Homeowner, married with two kids, willing to spend a little more for extra convenience and aesthetic.
My wife and I both work full time and have somewhat sporadic schedules. Getting two kids ready and out the door makes it feel like we’re always scrambling, and we constantly forget to turn lights off, set the alarm, or lock doors. Consistency is hard to come by, so we want smart home devices that work together easily and that we can control from our smartphones with as little effort as possible. We decided to go all-in on Nest.
Kyle's favorite IFTTT compatible devices
|Outdoor camera||Nest Outdoor IQ||View price|
|Indoor camera||Nest Indoor IQ||View price|
|Thermostat||Nest Thermostat||View price|
|Doorbell||Nest Hello||View Price|
|Alarm system||Nest Secure||View price|
|Air quality / Fire / CO||Nest Protect||View price|
|Smart lights||Philips Hue||View Price|
|Virtual Assistant||Amazon Echo||View price|
Renter, single, mostly budget-minded, but willing to splurge on something that lasts.
I rent a townhome with a roommate, and I have a lot of music gear that I want to protect against both theft and environmental concerns—since extreme temperatures and humidity problems can ruin equipment. I also want to be able to check in with my roommate’s dog while I’m at work because he chews books (you could say he’s hungry for knowledge).
Trev's favorite IFTTT devices
|Outdoor camera||Canary Flex||View price|
|Indoor camera||Canary All-in-One||View price|
|Thermostat||ecobee Smart Thermostat||View price|
|Alarm system||Scout Alarm System||View price|
|Air quality / Fire / CO||Nest Protect||View price|
|Smart lights||LIFX||View price|
|Virtual Assistant||Google Home||View price|
IFTTT outdoor security cameras
Nest Outdoor IQ
Kyle: I picked the the Nest Outdoor IQ for its upgraded 1080p resolution and 4K color sensor. It produces super high-quality footage, which makes it easy to spot bad guys, and since it’s Nest, I can access footage using the same app I use for most of my other devices. I live in Utah, with cold winters, so the Outdoor IQ is great for me because it can operate in temperatures as low as -40°.
Read more about Nest Outdoor IQ in our outdoor cameras review.
Trev: I liked the Canary cameras, as you can read in our review, and the Flex’s pivot magnetic base gives me a lot of options for placement. On top of that, I’ll have to use only one app (Canary’s mobile app) for my camera feeds. This cam has night vision, motion tracking, and person detection, which would save me the trouble of checking needless alerts.
IFTTT indoor cameras
Nest Indoor IQ
Kyle: One of the cooler things I liked about the Nest Indoor IQ is the familiar face recognition. Basically, it can distinguish between someone in my family or a bad guy entering the home. I like this because I don’t get an alert every time my daughter runs in front of the camera, but I will get one if someone breaks in who the IQ doesn’t recognize. I did have to upgrade to a Nest Aware subscription for this, but it’s totally worth it—especially if you’re going all-in on Nest anyway. Read our Nest IQ Indoor review for more details.
Trev: I spent a little more on the security camera for a nicer one that had extra benefits. One of my concerns is maintaining a good environment for my musical instruments. On top of catching intruders or watching wild pets, the Canary cam can detect air quality, including humidity. My solid-top acoustic guitars are all humidified, but if for some reason the humidity really dries up, I can have Canary alert me. Read our Canary review for more information.
Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)
Kyle: Because our schedules can be unpredictable, it’s always been hard for my wife and I to set the thermostat on a consistent schedule. The Nest Learning Thermostat can sense when we’re gone and turn the heat down for us. The best part for us is that we can turn the heat up from our smartphones when we’re on the way home, so the house is nice and comfortable by the time we get home and put the kids to bed.
ecobee Smart Thermostat
Trev: Not only is this one a bit cheaper than Nest, but it has one of the coolest aesthetic layouts out of any smart device. I’ve used the Nest before and think it’s worth the money, but I’m trying to save a bit where possible. The ecobee Smart Thermostat fits my needs and looks great.
If you’re after more ways to beat the heat, warm the soul, or keep your cool, you should read our Best Smart Thermostats article.
