Smart home devices are all the rage these days, but with so many options, how do you pick the best of the bunch? Here’s a rundown of some of our favorite home automation products in different categories, so you can find the best thermostat, light bulbs, or security system for your home.
Best Home Automation Products
Best smart security systems
Smart security systems protect your home and let you automate your house so you never have to touch a light switch again. These security systems all work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and they let you add in third-party smart devices.
Best smart home security systems:
Vivint is a professionally installed security system with Z-Wave functionality. Vivint designs its own equipment, and it offers a bunch of different smart home devices (like smart outlets and a smart thermostat).
You can also get security cameras with smart features like person detection and lurker alerts.
Abode is one of the few security systems that supports both Z-Wave and Zigbee functionalities. It also works with a wide range of smart speakers, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and even Sonos.
ADT Command is the smart home option from ADT: the most popular home security system on the market. ADT Command integrates with Z-Wave and lets you add on a slew of smart home devices to automate everything from lights to locks.
Source: ADT Home Security
Scout Alarm is the only security system we know of (other than Abode) that supports both Z-Wave and Zigbee functionalities. Scout also supports RFID control, which lets you arm and disarm your security system with RFID stickers and tags, instead of pulling out your phone or typing in a code.
Best smart home hubs
Smart hubs let you add devices from different manufacturers and use them together through a single app.
If you're wanting smart home functionality without a whole home security system, smart hubs tie everything together for you.
Best smart home hubs:
Samsung SmartThings is the gold standard for smart home hubs. It works with both Z-Wave and Zigbee (among other smart home protocols) and supports dozens of different third-party devices.
SmartThings also makes its own home security and smart home devices. But no matter which supported brand you choose, SmartThings lets you control everything from one mobile app.
If you already love the classic Amazon Echo, then you’ll love the 4th gen Echo even more. The new Echo has the Alexa support you already know, plus Zigbee functionality that lets it work as a total smart home hub.
Best smart security cameras
Security cameras help you keep an eye on your property while you’re away. Whether you want a full-on camera system that can peek into every corner or just a doorbell camera that watches your porch, smart security cameras offer cloud storage and AI features like facial recognition.
Best smart security cameras:
Arlo Ultra is one of the most impressive smart security cameras on the market. It offers ultra HD 4K resolution along with a slew of impressive smart features. The Arlo Ultra gives you person, vehicle, and animal detection so you get smarter alerts. Plus, it works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.
Source: Arlo via Amazon.com
Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor
As with most Nest devices, the Google Nest Cam IQ Outdoor gives you some top-notch tech features. This Nest Cam can not only detect people, it also has facial recognition so it can tell you when it spots a familiar face. That’s alongside quality camera features like 1080p resolution, cloud storage, and custom activity zones.
Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor
The Google Nest Cam IQ Indoor has a lot of the same great features as the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor, but tailored for the great indoors. You still get person detection and familiar face recognition, as well as HD recording and convenient cloud storage.
Wyze Cam v2
The biggest selling point for the Wyze Cam v2 is that it’s affordable. At about $50, the Wyze Cam is one of the cheaper security cameras on the market, and it still gives you some impressive features for the price.
The Wyze Cam offers 1080p HD recording, night vision, and two-way audio. Plus, the Wyze Cam has both cloud storage and local storage options.
Best smart light bulbs
Smart light bulbs go beyond the old-school timer and let you set schedules, routines, and rules for your lights. With the right smart light bulbs, you’ll never have to leave a comfy spot just to adjust the lights ever again.
Best smart light bulbs:
Philips Hue is the most popular smartbulb brand on the market and for good reason. It integrates with dozens of other smart home devices, and it offers excellent features like mobile and voice control.
Source: Philips Hue via Amazon.com
You can get multiple types of smart lights through Philips Hue, including white and color bulbs and adjustable smart lightstrips.
Yeelight Smart LED
The Yeelight Smart LED Bulb is a compelling alternative to the Philips Hue. Unlike the Philips Hue, the Yeelight doesn’t require a separate bridge to connect it to your Wi-Fi. And the Yeelight still offers smart integrations and adjustable colors and light temperatures.
