15 Stylish Smart Home Tech Gifts to Give and Get
Smart home gadgets are at the top of our list this holiday season, and for good reason. These practical and thoughtful tech gifts will boost your home's IQ and make December a month to remember.
Wherever you fall on the smart home products spectrum, this year's hottest tech gifts offer the latest in entertainment, assistance, and ease. They aren't all flash, either. Think: a door that unlocks as you approach with hands full of groceries, lighting controlled by your voice, and lawn care that can be managed from afar. Our list includes home tech gifts that men, women, and even kids will connect with. And if you find a little something for yourself while shopping, it'll be our little secret.
1. Remote Water Management: B Hyve Hose Faucet Timer
Gone are the days of fretting over forecasts or troubling neighbors to turn on sprinklers while you're away. The smart Orbit B Hyve Hose Faucet Timer connects to any hose faucet and lets users care for their lawn or plants remotely thanks to a smartphone app that receives real-time weather updates. Add this to the list of gifts new homeowners actually want!
2. Portable Charger: The Beam
Enjoying the great outdoors and fully juiced devices doesn't have to be an either/or scenario. This rechargeable power bank can juice up one tablet or two smartphones in a single charge, and a built-in solar panel serves as a secondary way to recharge if an outlet isn't within reach.
Buy It: The Beam, $25
3. Voice Assistance: Amazon Echo Plus
Turn your house into the smartest home on the block with the help of the all-new Amazon Echo Plus, Amazon’s voice assistant. Sure you can ask Alexa about the weather and play music—in fact, the premium speakers powered by Dolby make any audio sound great—but you can also control compatible devices such as smart lights, thermostats and door locks without lifting a finger. And with seven microphones Alexa can hear you from any direction even while music is playing. Smart home, indeed.
Buy It: Echo Plus, $150
4. Light Bulbs: Philips Hue
This one is for the master of mood lighting or the person who enjoys the convenience of connected lighting. Dim the kitchen lights for a romantic dinner, brighten the bedroom before emerging from the sheets, or illuminate your home's exterior—all with your voice.
5. Humidifier: Rowenta Aqua Perfect
Seasonal ailments don't have to put a damper on holiday festivities. Soothe dry winter skin and stuffy sinuses with a chic touch-operated humidifier that automatically adjusts its settings to your room's temperature. Foldable handles make it a cinch to move around the house.
6. Voice Control for Outlets: Amazon Smart Plug
Creatures of habit will love the Amazon Smart Plug, which uses WiFi and the Alexa app to voice-control appliances, lights, and fans. Set a routine (coffee, anyone?) in a few simple steps and enjoy the extra time with your morning paper.
7. Hands-Free Media Player: Fire TV Cube
Grab the popcorn and get comfy. Amazon's Fire TV Cube lets you control the TV with your voice. Search for movies and shows, or ask it to play, pause, skip ahead, or adjust the volume without lifting a finger.
Buy It: Fire TV Cube, $120
8. Smart TV Soundbar: Sonos Beam
If you want to bring immersive, movie theater-like sound to your home (or man cave), try the new Sonos Beam. Use it to stream TV and movies, radio, podcasts, videogames, and audiobooks. Its compact size won't throw off your decorating feng shui, either.
9. Grill Thermometer: Weber i-Grill Mini
A shiny new toy for the grill master that takes the guesswork out of grill time. This bluetooth-capable thermometer notifies you via smartphone when food is ready to eat, so you can spend less time supervising the grill and more time enjoying those favorite grilling recipes.
Buy It: Weber i-Grill Mini, $32
10. Lock System: August Lock Smart Lock Pro + Connect
Today's lock systems can do more than give you peace of mind, they can also give a hand with the groceries. The "auto-unlock" feature senses when you're near and unlocks the door as you approach. Two more things to love about this smart lock: It attaches to your deadbolt so you can upgrade your existing lock (and your keys will still work), and you can grant guests (like a dog walker or contractor) temporary access via digital keys.
11. Garage Opener: MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener
If a full-on garage remodel simply isn't in the cards this year, relax. You can give your standard garage door the smart treatment for under $100 with this cool opener.
12. Smart Thermostat: ecobee3 lite
Reviewers praise this popular thermostat for its easiness to install and compatibility with a range of smart systems including Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, Wink, and IFTTT.
13. Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Camera: Arlo Technologies Security System
Want to keep an eye on your home while you're away? Watch package deliveries and comings and goings with a discreet indoor/outdoor camera. This weatherproof, wireless design conserves battery power by only recording when it senses motion. Another bonus: night vision!
14. Kid-Friendly Tablet: Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
What's so great about Amazon's newest tablet for kids, you ask? Each full-featured device comes with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a service chock-full of books, games, and movies geared exclusively toward little ones. If that doesn't convince you to keep your iPad to yourself, a nonslip rubberized case and a two-year, no-questions-asked replacement policy ought to do the trick.
Buy It: Fire HD 8 Kids Edition, $100
15. Smart Home Monitoring System: Notion
Don't be fooled by Notion's small size. Its subtle, Oreo-size sensors can detect water leaks, open doors, temperature changes, and sounding alarms, and then send an alert to your phone.