You don’t need to be a millionaire to make your home smart. Here are the best devices under $100 that will let you 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.
This lilliputian plug turns any dumb device “smart” by letting you control it via a smartphone app. It’s best used with things like floor lamps, but you could even use it to have your coffee maker turn on at a specific time. It’s compatible with Alexa, Google Home, Nest and IFTTT. Best of all, the Mini doesn’t block your second outlet.
These bulbs connect directly to your Wi-Fi network — no hub needed — and are both dimmable and tunable, so you can go from bright daylight to keep you alert, to soft white light in the evenings. A circadian mode automatically adjusts the lights to the time of day, and you can control them via Alexa or Google Home.
MORE: Smart Light Bulb Guide
If there are any drawbacks to the Echo Dot, it's that it's speaker isn't great for listening to music, and it needs to be plugged in to work. The Vaux solves both those issues; just dock your Dot into this accessory, and you not only get improved audio (the Vaux has its own speakers), as well as up to 6 hours of battery life. It's a no-brainer update for those who want to take their Dots outside.
Google's answer to the Amazon Echo Dot, the Home Mini is a small smart speaker that delivers Google Assistant to your house. While a snafu with the touch-sensitive controls on top resulted in Google deactivating this feature, it's still a very cost-effective device that not only sounds better, but looks better than Amazon's competing device.