The 15 best smart home gadgets you need in 2020
Make life easier with our favorite smart home gadgets.
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As you think about your resolutions for 2020, simplifying your life with the help of our favorite smart home products should be at the top of your list. Because, in addition to smart assistants, you can control the best smart home products from the gadget’s companion app on your compatible smartphone or tablet wherever you are. (Yes, it’s really that easy.)
We’ve put these products through the wringer—testing the ins and outs of how they work. So, you can rest assured that these are the 15 very best smart products to make 2020 your easiest year yet.
1. Our favorite robot vacuum so you don’t have to clean
The Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C is the best smart robot vacuum you can get for the money. It’s got great suction that is on par with a light cleaning from a regular vacuum, and it works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Plus, it’s one less chore you have to worry about.
2. Our favorite smart bulbs so you can turn the lights on and off from anywhere
New to smart bulbs? The Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit are the best smart light bulbs you can buy and they’re great for beginners. These bulbs are easy to set up, come with a robust suite of features, and integrate with an intuitive app — all while playing nice with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Once you throw in the additional rainbow of possible light colors (up to 16 million), these are without a doubt the best smart bulbs to make your life easier.
3. Our favorite outdoor smart plug so you can automate your outdoor dècor
An outdoor smart plug might seem excessive, but if you’ve got string lights on your patio or any other sort of outdoor set up that requires power, then you’ll appreciate that our favorite outdoor smart plug can be controlled via an app, so you don’t have to worry about plugging anything in. It stands up to the outdoor elements, and it’s easy to use with two separate plugs that can be controlled independently.
4. Our favorite in-wall dimmer switches so you can turn on the lights before you get home
One of the coolest features about our favorite in-wall smart dimmer, the Lutron Caséta Wireless Smart Lighting Starter Kit, is that the lights automatically adjust as the seasons change, meaning you won't come home to a dark house after work.
And, unlike every other smart dimmer we tested, Lutron also offers the only dimmer that doesn't require a neutral power line, something that isn't common in the electrical wiring of older homes. This switch is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
5. Our favorite smart speaker so you can get all of your questions answered
Start the year off right with our favorite Echo speaker, the Echo (third-generation). The Alexa-enabled device can help you keep track of your schedule, check the weather, get commute times, read headlines, play music, and more.
6. Our favorite smart leak detector so you can avoid costly home repairs
Leaky pipes can cause major headaches for homeowners. Do yourself a favor to avoid frozen or cracked pipes before it becomes a problem with our favorite smart water leak detector, the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Water Leak and Freeze Detector. The detector works over WiFi for easy setup, doesn't need a hub, and should last up to three years on AA batteries.
7. Our favorite outdoor camera to keep an eye on your home while you’re away
From long workdays to family vacations, our favorite outdoor smart security camera, Google Nest Cam, can help you see what’s happening at home when you’re away. When coupled with a Nest Aware subscription, the camera can differentiate between people and pets, create clips that you can share, and can store video to the cloud.
8. Our favorite smart indoor camera so you can check in on your dog during the day
Wonder what your dog does all day while you’re away? You can check in on your four-legged best friend with our favorite indoor smart security camera, the Logitech Circle 2. We love the Logitech Circle 2 for its easy setup, wire-free convenience, free 24-hour cloud storage, and well-designed app with its clever Daily Brief feature that creates a montage of the day’s events. It works with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant.
9. Our favorite smart switch so you can turn off the lights from bed
Much like smart bulbs and smart dimmers, you can control your lights at home remotely using our favorite smart in-wall switch. This set works with Google and Alexa. A smart switch is also a good idea if you want to give the appearance that you’re at home (like turning the lights on and off at certain times), even when you’re not there.
10. Our favorite smart plug so you can turn off the TV from afar
Sometimes it’s hard to remember to turn off the TV or unplug hot hair tools like a curling iron when you’re in a rush. However, you probably don’t want to leave these gadgets running when you’re not at home. With our best value smart plug by Eufy, you can shut off whatever is plugged in from anywhere using the EufyHome app. This plug also offers energy monitoring, scheduling routines, and seamless integration with Alexa and Google Assistant.
11. Our favorite smart thermostat so you can adjust the temperature from your bed
Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference, like being able to turn on the heat on a cold winter morning or adjusting the air conditioning while you’re on vacation. You can do just that with our favorite smart thermostat, the Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Thermostat. Nest and Honeywell may be better known smart thermostat brands, but the Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Thermostat had the least stressful installation process, a helpful app, and functionality across multiple “smart” assistants.
12. Our favorite smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector to keep your family safe
The new year is a good time to check in on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace them with the best smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector on the market: the Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. It sends push notifications when it senses smoke or carbon monoxide and offers voice alerts, which are helpful in the event of an emergency because the detector can give you specific alerts like, “There’s smoke detected in the hallway.”
13. Our favorite smart door lock so you can ditch your keys
Tired of carrying around a heavy set of keys in your pocket or purse? You need the best smart lock, so you can ditch your keys, and avoid getting locked out of the house. The Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt can store and remember up to 100 permanent, temporary, or recurring passcodes for everyone to use. And, it works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
14. Our favorite smart sprinkler controller so you can have a beautiful lawn
The second-generation Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is currently our favorite smart sprinkler controller because it offers a ton of easy to use options and isn't intimidating to install. The sprinkler gives you the ability to set a watering schedule, and comes with a Weather Intelligence feature that enables the sprinkler system to automatically skip a session if rain or excessive wind is underway. It works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri.
15. Our favorite smart doorbell so you know when a package has been delivered.
Our top pick for smart doorbells is the Google Nest Hello Smart WiFi Video Doorbell. It excels at delivering alerts right away from over WiFi when you’re at home or cellular data when you’re out and about. This doorbell also offers the best video and audio quality of any doorbell we tested, facial recognition alerts for familiar faces, package delivery notifications, and more useful features that will make you feel secure.
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