Best Cheap Smart Home Devices
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. Make sure you check out all of our top picks for smart speakers, lights, locks, and more on our best smart home gadgets page.
iClever Smart Plug
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 $21.99, it's one of the cheapest smart plugs on the market.
Aukey Wi-Fi Smart Plug
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 HS105 Smart Plug
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.
TP-Link Kasa HS107
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.
TP-Link Kasa KP400 Outdoor Plug
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
Lifx Mini Smart Bulb
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.
Roost Smart Battery
Insert this Wi-Fi-connected battery into any smoke detector, and you'll be notified on your smartphone whenever the detector is activated. The Roost app also lets you alert others, and, as a nice touch, there's a snooze button, in case the alarm went off because you were cooking up a steak in your kitchen.
Weber iGrill Mini
The iGrill’s handy little Bluetooth-connected thermometer will send an alert to your smartphone when your steak is ready. Plus, its app will give you recommended cooking times and temperatures. It’s a real grillmaster helper, which is why it's also one of the best gadgets for home cooks.
Logitech Harmony 665
One of Logitech's most affordable universal remotes, the Harmony 665 can nonetheless control up to 10 of your entertainment devices at once. While it lacks the ability to control other smart home devices (you'll need to upgrade to one of Logitech's other universal remotes), the 665 is an affordable and effective solution for those on a budget.
Sengled Element Starter Kit
While they don't work with as many smart home systems as Philips', the Sengled Element smart bulbs are much less expensive—extra bulbs are just around $9 each. They're a great option for those who want to save a few bucks outfitting their smart home. It's why they're on our list of the best smart lights.
Google Home Mini
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. The Mini is available in charcoal gray, chalk gray, coral, and mint green.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
The 3rd-generation Echo Dot is the least expensive way to get voice control into your home. This $49 hockey puck lets you control all manner of devices, play music, order pizza and cars, and much more—all without lifting a finger. The newest Echo Dot has a much better look than the previous model, and a much-improved speaker that sounds miles better. Check out our guide to all that Amazon’s Alexa can do.
If you have a bunch of ceiling-mounted lights, it's often more economical to get a smart light switch, rather than a lot of smart light bulbs. Leviton's Decora is our favorite smart light switch, as it supports three-way switches, has a dimmer built in, and works with Google Home and Alexa. Lutron's app is pretty robust, too.
EZViz Mini O 1080p Security Camera
Although it costs less than $50, The EZViz Mini O 1080p offers 1080p video that's good both day and night. The camera's app not only lets you adjust its sensitivity, but also has motion zones, something you find only on more expensive cameras. You can store videos locally on a microSD card slot of in the cloud (plans start at $5.99/month for 7 days of storage). You can also control the camera using Alexa and Google Assistant.
Philips Hue White Starter Kit
Philips Hue lights are among the most popular for smart homes, and with good reason: They're easy to use, have a robust app, and work with the greatest number of smart home systems. The bulbs in the Philips Hue White Starter Kit don't change colors, but they do dim, and are a relatively affordable way to dip your toe into smart home gadgets.
Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat
Most smart-home thermostats cost well over $200. The RTH6580WF from Honeywell isn’t as flashy as those from Nest or Ecobee, but it gets the job done and works with just as many — if not more — smart-home systems as its more expensive competition.
MORE: Best Smart Thermostats
Samsung SmartThings Hub
Samsung’s SmartThings Hub lets you connect smart-home devices that otherwise wouldn’t work with each other. Samsung’s app also allows you to group items together into rooms and create scenes that will let you automate functions, such as adjusting the shades, lights and thermostat at a certain time of day, or when you come home from work. The newest version of the hub loses the battery backup of the gen-2 model, but you no longer have to plug it into your home router.
MORE: Best Smart Home Hubs
Blink Security Camera
This no-frills security camera records in 720p and uses infrared to detect motion up to 20 feet away. While it doesn’t have the highest fidelity, it can store up to 20 hours of recordings for free in the cloud. And you can connect it to other smart-home devices, such as Philips Hue smart lights, Alexa, Google Home. However, this camera is getting a successor. The new Blink XT2 ($89.99) is an indoor/outdoor wireless security camera with a resolution of 1080p, two-way talk, customizable motion detection zones, and free cloud storage for up to 120 minutes of video. It runs on two AA batteries, which should last up to two years. If you have an Amazon Echo device and an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or Fire TV, you can also ask Alexa to show a live feed from the XT2. The camera will be available on May 22.
Amazon Echo (2nd Gen)
Amazon's second-generation Echo is smaller and more attractive than the original, but sounds just as good, and gives you full access to Alexa. Plus, you can swap the cover of the Echo to one that matches your decor.