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Smart Home

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IFTTT adds 17 new services, including Wattio, BroadLink, and Hive View Outdoor

First released in 2011, IFTTT is still going strong nearly eight years later thanks to its impressive library of compatible devices and platforms - and as the smart home industry grows it seems this free automation platform will continue to expand along with it. Most of the 17 new channels that have recently opened up are smart home-related, allowing users to manage products like smart lights, blinds, and even water heater controllers. 

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Latest Philips Hue app update finally adds power-on behavior

The Philips Hue is the largest and most well-known smart light ecosystem. If someone has connected light bulbs, there's a good chance they're Hue. However, those lights would always flip to full brightness when powered. Now, you've got options. The latest app update finally adds power-on behavior settings.

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[Update: Down to $259] Arlo Pro (first-gen) security camera 2-pack on sale for $275 (about $75 off)

Keeping a watchful eye on all areas of your home can be hard when power outlets aren't always available. There are battery-powered security cameras to help with that, and the best we've ever tested are the Arlo Pros. The first-gen Arlo Pro is on sale right now—the two-pack is about $275, which is the lowest price yet.

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Lenovo is rolling out Smart Display R5 update with improvements for lights, home tiles, and more

The Lenovo Smart Display was our first taste of Assistant's screen-first experience, but the Home Hub came out more recently with new features. The other smart displays aren't dead, though. Lenovo is rolling out the "R5" update today that adds some refinements and new features to the display.

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The best smart home devices you can buy right now (Winter 2018)

Worldwide sales of voice assistant smart speakers have seen tremendous growth in the last year alone, and the same can be said of the smart home sector as a whole. The technology underpinning the products will continue to get better as prices come down, and new categories will keep springing up, but there’s a lot out there worth investing in right at this moment.

With that in mind, and to ensure you won’t end up gifting (or being gifted) a dud this holiday season, we’ve put together a list of the best smart home devices you can buy. Whether you want to just dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Home Mini or dive into the deep end with smart lights, cameras, thermostats, and doorbells, we’ve got you covered.

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10-inch Lenovo Smart Display down to $160 ($90 off) at Best Buy

Lenovo's Smart Display was the first Assistant-powered screen on the market, but it wasn't cheap. Luckily, the price has come down somewhat over the last few months. It even got as low as $150 at Costco on Black Friday. Today's sale isn't quite that low, but it's close at $160.

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TP-Link's versatile HS100 Wi-Fi Smart Plugs are 2 for $20 ($30 off) at B&H, but only for today

Wi-Fi-connected plugs can add smarts to just about any dumb appliance. Air conditioning window units, space heaters, lamps; anything that has a switch and plugs into the wall. They're generally an affordable way to dip a toe in the smart home water, and this deal makes them even more so: today only, you can snag a two-pack of TP-Link's HS100 smart plugs for just 20 bucks at B&H.

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Ikea's cheap Tradfri smart outlets are now available in a few countries

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.

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Arlo announces the Arlo Ultra security camera with 4K HDR video, coming early 2019 starting at $400 [Update]

Arlo, a recently spun-off Netgear business, has been making wireless security cameras for several years. We've covered the Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 a lot because they're far and away the best fully wireless cameras on the market, but the current offerings top out at 1080p. That changes with the upcoming Arlo Ultra. These cameras, expected in early 2019, will sport 4K HDR video, a spotlight, color night vision, and more.

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Save $80 when you buy a Google Home Hub with select Nest products

Google Home Hub has some neat integrations with various smart home products. You can, for example, use it to adjust thermostats, or see who's at the front door. Google-owned Nest just so happens to make both smart thermostats and smart doorbells, among other things — and right now, you can save 80 bucks by buying a Hub with select Nest products on the Google Store.

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