Smart Home Starter Kits That Make the Perfect Gift
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to enjoy home automation, thanks to DYI starters kits for experts and beginners alike. The following DIY home automation starter kits and smart home hubs make great gifts regardless of the season for someone on your list or yourself.
Home Automation Bundles
Whether you’re looking to add security to your home or just automate your lights, these bundles have you covered.
Echo Dot + Caseta Wireless Deluxe Smart Lighting Control Kit
With this impressive package, you’ll receive the All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) and the Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Lightning Control kit for voice control of your lights.
The Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Amazon Alexa to play music, control smart home appliances, provide information, read the news, set alarms, and more. With the Lutron Caseta, you can connect lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more with smart devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others.
This particular bundle is around $160 and available in black and white.
Have you wanted to try the Philips Hue LED Lighting System, but didn’t like the idea of spending a lot of money? You’re in luck. The Philips Hue White A19 Starter Kit [CA] is priced at only $70 and includes two bulbs plus the required bridge.
First introduced in 2012, Philips Hue has been called the “world’s smartest ” LED light bulb by its creators. Philips Hue products include lamps, dimming kits, light strips, and more . You control each light with an iOS or Apple Watch app.
You can add up to 50 Philips Hue lights to your setup, regardless of the type of bulbs in your starter pack. Single bulbs range in price from $15 for a Philips Hue White A19 to $50 for a Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19.
Extra, Extra: Best Buy offers a terrific bundle that includes an Amazon Echo Dot and the Philips Hue White A19 Starter Kit for just $100.
Wink Relay Touchscreen Controller (2 Pack)
The Wink app connects some of the most popular smart home products, including ones from GE, Nest, Philips, and Schlage. With the Wink Relay, that control moves to your wall.
A Wink Relay can replace a standard light switch or act as a digital command center for your home. Use the touchscreen controller as an in-home intercom system or as a way to access Uber, Fitbit, and IFTTT .
The Wink Relay bundle is priced at $149 and includes two touchscreen controllers. Individual Relays are $99 each.
iSmartAlarm Preferred Package Home Security System
Looking to add some security to your home? You can’t go wrong with this $200 package from iSmartAlarm, which features one motion sensor, two contact sensors, two remote tags, and iSmartAlarm window decals. The included CubeOne, which is the heart of the system, has an 110 dB siren built-in.
With the iSmartAlarm Preferred Package Home Security System, you get a self-monitored, self-controlled home security system without monthly fees or contracts. Using the free iSmartAlarm app for iOS and Android, you can arm and disarm your system on the go, see who’s currently at home, and more.
The Ecobee3 Smarter Bundle features one Ecobee3 thermostat and three room sensors. The room sensors measure temperature and occupancy, so you can always address your home’s hot and cold areas with ease.
With Ecobee3, you can quickly adjust temperature and comfort settings from your Android and iOS devices.
Smart Home Hubs
The brain behind smart home devices is a hub, which ties everything together including smart locks, thermostats, room sensors, switches, lights, and more. Here are some of the most popular on the market.
Insteon Hub Starter Kits
Some of the best home automation starter kits come from Insteon, products which are noted for their easy installation and reliability since they rely on radio-frequency (RF).
The Insteon Home Automation Starter Kit features everything you need to control and schedule two modules from your mobile devices. It includes one Insteon Hub and two Insteon Dimmer Modules. Compatible products include Amazon Echo, Apple Watch, Logitech Harmony remotes, Nest Learning Thermostat, Sonos, and more.
Want more? The Insteon Home Automation Comfort Kit includes one Insteon Hub, two Insteon Dimmer Modules, and an Insteon Thermostat. With the thermostat, you can save energy and money by automating the temperature with Insteon sensors.
With the Insteon Home Automation Assurance Kit, you’ll receive one Insteon Hub, two Insteon Lamp Dimmers, plus an Insteon Leak Sensor, Insteon Motion Sensor, and Insteon Open/Close Sensor.
Samsung SmartThings Hub
SmartThings offers compatibility with hundreds of connected products thanks to its Smart Home Platform. Not surprisingly, a lot of these are made by Samsung and SmartThings. Many, however, come from third-parties.
The $249 SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit features the SmartThings Hub, two multipurpose sensors, a motion sensor, and an outlet. With these, you can monitor whether doors, windows, cabinets, or your garage are open/closed; monitor movement in your home; and have the ability to control lights, electronics, and small appliances.
You may add additional sensors and outlets to your setup at any time.
The Wink Hub ($69) is similar to the Samsung SmartThings hub, in that it offers a seamless way to control your home from anywhere in the world. Better still, unlike Samsung’s product, the Wink Hub supports lots of wireless protocols, including Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, Lutron ClearConnect, and Kidde.
There are three Wink Hub starter packs worth considering, including the following:
The Wink Quick-Start Kit ($100) features one Wink Hub and 2 GE Link A19 bulbs. GE Link, much like Philips Hue, gives you the ability to control your lights from anywhere. You can also automate your lighting to fit your schedule.
For $329, you can purchase the Wink Lighting Control Kit, which features a Wink Hub, two Leviton In-Wall Dimmers, and two Leviton In-Wall Switches. Use the dimmers and switches to replace your traditional single-pole wall switches. In doing so, you can save on your energy costs each month.
Finally, there’s the $173 Wink Security and Monitoring Kit, which includes the Wink HUB, GoControl Essential Home Security Suite, and a Leviton Plug-in Appliance Module. This bundle provides an inexpensive way to protect your home from intruders without monthly fees.
A Wink Hub 2 is now available for $99. It features some new connectivity tools and increased memory. Wink doesn’t currently offer bundles that come with the second generation Hub. However, the products found in the current packages will work with the Hub 2.
Techies aren’t the only ones who can enjoy smart home products thanks to the many home automation starter kits and smart home hubs on the market. When looking for a bundle, be sure to shop around. These bundles are often on sale, especially around the holidays. Additionally, buy a current bundle, not one that’s been discontinued. Technology changes, after all.
The devices found in this article should serve as a great starting point to make your home more intelligent.
Do you already use a smart home bundle? Let us know which products you use in the comments below.
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