Mom got her day in May, and now it’s Dad’s turn. Father’s Day is quickly approaching, leaving many scrambling to find the perfect gift in time. Dads can be notoriously difficult to buy for, but no matter whether he’s a technology genius or technologically illiterate, any dad can find a way to use at least one of these smart home gadgets in their everyday lives.
Our list spans everything from smart locks to remote controls and more. Some gadgets make dad’s life easier, some make his life healthier, and some help him to step up his barbecue game. No matter what your price point is, or which gift you choose, Dad is sure to be impressed!
1. Amazon Echo Dot ($50/£45)
First things first, any smart home needs a great hub and controller. And it’s hard to go wrong with Amazon’s Echo line, which continues to gain more interesting and useful skills.
If dad already has a favorite Bluetooth speaker, a perfect choice is the Amazon Echo Dot. The small device is fine by itself but it truly shines when it pairs to a larger and better sounding speaker either wirelessly or using a 3.5mm cable.
After setting the device up, the sky is the limit. With just a simple voice command, dad can control a whole host of compatible smart home devices, play music, set timers, order takeout, make phone calls to other Echo users, and much more.
If you have a bit more to spend, take a look at the full-sized Amazon Echo. The $179 device is a larger speaker that provides room-filling sound on its own.
2. Logitech Harmony Elite ($277/£228)
In the never-ending battle of who gets the remote control, dad usually comes out on top — at least in my house. One of the best remotes on the market is Logitech’s Harmony Elite.
Instead of having to fumble for hundreds of different buttons to program the remote for your TV, soundbar, and other devices, all the work is done using a simple iOS or Android app. The remote can control up to 15 smart home entertainment devices like the Nest Smart Thermostat. Sporting a full-color touchscreen, dad can control devices and even program one-touch activities that control multiple settings at once.
Thanks to the included Harmony Hub, dad can even control devices placed in closed cabinets. And if he really doesn’t like to lift a finger while watching a game or movie, Amazon Alexa support will allow him to control devices with just a voice command.
3. Philips Hue White A19 Starter Kit ($70/£50)
Wirelessly-enabled lighting is one of the most popular ways to start building a smart home. And the Philips Hue line has consistently been one of the best in the market thanks to its ease of use and a wide number of bulb choices. A great way to help get dad started is with the Hue White A19 Starter Kit.
Along with the necessary hub that attaches to an internet router, you’ll also receive two standard A19 bulbs. Each bulb can only show a shade of white light, and the output is a maximum of 800 lumens. The bulbs can also dim without needing any type of physical dimmer installed. Once dad gets the hang of the Hue line, there are many other possible additions including a bulb that can display more than 16 million colors, a light strip, and more.
The system is also compatible with a wide variety of smart home systems, including Amazon’s Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
4. Nest Cam Outdoor ($175/£179)
A home security camera is an easy way for dad to keep an eye on what’s happening in and around his home. As you can probably tell by its name, the Nest Cam Outdoor can go pretty much anywhere and is completely weatherproof. Just plug in the power adapter, mount it, and you’ll be ready to go.
Inside or out, the camera can capture high-definition 1080p video in a 130-degree field of view. When any motion is detected, the camera automatically sends a notification to your smartphone. And with the speaker and microphone, dad can hear what’s going on and even talk to whoever is in range.
Instead of needing to purchase and install a smart smoke or carbon monoxide detector, the Roost 9V Battery makes it easy for dad to transform any detector into a smart device.
Roost combines a run-of-the-mill 9V battery with a big dose of smarts. After connecting via the Android or iOS app, you can receive notifications when a detector is activated no matter where you are, snooze false alarms, and more. The battery itself is designed to last for more than five years before switching it out. Dad will be happy to hear that he’ll get a notification before the battery needs to be replaced, making the dreaded smoke alarm chirp a thing of the past.
6. Weber iGrill 2 Thermometer ($94/£129)
Your dad probably loves to be king of the barbecue, and the Weber iGrill 2 thermometer offers some app-enabled smarts to help him grill anything to perfection.
Dad can monitor the temperature of up to four different meats on the grill with probes. Battery powered, the device connects to a smartphone to track each piece of meat from start to finish. Thanks to a magnetic disk, the thermometer itself attaches to any grill. And as long as dad is no more than 150 feet away, he can kick his feet up with the beverage of his choice and watch while the meat finishes cooking.
As a nice touch, there is a LED temperature readout on the iGrill 2. With the app, you can customize minimum and maximum temperature alarms, see temperature graphs, and even share what’s for dinner with friends via social networking.
7. Eero Home WiFi System ($395)
To any modern family, fast internet service is right up there with electricity, water, and other must-have utilities.
But as dad knows all too well, making sure that everyone in the house has the fastest possible speeds to stream Netflix, use an iPad, and even control smart home devices, is easier said than done. Ordinary routers have substantial problems broadcasting Wi-Fi through obstacles and walls in a household and handling the plethora of internet-connected devices.
A feature once reserved for businesses is making its way to the home sector. Wireless mesh technology, found in Eero system and others, is made of a number of different nodes placed around a home. The three-pack Eero system can cover up to 3,000 feet and provides fast and reliable internet everywhere in your home.
8. Misfit Shine 2 ($60/£53)
The Misfit Shine 2 is a great choice for a no-frills and easy-to-use fitness tracker. It can track steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and sleep patterns.
Unlike many other options, the Shine 2 receives power from a user-replaceable coin cell battery that lasts for up to six months. That means it doesn’t need to be charged. The small, anodized aluminum tracker sports a number of multicolor LEDs to show progress toward fitness goals. It can also provide vibration alert for calls, texts, alarms, and more.
Using the iOS or Android app, the fitness tracker can even act as a smart button. Along with being able to play music, take a selfie, or advance slides in a presentation, it can also control a number of smart home devices.
9. Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller ($200)
Most dads enjoying heading outside to cultivate their perfect yard. And the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller can add a big dose of smarts to any irrigation system. As a bonus, it can save dad both water and some cold hard cash.
After replacing the current old-school sprinkler controller, dad can monitor and adjust the sprinkler system on any smartphone or internet-connected device. You can customize each zone of the yard and create a watering schedule. Rachio will automatically adapt to weather and changing seasons to keep a lawn healthy, lush, and green.
10. August Smart Lock ($210)
Smart locks provide a great way to control access to a home without the hassle of extra keys. One of the most versatile options currently available is the August Smart Lock.
While many other smart locks require a complete retrofit of the entire lock, August installs on the interior of the door. This means dad can keep the existing deadbolt and won’t need to worry about giving everyone new keys. Along with smartphone control, the lock is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit, and the Google Assistant. And with the app, you can see who is coming and going and more.
No matter what kind of dad your dad is, there’s a smart home gadget out there that’s a perfect fit for him. He does a lot to keep the family running smoothly, so there’s no better way to celebrate Father’s Day by making dad’s daily routine a bit easier.
Is there a smart home gadget out there that would be perfect for helping dad build a perfect smart home? Let us know in the comments!