Ikea's Trådfri (I just discovered that my keyboard has this weird å character) line-up is one of the cheapest smart home lighting systems, costing only a few bucks per light bulb on average. It started out with limited bulb options, but has expanded to offer light panels, drivers for LED lights, and has just added smart outlets as well. These were announced a while back, but weren't available to buy until recently. Read More
Internet-connected outlets are among the most common smart home devices, partially because they are typically cheap (~$30-50), and partially because they are so versatile. Do you constantly leave the TV or computer on after you leave home? Do you hate using Hue bulbs? Use a smart outlet.
The vast majority of smart plugs only have one outlet. If you need multiple internet-connected plugs in the same place, TP-Link has just the product for you. The new Kasa Power Strip has six individually-addressable smart outlets, complete with energy monitoring and scheduling features. Each plug can be controlled using the Kasa app, Google Assistant, or Alexa. Read More
Last month, Amazon announced a handful of new Alexa-powered devices. The Echo Auto (an Alexa device for your car), third-generation Echo Dot, second-generation Echo Plus, Echo Sub (a subwoofer for other Echo speakers), Amazon Smart Plug, and second-generation Echo Show were some of the new additions. Most of those products were previously available for pre-order, but now some have been officially released. Read More
Smart wall outlets are an inexpensive but neat way to make your house smarter. But if you needed a little push to grab some, Lightstory smart outlets are currently being discounted by 30% on Amazon. These are some of the cheapest Assistant-compatible plugs we've seen, and they're available in 2, 3, and 4-packs. Read More
There is no shortage of Wi-Fi smart plugs, but most of them are pretty expensive for what they are. Belkin's Wemo smart plug, perhaps the most popular product in this category, is currently $30. If you're looking to save some money, Best Buy's Insignia smart plug is just $11.49 from Daily Steals when you use our exclusive coupon. Read More
With a couple of months of use behind me, my feelings about the Belkin WeMo switches are just as conflicted now as they were when I unpacked these. On paper, the idea of a switch that you can plug anything in to make it smart is fantastic. In reality, I struggled to find many, if any honestly, devices I wanted to use the WeMo with. But that's not even the meat of my issue with WeMo's switches. Their connectivity has been iffy at best, the app is laughably old, and integration with other smart home devices is hit and miss, mostly because of the aforementioned connectivity issues. Read More
Two years ago, when I started getting into smart home stuff, I had a small epiphany when I heard a podcaster say they set up their Christmas tree to turn on and off with their iPhone. Until then, I had considered smart plugs completely useless for me, since we use recessed ceiling lights a lot here in Lebanon and rarely have floor or desk lamps. But a Christmas tree and one you can turn on and off without kneeling, ruffling half the tree, and dropping several decorations in order to unplug and replug the lights?! That was a light bulb moment, if ever there was any. Read More
IFTTT is continuing its crusade to bridge your different online services and smart home gadgets and appliances together, with the latest addition being TP-Link's Kasa series of smart bulbs, switches, and plugs (which, I might add, are already Google Home-compatible).
The Kasa channel is still marked as "beta" on IFTTT, but there are already plenty of ideas for integrations with motion detectors, smart cams, your phone's location, and so on. For now, the IFTTT channel only offers actions for TP-Link, like turning a Kasa device on, off, toggling its state, changing the color or brightness or color temperature of a bulb, and setting a scene. Read More
In the wake of Prime Day, Amazon is running a set of "Alexa Deals" that can only be accessed by Prime members via voice commands given to Alexa. Most of the offers are pretty pedestrian, things like gum, snacks, and batteries, but there are a few good ones our readers might enjoy. If you are interested in home automation, you can pick up a ton of stuff, like Philips Hue starter kit, smart plugs, a wireless Lutron starter kit, a touchscreen Schlage deadbolt, and more. Read More
Prime Day is underway at Amazon and there are great deals to be had on plenty of gadgets and accessories for the nerdiest of folks. We've already covered deals on phones/tablets/Chromebooks, but what if you're more interested in making your home a little smarter? Well, fret not, because I've scoured the discounts and used my search-fu skills to find the best deals for the smart home noobs and veterans alike, deals that are especially catered for you, the Android user.
But before I start with my list, let me remind you of the couple of deals we've already covered that are relevant in a smart home setting: the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are at an all-time low of $90 and $35 ($90 and $15 off, respectively), and the NVIDIA Shield TV is $20 off (remember that it's still slated to get SmartThings Hub integration and the SPOT for a cheap add-on Google Home-like experience). Read More