Holiday Gift Guide 2017 – 2018: Home Automation

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Home automation or the smart home, has been an increasingly popular category the past few holiday seasons. With more and more people looking to make their home a bit smarter, so that they are able to control their home using their smartphone. And now in recent years with the introduction of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, using your voice. There are plenty of great smart home products available, and we've picked out the best that are currently available for 2017.

When thinking about a smart home, it's important to start on one platform. Which for Android users should be either Amazon's Alexa or Google Assistant. With Google Assistant being built into just about every Android smartphone, that will likely be the more popular choice. But there are some speakers or hubs, that will work for both assistants. One of the better Amazon Alexa speakers is the new Echo Plus. This has a built-in hub, allowing you to connect your smart home products much easier and seamlessly. Of course, it does have a speaker built-in and you can easily stream music over WiFi. We also have the Google Home, or if you want to go third-party, there's also the JBL LINK family of speakers that have the Google Assistant. If you are looking to go portable, the JBL LINK 10 or LINK 20 will be a great choice. But if you want something to sit in your living room, the Google Home is also a good choice.

"OK Google, turn on the lights". With just about every light bulb on this list, you'll be able to give that command to the Google Assistant or Alexa. One of our favorites is the LIFX A19 bulbs. LIFX's bulbs are great because there is no hub needed, which is something that Philips Hue cannot boast. These bulbs can be easily connected and then grouped by room if you wish to do so. They also work with other services like Samsung SmartThings and IFTTT. Another interesting light is the GE Lighting C, which is a light fixture with Alexa built in, so you don't even need to buy an Echo.

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How about cleaning your house? There are plenty of great robot vacuums available, in all sorts of price ranges. Of course, the Neato BotVac Connected is one of the more popular ones, since it works with Alexa. So users can command Alexa to turn on the BotVac and start cleaning your home. Of course BotVac Connected can also get its own schedules set up, and be controlled by your smartphone as well. All of that and much more are listed below. No matter your budget, there's something for everyone to make their home a bit more automated.

Prices listed below are subject to fluctuation. This post is updated regularly to try and ensure the most accurate pricing at the time.

Amazon Alexa-Enabled Speakers

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation): with improved sound, powered by Dolby, available in fabric and wood finishes
Amazon Echo Plus: With Built-In Hub, Better Design, Tuned by Dolby, Hands Free Calling & Messaging, Available in 3 Finishes
Sonos One: Alexa Smart Speaker, Multi-room Audio Support, Streams over Bluetooth & WiFi, Available in 2 Colors
Amazon Echo Spot: Alexa Support, Make Hands-Free Calls & Messages, Far Field Voice Recognition, Bluetooth & WiFi Streaming
Eufy Genie: Alexa Smart Speaker, 3 Months free Amazon Music Unlimited, Bluetooth & WiFi Streaming Supported
$24.99
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Ultimate Ears BLAST: Portable WiFi Speaker with Alexa Built-in, Bluetooth & WiFi Streaming Support, Includes 3 Months free Amazon Music Unlimited
FABRIQ Portable Smart Speaker: Bluetooth & WiFi Streaming, Alexa Built-in, Unique Fabric Covering, Multi-room Audio Support
$49.99
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Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation): Alexa Built-in, Smart Home Control, Bluetooth & WiFi Streaming, 3.5mm Line In
$29.99
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Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST: Portable Alexa Speaker, 10 Hr Battery Life, Includes 3 Months of Amazon Music Unlimited, Multiple Colors
Amazon Echo Show: Alexa Built-in, 7-inch Screen for Video Calls, Hands-Free Calls & Messaging, Thousands of Alexa Skills Available

Google Assistant-Enabled Speakers

Google Home Mini: Google Assistant included, Available in Multiple Colors, Bluetooth & WiFi Streaming Support
$29.99
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JBL Link 300: Non-Portable Google Assistant Smart Speaker, Powerful Bass, Far-Field Voice Recognition Technology
Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II): Wireless, Google Assistant Support, Active Noise Cancellation, 20 Hr Runtime
Google Home: Google Assistant Built-in, Bass Heavy Speaker, Interchangeable Bases, Non-portable, 2-inch High Excursion Driver
JBL Link 10: Small-size, Portable Google Assistant speaker, IPX7 Waterproof Rating, 5 Hr Runtime
JBL Link 20: Google Assistant Support, IPX7 Waterproofing rating, Far-Field Voice Recognition Technology, 10 Hr Runtime

Smart Light Bulbs

Philips Hue White A19 4-Pack: 60W, Dimmable LED Bulbs, Requires Hue Bridge, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
LIFX (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb: Adjustable, Multicolor, Dimmable, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
$54.99
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TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb: Dimmable, White, 50W Equivalent, Set Schedules & Timers, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Philips Hue Go Portable Dimmable LED Smart Light, 5 Hr Battery Life, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
LIFX Z LED Light strip: Multi-Color, Dimmable, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
LIFX Mini White (A19)Smart LED Bulb: Dimmable, Warm White, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb: Soft-White, Tunable, 60W, Dimmable, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant (coming soon)
TP-Link Multicolor Smart LED Bulb: Dimmable, 60W, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
LIFX BR30 Smart Bulb: White, Dimmable, Multicolored, No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
GE Lighting C: Lighting Fixture, Dimmable, Unique Design, Set Schedules & Timers, Alexa Built-in (Works like an Echo)
Philips Hue Bloom Dimmable LED Smart Table Lamp: Multicolored, Creates Indirect Ambient Lighting, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant

