You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to set up your smart home. There are a number of devices, many under $100, that you can use to turn on your lights, change the temperature, play music, TV shows and movies, and even keep an eye on your house while you’re away. These are some of our favorite budget smart home devices.
The iClever smart plug is not only small enough to leave an adjacent outlet open, but it's also a breeze to set up. You can create scenes, and automate your plug to turn on and off based on various conditions, including temperature, humidity, weather, pollution, sunrise and sunset. And with a two-pack at just $24, it's one of the cheapest smart plugs on the market.
While it lacks some of the advanced scheduling and features found on TP-Link's smart plugs, Aukey's Wi-Fi Smart Plug covers the basics—they work with both Google Assistant and Alexa—and are about half the price as most other smartplugs. In fact, Aukey sells them in packs of two for around $24. We also liked that Aukey's plugs are small enough so that you can fit two in each outlet.
TP-Link's HS105 is our favorite smart plug for its small design, great app, and low price. It's an easy way to make a lamp or some other "dumb" device in your house smart. Just plug it into the HS-105, and you'll be able to set schedules for when it turns on and off, and you can control it remotely from your smartphone.
What's better than a smart plug with one outlet? How about a smart plug with two? TP-Link's Kasa HS107 has outlets on either end that can be controlled using buttons on the plug itself, or through the Kasa app. We also liked that it doesn't take up too much room, and has a lot of smart features, such as an Away mode that makes it look like you're home.
Most smart plugs are designed for indoor use only, but what about when you want to control your outdoor lights using your smartphone? TP-Link's Kasa KP400 is designed to withstand the elements, and works with a ton of smart home systems (such as Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit).We found it was easy to set up and use, and it has two outlets, which can be controlled independently, a major plus.
Credit: Tom's Guide
The lilliputian Lifx Mini Wi-Fi-connected smart bulbs are small enough so that they should fit into most fixtures where you're replacing a traditional lightbulb. While we found setup a bit tricky—it took upwards of 15 minutes—the bulbs were a cinch to use after, through their smartphone app. In addition to Alexa and Google Home, you can link the bulbs with almost any smart-home ecosystem you can name, including Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Logitech Harmony, IFTTT, Xfinity, Flic, Yeti, Yonomi and even Microsoft Cortana.
Think of it as an Echo Dot without the speaker. Plug the Amazon Echo Input into your home stereo system or non-smart speaker, and you can then stream music through the Input to the speakers you already own. The Input has four mics, and heard us loud and clear in our tests. At less than half an inch in height, it's very unobtrusive. It works great and, at $35 is inexpensive, but if you don't mind the larger size, you can accomplish the same thing with a second-generation Echo Dot for about half the price.