Kyle: I’ve used a Ring doorbell camera for a while now, and I’ve really liked it. It’s just a little bulky for my taste and looks like an old Nokia brick phone is drilled to the front of my house. I just ordered the new Nest Hello doorbell camera because it’ll let me control my doorbell from the same app as the rest of my Nest devices. Plus, I like the design a lot better.
Trev: Skybell works for me because it’s cheaper than Nest, has two-way audio to speak to the delivery person if I’m not home, and multiple people can receive alerts directly so my roommate can stay in the loop.
We recommend looking at our Best Video Doorbells article for more information.
IFTTT alarm system
Kyle: I wanted the option to have professional monitoring without a contract so I could pick and choose when I want my security system to be monitored. Nest Secure lets me monitor my system myself and connect all my other Nest devices. I especially love the Quiet Open feature on the door and window sensors that lets me deactivate a single sensor to take out the garbage without having to enter a code and shut down the system.
Trev: Scout’s one of the cheaper security systems that still functions well and looks good in a modern home, and more importantly, the monitoring service itself costs only $10 a moth to use. (Some companies charge over $50 per month!) It has access sensors, motion detection, and a slew of IFTTT recipes to use.
Smart air quality / Fire / CO detectors
Kyle: I chose the Nest Protect not only because it integrates with everything else, but because it’s just a better all-around smoke and CO detector if you have kids. Instead of emitting an earsplitting siren, it tells me in which room it detects danger. Also, when the Nest Protect runs out of batteries, it doesn’t keep me awake at night with that annoying chirping sound. It will send a notification to my phone when it senses the battery is getting low, so I can replace it before it runs out.
Canary + Nest Protect
Trev: So the Canary works for measuring air quality, but the company explicitly says that Canary All-in-One does NOT work as a replacement for dedicated smoke and carbon monoxide detection. Nest Protect works as a two-in-one for CO and fire detection, but it also has a Pathlight feature that illuminates the area when it detects motion (read: a cool night light).
Kyle: Philips Hue lights come with next-level integration for all things Nest, so naturally we went with this option. Philips Hue can register motion from my Nest Cam or Nest Secure sensors and turn lights on for me.
I can also connect Philips Hue lights to the Nest Protect to flash warning lights if it senses smoke or CO levels getting too high. And the best part for me is that when I set my Nest system to Away mode, it will automatically turn lights off for me. This is great because I often leave lights on while hustling out the door.
Trev: The cool thing for me about LIFX is linking it to my Google Home and IFTTT setup to work with my Scout alarm. So for instance, if an alarm goes off, I can trigger the LIFX lights to strobe red. Some of the LIFX lights also have IR illuminators that can help improve night vision outside, making them even better for integrating into your IFTTT security setup.
For more bright ideas, switch over to our Best Smart Light Bulbs article.
Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)
Kyle: If I’m being honest, I use an Amazon Echo because I got it as a present. I was a little hesitant at first because I usually like to keep things cohesive and since Nest is owned by Google, I thought for sure I’d need a Google Home. Not the case. After using the Echo for a while, I’ve really liked how intuitive it is. And it integrates just fine with my Nest equipment, Philips Hue lights, and more.
Trev: I’ve used Google Assistant for a while now and it’s worked fine, so I have no desire to change. I figure if Google is the most powerful search engine in the world, the virtual assistant using that engine must also be pretty powerful. It can also connect to Chromecast so I don’t even have to find my remote.
Need a way to connect your stuff without these smart assistants? Check out our Best Smart Hubs article.
Best IFTTT devices recap
Just so you know, with IFTTT and your virtual assistant (Amazon Echo, Google Home, or otherwise), you can link just about any set of smart devices together. And if what you want to do doesn’t work directly with the apps you already have, chances are you can make an IFTTT recipe for it. You may want to scope out the official IFTTT website for some ideas of recipes you can use.
Other brands worth considering:
- Samsung SmartThings
We didn’t touch on everything out there, like smart locks, smart plugs, and more, but check out our other pieces for more info. And if you’re curious about something in particular, leave us a comment below!