Source: Yeelight via Amazon.com
As with all things Wyze, the Wyze Bulb is an affordable light bulb that still has some good features. This bulb doesn’t require a hub to connect to your Wi-Fi, and it lets you adjust the color temperature. That said, the Wyze Bulb currently comes only in white.
If your smart home system doesn’t integrate with Philips Hue, it probably integrates with LIFX. LIFX offers multiple types of bulbs as well as special lighting for purposes like gaming and watching movies and TV shows.
Source: LIFX via Amazon.com
Best smart door locks
Have you ever left for work and couldn’t remember whether or not you locked the front door? Smart door locks give you peace of mind that your front door (or back door, or side door) never go unsecured. Check the status and control your door lock from anywhere.
Best smart door locks:
August Smart Lock Pro
The August Smart Lock Pro modifies your existing deadbolt to give you smart lock functionality without swapping out the whole kit and caboodle. With the August, you can control your lock remotely. Plus, the lock can lock and unlock automatically depending on your phone’s location. Way to ditch the keys.
Source: August Smart Lock via Amazon.com
Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt
The Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Doorbell is one of the best smart locks on the market. It has a high security grade rating (ANSI/BHMA grade 1), and it hooks onto your Wi-Fi without requiring a separate bridge. The Schlage has an ADA-approved keypad and guest passcodes for your temporary visitors.
Source: Schlage via Amazon.com
Kwikset Halo Smart Lock
The Kwikset Halo Smart Lock is a nice-looking smart lock, and it makes it easy to create and control guest access codes. If you have a rental property you need to change the access codes for often, this is the lock to choose.
Source: Kwikset via Amazon.com
The Wyze Lock gives you a lot of the same features as the August Smart Lock Pro but at an even cheaper price. At only about $129, the Wyze is one of the cheapest smart locks out there. And, like the August, the Wyze modifies your existing deadbolt so you don’t have to compromise security to get the low price.
Best smart thermostats
Smart thermostats reduce energy usage and even learn your habits. Your smart thermostat can get to know when you tend to leave for work in the mornings and when you come home. After a while, your thermostat will know when to turn the temperature up or down even better than you do.
Best smart thermostats:
Ecobee Smart Thermostat with Voice Control
Ecobee has a few smart thermostats on the market, but the Voice Control model is the most impressive. Not only can the Ecobee up your thermostat game (by, like, a lot) but it can also respond to voice commands and even play Spotify.
Source: Ecobee via Amazon.com
If you want to control the temperature in specific rooms, Ecobee also offers remote sensors you can put in separate places so the thermostat can measure the nursery’s temperature as well as the living room’s.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat
The Google Nest Learning Thermostat tracks when you tend to be home and away, so it can control the temperature of your house all on its own. After about a week or so of using it, the Nest thermostat will have a sense of what temperatures your family needs, and you can take your hands off the dial.
Honeywell T5+ Smart Thermostat
If you want a smart thermostat at a lower-ish price, the Honeywell T5+ is a nice middle ground. It costs less than $200 but still gives you smart home integrations like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control.
Source: Honeywell via Amazon.com
Mysa Smart Thermostat
If you have a baseboard heating system, then the Mysa Smart Thermostat is your ticket to better temperature control. Most smart thermostats don’t work with baseboard heating, but the Mysa is built for it. And this thermostat still offers smart home integrations like IFTTT, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
Source: Mysa via Amazon.com
Whether you want to adjust your thermostat, install a security camera for your yard, or schedule your lights, home automation products can simplify the whole process.
These home automation products will let you control your house from your phone and can make your life a whole lot easier.
Ready to start integrating smart devices into your life? Check out some of our other reviews.
Home automation is definitely worth it for those looking for more convenience and increased security. And automation technology like smart thermostats, outlets, plugs, and light bulbs can even save you money on your energy bill.
Home automation can also be a great benefit for people with disabilities. For example, the Learning Disability Resources Foundation explains that smart home features help those with disabilities become more independent and increase their accessibility.
A major perk of home automation is that it can be 100% customized to anyone's budget. The price of your home automation can range anywhere from $50 to $3,000, give or take. The cost will really depend on which automation devices you choose. And some smart home brands (like ADT) cost a lot more than others (like Ring). Complete security systems will cost you a lot more than using a few smart plugs or smart light bulbs throughout your home.