While pretty much anyone can benefit from smart home technology, there has always been a number of barriers preventing wider adoption. The biggest barrier? Cost.
Many potential buyers haven’t wanted to spend hundreds of dollars for just a single device. But we’ve got some great news for you — smart home products are now much easier to install and, even more importantly, don’t have to break the bank.
We’ve previously shown you how to fill an entire home with smart technology for just $400. But if you’re looking for just one or two devices that can help make your day-to-day life even easier, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 15 devices less than $50 that showcase what technology can do in your home.
1. Eufy Genie
Even though the Amazon Echo Dot can bring the power of Alexa to your home for an inexpensive price tag, the Eufy Genie offers many of the same features for even less. The small speaker, with 2W of power, can be placed pretty much anywhere in your home and gives you access to more than 14,000 voice-enabled Alexa skills. Along with being able to control a huge number of smart home devices with a simple command, you can also access a number of popular music streaming services as well.
While you can connect to a larger speaker with the included AUX cable, the Eufy Genie unfortunately doesn’t offer any Bluetooth capability at this time.
Smart plugs are a great way to bring technology to your home in just a snap without spending a lot of money. You can control a TP-Link Smart Plug Mini from anywhere you have an internet connection using the companion iOS or Android app. Perfect for lamps and other small electronics, you can schedule items to turn on or off at a specific time or even at dusk or dawn. While on vacation, the special away mode will turn the device on at random times to give the appearance that someone is at home.
Along with Amazon Alexa, you can also control the TP-Link Smart Plug Mini with any Google Assistant device like Google Home.
3. EZVIZ Mini O
A high-quality security camera is a great way to keep an eye on what’s happening in your home no matter where you are.
Featuring a 111-degree viewing angle and HD video, the EZVIZ Mini O will provide motion alerts through an iOS or Android app. Video can be sent to the cloud or stored locally using a built-in microSD card slot. Along with being able to hear what’s going on, a microphone will also allow you to talk to whoever is in the room. The camera is compatible with IFTTT and you can also view the video feed on the Amazon Echo Show.
The small ThermoPeanut Smart Bluetooth Thermometer is a great way to measure temperature anywhere in your home, or on the go. Using Bluetooth, it can connect to your iOS or Android device to provide a temperature history and even let you know if the temperature goes above or below a preset point. If you have a Wi-Fi tablet at home, the data can be accessed from any location.
Along with IFTTT compatibility, the device is compatible with any Nest Smart Thermostat. With a little automation, this means that if your house goes above a certain temperature, the ThermoPeanut can trigger your air conditioner can to turn on automatically.
5. Tile Sport
It always happens at the most inopportune time: you can’t find an important item, like your keys, purse, or wallet, when you really need them.
Tile Sport makes lost items a thing of the past. The small and waterproof device can attach to pretty much anything thanks to a built-in keyring hole. When it’s time to find the item, you can use the iOS or Android app, and even an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device.
As long as it’s within a 200-feet range, the Tile will begin to emit a loud sound. If not, the app will show you where the item was left behind. And if you ever misplace your phone, just double tap the center Tile logo to automatically have the handset make an audible noise, even if it is set to silent.
If you were looking for lighting compatible with Apple’s HomeKit protocol, it usually requires the installation of an additional hub to an internet router, requiring extra time and money. But Sylvania has recently released the Smart+ A19 Full Color LED Bulb, which brings the HomeKit experience to your home without a hub. You can select pretty much any color imaginable including a number of different colors of white, anywhere from a warm to a cool shade.
You can control the bulb using Siri or the built-in home app. It can also be part of different HomeKit scenes or automations.
Instead of a new lightbulb, you can also add a smart light switch to your home. Compatible with any one-way, single-pole connection light with a neutral wire, Belkin’s device easily replaces your existing switch.
Along with being able to control the Belkin We-Mo Light Switch via an Android or iOS app, you can schedule it to turn on or off at a specific time of day. You can also control the switch with an Amazon Alexa voice command. Ready for a more complex automation? Consider linking it with a Nest Thermostat to turn on or off a switch when your Nest detects that you’re not home.
Almost any flatscreen TV on the market now has some type of smart features to connect to online video streaming services and more. But there’s no need to spend a bundle to bring some of those great features to any existing TV set.
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick plugs into an open HDMI port and uses a Wi-Fi connection to provide up to 1080p video. Using the Alexa Voice Remote you can access more than 14,000 different skills and watch videos from a number of different sources like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Video. It can also play music from Pandora, Amazon Music, Spotify, and others.
Instead of being a completely new smart home device, the BroadLink IR Control Hub makes controlling your existing electronics that much easier.
There’s no more need to deal with a huge pile of remotes that always seem to get lost. The hub, in tandem with your Android or iOS device, can be used to control IR devices. More than 80,000 are supported including televisions, DVD players, audio equipment, air conditioners, and more. Along with simple control, you can also set schedules, create activities, and set scenes for specific devices.
10. Geeni Surge
A smart power strip, the Geeni Surge features four power outlets and four USB ports that can all be controlled independently using the companion iOS or Android app and even Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. There’s no need to install a hub or other device. You can also set a schedule to turn an outlet or plug on or off at a specific time. The power strip is protected from up to 450 joules of surges.
For use with existing light bulbs up to 40W, the Emberlight Socket is quick and simple to install with no wires or hubs needed. It screws into any existing socket and brings both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity so you can control it from across the room or around the world with an iOS [No longer available] or Android app [No longer available]. If you install more than one socket, you can group multiple lights together or even create a preset mood.
As the name suggests, Elgato Eve Door and Window is a completely wireless contact sensor designed for a door, window, or drawer. Compatible with Apple HomeKit, you can simply ask Siri whether the sensor is resting in an open or closed state. Using the iOS app, you can view statistics about open and closed duration and receive push notifications. The contact sensor can also be part of a scene or other automation.
Using a smart button is just plain smart. And the wireless and portable Flic provides a number of features at home or while on the go. Connecting to your iOS or Android device, you can customize specific actions to trigger when you click, double-click, or long press the button. Along with being able to control other devices like lights, thermostats, and even a smart hub. It can also accomplish other tasks like play music. send a message on Slack, request an Uber and more. The user-replaceable battery can provide up to 18 months of use.
If you’re looking to make your home more secure without installing a smart home security system, take a look at the inexpensive D-Link DCH-S220 mydlink Wi-Fi Siren. The device plugs into any electrical outlet. After connecting to your Wi-Fi network, you can customize the device with an Android or iOS app to play six different sounds depending on the situation. It can also connect with other smart home devices using IFTTT to improve your safety and security.
15. Misfit Flash [No Longer Available]
The Misfit Flash checks off more than a few boxes in a surprisingly inexpensive package. The small fitness tracker can automatically track your steps taken, distance traveled, calories, and sleep. There’s no need to recharge as the replaceable battery can last for up to six months before needing to be replaced. Along with being able to view information on an Android or iOS app, small LED lights on the trackers show the time and your progress toward your fitness goals.
And as a great bonus, the tracker can double as a smart button. So simply press it to take a picture or selfie, control music, advance slides in a presentation, and more.
As you can see it’s easy to bring a great smart device into your home without breaking the bank. And as technology continues to improve, definitely expect to see more and more devices available at a budget price point.
Have we missed any inexpensive, but useful, smart home devices that you can’t live without? let us know in the comments.