At Amazon $198.88

Philips Hue Starter Pack

philips-hue-starter-pack

One of the most well-known names in the smart lighting field, the Philips Hue system Light Your Home the Smart Way With Philips Hue Light Your Home the Smart Way With Philips Hue If you can afford the initial expenditure, you won't find a better-supported and more user-friendly smart lighting system on the market. Read More is many people’s first step into making their home smarter. With three LED bulbs and a wi-fi bridge, this kit lets anyone get started with smart lighting Brighten Your Home With Smart Lamps: Here Are Your Options Brighten Your Home With Smart Lamps: Here Are Your Options What exactly is a smart lamp, and what's out there? Read More . The Hue app allows you to put your lights on a timer, automatically turn on the lights when you get home, and alter the color of your lighting. There’s also a huge range of third party apps that can interact with the bulbs, such as interactive stories or music visualization.

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Buy the Philips Hue Starter Pack from Amazon ($189)

Philips Hue White and Color Starter Pack (Old Model, 1st Generation), 3 Bulbs and a Bridge, Works with Amazon Alexa Philips Hue White and Color Starter Pack (Old Model, 1st Generation), 3 Bulbs and a Bridge, Works with Amazon Alexa Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (hub required and included, Alexa device sold separately) Buy Now At Amazon

WeMo Switches

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Another way to smarten up the free standing lights in your house — as well as a number of other appliances — is to use the WeMo system 3 Ways The Belkin WeMo Can "Smarten" Your Regular Household Lamps 3 Ways The Belkin WeMo Can "Smarten" Your Regular Household Lamps We took the time to look at the possibilities for turning your regular household lamps into smart lamps. Read More . The most basic piece in the system is the WeMo Switch — you plug it into an outlet in your home, plug in an appliance, and then you have control over the power supply delivered to that appliance. Switch your lights on from your phone, set a desk fan on a timer, or control when your slow cooker turns on so dinner’s ready when you get home. For a little extra, the Insight Switch provides valuable information on energy consumption.

Buy the WeMo Switch from Amazon ($42)

WeMo Switch Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, Works with Amazon Alexa WeMo Switch Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, Works with Amazon Alexa Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately) Buy Now At Amazon

Buy the WeMo Switch and Motion Sensor from Amazon ($73)

Buy the WeMo Insight Switch from Amazon ($54)

WeMo Insight Switch Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, Energy Monitoring, Works with Amazon Alexa WeMo Insight Switch Smart Plug, Wi-Fi, Energy Monitoring, Works with Amazon Alexa Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately) Buy Now At Amazon $55.95

SmartThings

smartthings-hub

As one of the leaders in smart home tech, SmartThings offers a huge variety of sensors and switches that you can use to build a connected home; the starter kit comes with a central hub Battle of the Smart Home Hubs: What's Out There and What's Coming? Battle of the Smart Home Hubs: What's Out There and What's Coming? Read More , motion sensor, a door/window sensor, and a presence sensor. You can easily supplement with a moisture sensor, a smart outlet, a webcam, and a number of other items. Whether you go for the starter pack or the hub and an accessory or two, the lucky recipient of this gift will be well on their way to creating a customized smart home system in no time at all.

Buy the SmartThings Hub from Amazon ($99)

SmartThings Hub, 1st Generation SmartThings Hub, 1st Generation Compatible with Amazon Echo Buy Now At Amazon

Buy the SmartThings Starter Kit from Amazon ($199)

SmartThings Smart Home Starter Kit SmartThings Smart Home Starter Kit Secure your home for a fraction of the cost of a traditional home security system Buy Now At Amazon

Homeboy Security Camera

homeboy-mounted

The Homeboy is a small camera that can be attached anywhere, runs for three months on a single charge, and sends a notification to your phone when motion is detected (it’ll also start recording). You can set up a geofence so that it only turns on when you’re not around the house, and you can set up an alarm so that any intruder is scared off. It’s also easy to make it work with a number of other smart home devices — turn on recording when your Nest Protect Nest Protect Review and Giveaway Nest Protect Review and Giveaway Read More senses smoke, turn your Philips Hue lights red when an intruder is detected, or use IFTTT to control the camera.

Buy the Homeboy camera from Homeboy ($149)

LittleBits Smart Home Kit

littlebits-smart-home-kit

If someone you know likes taking on DIY projects, the LittleBits Smart Home kit will be a fantastic gift. This kit contains fourteen different pieces, including a light sensor, temperature sensor, sound trigger, MP3 player, synth speaker, LED, number display, AC switch, and more. With these pieces and a few ideas (several of which come included in a booklet), your smart home enthusiast will unleash their creativity upon the house. With no soldering or programming required, and color-coded pieces, the LittleBits Smart Home kit will be a hit with any tech lover.

Pre-order the LittleBits Smart Home kit ($249, delivery promised by 22 December)

August Smart Lock

Smart locks Forget Keys: 5 Smart Locks You Can Unlock With Your Phone Forget Keys: 5 Smart Locks You Can Unlock With Your Phone Here are 5 different locks that you can unlock with your phone. Read More are proliferating quickly, and there are several models to choose from – but this offering from August is one of the most widely-praised. With its sleek looks, easy operation, and the ability to easily give access to anyone with a smartphone, it gives you everything you need to secure your home the smart way. And because it only replaces the inside of your lock, you can always use your keys to get in if your wi-fi goes down.

Buy the August Smart Lock from August ($250, currently backordered)

What’s on Your Christmas List?

These seven smart home gifts are great for any smart home enthusiast or home DIYer 6 Smart Home Projects You Can Take On This Weekend 6 Smart Home Projects You Can Take On This Weekend Here are six ways to add a little ambient intelligence to your daily routine. Read More . There are a lot of other options, though — what’s on your Christmas list this year? What gifts will you be giving from the smart home category? Share your thoughts and suggestions below!

  1. ben
    December 9, 2014 at 6:03 am

    What about Pulse by Sengled. JBL bluetooth speakers inside LED light bulbs. They actually sound really good.

    • Dann Albright
      December 9, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Cool! I had never seen that before, but I absolutely love the idea. And if they do sound good, I'd say that would make a fantastic gift. Do you have some? Or have you demoed them in the store?

      Thanks for the tip!

  2. eric jay
    December 4, 2014 at 12:17 am

    cool but quite pricey when they reach the shores of my country.

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