Getting into home automation and smart home appliances can be a very elitist and expensive endeavor. If you want to take things a little seriously, you need a central hub that talks to your different smart objects and sensors over Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, and more, then automates processes between them. You can use it to make the light turn on when you open a door, or the siren sound off when some motion is detected. Hub choices are varied, but the two that keep coming back again and again in the smart home conversation are Wink and Samsung's SmartThings, both with Android apps and Google Assistant/Home integration. Today's deal is about the former.

The first generation Wink Hub is down to $24.99 on Amazon. It's been hovering between $40 and $50 over the past few months, and $24.99 is the lowest price we've seen on it yet. I wouldn't normally recommend the 1st gen hub because it lacks many of the features of the Hub 2 that I reviewed a while ago, but at $25, it's not a bad investment in two situations. One is if you don't have to automate a lot of things and your needs can be met with an older, less capable system. Two is if you want to dip your toes into automation and decide whether you want to pursue it further with better hardware or you're not interested in it at all. Plus, in my experience, the Wink system is easier for newbies to set up and manage than SmartThings. And you can (relatively) quickly transfer your existing sensors and devices from this hub to another one if you later decide to upgrade.

With that in mind, the only thing left to consider is that the last time I checked, the first-generation Wink Hub didn't offer local processing. So it's a little slower at executing robots than other hubs because it needs to send the trigger to the server and get the answer back from it before performing an action, and it won't work if your network is down. But again, for $24.99, there's no harm in giving it a try. If you're interested, you can grab it from Amazon at the link below.