While Google Home is great at answering questions, setting timers and even playing music, its interaction with smart home gadgets is where the smart speaker really starts to shine.
But in order to get the most out of that home-automation capability, you need some smart home technology to control. While Google is still building out its smart home compatibility for the Home, here are some of the best smart home gadgets that work with Google Home right now.
Illustration: Tom's Guide; Google; Wink
Ever lie awake at night trying to remember if you locked the front door? Google Home can bring you peace of mind, with its support for the August Smart Lock. Just ask Google if your door is locked, and it'll tell you — if the door's unlocked, you can then lock it by voice. (Unlocking the door via voice command is not currently supported.)
Google Home can help you cook up a storm with its support for Anova's Precision Cooker. More often than not, when you're in the kitchen your hands are full or otherwise occupied, so voice control can be a real help. With Google Home integration and the Anova Cooker, you'll be able to start a sous-vide cooking session, raise and lower the temperature, see how much time is left on the timer, ask how long you've been cooking, and more.
Right out of the box, you can set up your Philips Hue lights to work with your Google Home. There are a number of Philips Hue products, but the starter set that includes a hub and three White and Color Ambiance lights is the most versatile, since it supports different colors and color temperatures. For a simpler option, pick up the cheaper $70 two-bulb starter set, which doesn't do different colors, but still lets you set dimming levels.
One of the coolest features of Google Home is the ability to instruct it to play video on a connected device. For the easiest way to integrate it with your existing gear, pick up Google's Chromecast. The little puck-size device connects to your HDTV via an HDMI cable and to your home network via Wi-Fi. Once you've hooked it up, you can, say, tell Google Home to play "Travelers" via Netflix on your Chromecast, and it'll start it right up for you. There are also audio-only and 4K versions of the Chromecast, depending on your needs.
Smart-home technology is still in its infancy, so if you have a household device that hasn't been smartified, Insignia's Wi-Fi Smart Plug is one option to bring it into the 21st century. Connect a fan, AC unit or coffeemaker to the plug, and you'll be able to ask Google Home to turn it on or off.
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If you're outfitting your home with smart technology, the Wink Hub 2 will connect a variety of intelligent accessories with Google Home. You can get Wink-compatible lighting products — including bulbs, switches, dimmers and outlets — as well as thermostats. Once you've set it up, you can ask Google Home to turn the lights off or on as well as turn the heat up or down. Among the Wink-compatible products are lighting offerings like the GE Link Starter Kit, as well as options from Philips and Sylvania; Lutron and Leviton switches and outlets; and Nest and Honeywell thermostats.
MORE: Best Smart Home Hubs
One of the easier and cheaper ways to automate your home equipment, the WeMo Insight Smart Plug can be inserted into a standard power outlet. Then you can plug all sorts of devices into the WeMo, whether it's a table lamp or a fan. Using the WeMo app, you can then set up schedules for that device to turn on or off at specific times. The Insight Plug can also be triggered by voice using Google Home, and gives you information about how much power is consumed.
MORE: Best Smart Plugs