Give the gift of home automation to yourself and/or others this holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a smart thermostat, a home security camera or a connected light bulb, check out these smart home devices tested and recommended by the editors of PC Magazine:
Control devices by voice command. Whether you want to turn on the lights or listen to music, Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker powered by Alexa, Amazon’s handy voice assistant. You can use Alexa to power most of the gadgets in your home by voice command. Google Home is a similar option.
Automate your home surveillance. The iCamera Keep Pro from iSmartAlarm ($199.99) is a home security camera that works as a standalone device or can be incorporated into a larger system. Useful features include a powerful image sensor, motion and sound detection, time-lapse and event-triggered video recording, and a motion-tracking feature.
See who’s at your door. A different take on the home security camera, the SkyBell HD is a video doorbell that lets you see and speak with whoever is outside. It delivers highly detailed video with color night vision and features several seconds of footage prior to a triggered event. Another option is the Ring Video Doorbell.
Adjust the temp remotely. With products like the Ecobee 3 or the Nest Learning Thermostat, you can not only control the temperature in your home, but you can also play music and/or hear the latest news and weather reports using Alexa voice commands.
Light up your life. Want wireless supremacy over the lights in your home? The Philips Hue line delivers with bulbs that let you control not just the intensity of the light, but also the color. It even has bulbs you can use outdoors, as does the Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb White and Color option, which doesn’t require a hub, and responds to Alexa or Google Home Assistant.