The smart home 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
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 out there.
Philips Hue Starter Pack
One of the most well-known names in the smart lighting field, the Philips Hue system 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. 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.
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. 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.
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, 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.
Homeboy Security Camera
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 senses smoke, turn your Philips Hue lights red when an intruder is detected, or use IFTTT to control the camera.
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 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.
What’s on Your Christmas List?
These seven smart home gifts are great for any smart home enthusiast or home DIYer. 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!