Buying Guides Smart Home

7 Smart Home Starter Kits That Are Worth the Money

Emma Roth Updated 03-04-2020

The smart home movement is seriously misunderstood. It provides so many interesting benefits, such as reduced energy consumption or increased home property value, yet so many people are against it.

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The worst myth is that smart homes are expensive, but when you look at home starter kits, it turns out that smart homes can be quite affordable.

Are you ready to dive in? If so, the best way is with a starter kit.

Reasons to Use a Starter Kit

1. Get started right away. Smart home products tend to be highly modular—you have a central device that controls a bunch of other devices connected to it.

This is great for flexibility. A starter kit lets you get started right now without having to spend time researching all the options.

2. No worries about compatibility. Smart home modularization is great in theory, but the reality is that there are a handful of competing standards. If two products don’t support the same standard, they won’t work together.

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A home automation starter kit ensures that every product within the package is compatible with each other. Plus, you won’t have to worry about missing parts. All needed cables, devices, and more will be included in the kit.

3. Cheaper than buying piecemeal. When you buy a starter kit, the price you pay usually includes a small discount, so you spend less than if you bought each component separately. The discounts aren’t huge, but they aren’t negligible either.

1. Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit

Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit Buy Now On Amazon $128.00

What’s included in the kit:

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The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit is an excellent way to get started because it offers a lot of potential for experimentation, and it has a lot of room for expansion later on. This smart home package includes multipurpose sensors that detect when doors or windows open, as well as motion sensors that track movement inside your home.

The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit includes an outlet as well—this is used to power on electronics, appliances, and lights in your home. You can even integrate the SmartThings kit with Alexa to make controlling your home even more convenient.

2. Arlo Pro 3 Wireless Home Security Kit

Arlo Pro 3 Wireless Home Security Kit Arlo Pro 3 Wireless Home Security Kit Buy Now On Amazon $579.99

What’s included in the kit:

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The Arlo Pro 3 Wireless Home Security Kit may seem a tad expensive. That being said, this is one area where it pays to spend a little more for quality.

The Arlo Pro 3 is an outdoor camera that has color night vision, a security light, a 160-degree field of view, the ability to send alerts when motion or sound is detected, and free cloud storage for footage. This wireless setup is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple Homekit.

All in all, it’s a particularly good purchase if you’ve never had a home surveillance system before. What you’ll find is that there are plenty of creative ways to use surveillance cameras that go beyond simple security.

3. Lutron Caseta Smart Lighting Kit

Lutron Caseta Smart Lighting Kit Lutron Caseta Smart Lighting Kit Buy Now On Amazon $189.95 ($5.94 / oz)

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What’s included in the kit:

This Lutron Caseta Smart Lighting Kit is pretty awesome. All you do is replace your wall switches with the Lutron dimmers, and you’ll be able to control them from afar, whether by using the included remotes or the Lutron mobile app.

What’s even nicer is that you can schedule your lights to turn on or off at certain times throughout the day, and the times you set will automatically adjust according to Daylight Savings.

The Lutron system can be controlled in a few other ways, including Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.

4. Philips Hue Starter Kit

Philips Hue Starter Kit Philips Hue Starter Kit Buy Now On Amazon $179.99

What’s included in the kit:

The smart lighting options by Philips Hue tend to be a love-it-or-hate-it affair. At tens of dollars per bulb, you’re looking at some real damage to your wallet, but once you see all the cool things you can do, the price may well be worth it.

There’s a bit of a learning curve with the Philips Hue Starter Kit, but it’s not so bad that you’ll struggle with it. As long as you take your time, next-level smart home lighting will be within your grasp Philips Hue is compatible with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, as well as Amazon Alexa.

5. Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat Kit

Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat Kit Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat Kit Buy Now On Amazon

What’s included in the kit:

Smart thermostats arguably ignited the whole smart home movement, mainly because they’re so practical. Using room sensors placed around the house, the Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat Kit optimizes heating and cooling for maximum comfort while reducing overall energy usage.

When you’re out of the house, you can use the Ecobee app to adjust the room temperature before you come home. Plus, the setup is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, IFTT, and Wink.

6. Ring Alarm Home Security System

Ring Alarm Home Security System Ring Alarm Home Security System Buy Now On Amazon $179.00

What’s included in the kit:

Not only does the Ring Alarm Home Security Kit protect you from intruders, but it also protects you from the dangers hidden inside your home. For all of the tech you get in this smart home starter kit, it’s well worth the cash.

While the included motion sensor detects any unusual movement in your home, the contact sensors alert you when windows or doors open. When you want to arm or disarm your house, you can simply use the Ring keypad.

If you’re looking for even more protection, the kit also comes with sensors that detect freezing temperature, flooding, smoke, and carbon monoxide.

7. Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack

Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack Buy Now On Amazon $98.88

What’s included in the kit:

Looking for a smart home kit that tackles lighting, electricity, and security? The Wyze Smart Home Starter Pack is an all-in-one kit for anyone looking to control lighting, plugs, and monitor activity around the house from a mobile app.

In addition to coming with an indoor security camera, it includes a motion sensor as well as a set of contact sensors. You can also set up the kit’s smart bulbs and plugs to manage electricity usage in your home.

The Best Smart Home Starter Kits

There was a time people thought smart homes were a passing fad. Yet, here we are, many years into the movement, and the industry is going strong, with no sign of letting up.

Want to see what the fuss is all about? That’s what these smart home kits are for! Pick one that looks intriguing to you and give it a try. At worst, it’s some money down the drain. At best, it’ll change your life.

For more inspiration, take a look at the best smart home hubs The 4 Best Smart Home Hubs in 2019 Want a functional collection of smart home gadgets? You'll need a hub. Here are the best smart home hubs for your home. Read More .

Explore more about: Smart Home, Smart Hubs, Smart Sensor.

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  1. Mika Hasu
    August 24, 2016 at 8:51 am

    240v Philips Hue is available atleast in EU shops.

    • Joel Lee
      August 29, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      I wasn't aware. Thanks Mika!

  2. Walter
    July 27, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    LOL @ FCD! Yes, and if we could get federal funding for smart homes, racism and even terrorism would decline proportionally, and our health care crisis would soon be a thing of the past. Why you ask? Smart homes create simplicity and peace of mind - the basis of any healthy and sane society.

  3. Anonymous
    July 27, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Is there a 240v philips hue?

    • Joel Lee
      July 29, 2016 at 8:02 pm

      Sorry Eric. As far as I can tell, only 120v bulbs are available at the moment. Not sure if 240v bulbs are on the roadmap or not.

  4. Anonymous
    July 26, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    " The worst myth is that smart homes are expensive"
    It's not myth, it is a matter of definition. For somebody who owns a house in Topanga Canyon and drives top of the line Beemer, the price of a smart home is pocket change. OTOH, for someone who lives in East LA, it is a choice between a smart home gewgaws and feeding their family. Ironically, for the latter, a smart home is a necessity while for the former it is an indulgence.