Smart Outlets & Light Switches

Wemo Insight Smart Plug: No Hub Required, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Set Timers, View Energy Usage
Wemo Light Switch: Easy to Install, Dimmer Included, Works with Alexa, IFTTT, Google Assistant
iHome iSP8 Wi-FI SmartPlug: View Energy Usage, Set Timers & Schedules, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
TP-Link Smart Plug Mini (2-Pack): Covers just one Outlet, Set Schedules, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Geeni SURGE Smart Wi-Fi Surge Protector: 4 Outlets, 4 USB outlets, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
iDevices Switch: Built-in customizable nightlight, Set Timers & Schedules with App, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Wemo Mini Smart Plug: Sleek form-factor doesn't cover additional outlets, Easy To Use, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch: Easy to Install, Dimmable, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Philips Hue Smart Dimmer Switch with Remote: Hue Bridge hub is required, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
OMOTON [2 Pack] Mini Wifi Smart Plug: Set schedules & Timers, Covers just one outlet, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant

Smart Security Cameras

Amazon Cloud Cam Indoor Security Camera: Two-Way Audio, 1080p Full HD video, Works with Alexa, Watch Stream on Fire TV & Echo Show
Ring Floodlight Camera Motion-Activated HD Security Cam: 720p Resolution Stream, Works with Alexa and Ring Doorbell
Nest Cam Indoor: 1080p streams, 130-degree wide angle view, Two-Way Audio, Wired, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Arlo Pro Security System: Includes Siren and 3 Cameras, Works with Alexa (Stream on Echo Show, Fire TV)
Logitech Circle 2: Indoor/outdoor, Weatherproof, 24 Hr Free Time Lapse, Cloud Storage Available, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Streams in 1080p, Get Notifications When Motion is Detected, Night Vision, Works with Alexa
TP-Link Kasa Cam: 130-degree Wide-Angle view, 1080p resolution, Night Vision support, Works with Alexa (streams on Echo Show, Fire TV)
Nest Cam Outdoor: Weatherproof, 130-degree Wide-Angle View, Wired, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant (coming soon)
Logitech Circle Wireless Video Camera: Battery-Powered, Indoor Only, Works with Alexa, and Google Assistant
Nest Cam IQ: 4K resolution, 12X Digital Zoom, Two-Way Audio, Indoor only, Wired, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant

Smart Door Locks

Amazon Key In-Home Kit: Includes Lock and Amazon Cloud Cam, Real-Time Notifications, Works with Alexa
August Smart Lock 2nd Generation: Easy to Install, Uses Existing Keys, Works with Alexa, Automatically locks when you leave
Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt with alarm: Touchscreen Keypad, Built-in Alarm with 3 Settings, Works with Alexa, Z-Wave
Yale Assure Lock: Uses existing keys, Touchscreen Keypad, Works with Alexa, Z-Wave, SmartThings & Wink
Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt: Holds 30 User Codes, Built-in Alarm, Works with Alexa via SmartThings
Kwikset 910 SmartCode Electronic Touchpad Deadbolt: Built-in Alarm with 3 Settings, Works with Z-Wave, Amazon via SmartThings
August Smart Lock 3rd Generation: Uses your Existing Keys, Easy to Install, Works with Alexa & SmartThings

Smart Thermostats

Honeywell RCHT8610WF2006 Lyric T5: Touchscreen, 7-Day Programmable Thermostat, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation: Touchscreen, Easy to Install, App-Controlled, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
ecobee4 Thermostat with Sensor: Alexa Built-in, Also Works with Google Assistant, Automatically Adjusts Temperature
Honeywell Smart Wi-Fi 7 Day Programmable Color Touch Thermostat: Advanced Locking Features, Works with Alexa
ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat: Easy Self-Installation, Works with Room Sensors (Sold Separately), Works with Alexa, Google Assistant
Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Thermostat: Big Colorful display, Compatible with HVAC Systems, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant via Wink
Lyric Round 2.0 Wi-Fi Smart Programmable Thermostat: Geofencing Support, Round Display, Works with Alexa
ecobee3 Thermostat with Sensor: Saves Energy by Auto-Adjusting Temperature, Works with Alexa, IFTTT
Nest Learning Thermostat, 2nd Generation: Auto-adjusts temperature to save Energy, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant

Smart Mops & Vacuums

iRobot Braava 380t Robot Mop: Dry Sweeping and Damp Mopping Modes, Northstar Navigation System acts as Indoor GPS
iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum: Works with Alexa, iAdapt 2.0 Navigation, 3-Stage Cleaning, Runs 120 Minutes
Neato Botvac Connected: Works with Alexa, Eco & Turbo Modes, LaserSmart Mapping & Navigation, Wi-Fi Enabled
Neato Robotics Botvac D3: Works with Alexa, Good for picking up pet Hair, LaserSmart Navigation, Easy to Operate
Eufy RoboVac 11 Plus: High Suction, Filter for Pet Fur & Allergens, Cleans Hardwood floors, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum Cleaner: High Suction, 120 Minute Runtime, 3-Step Cleaning System, Set Schedules for Cleaning
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum: Works with Alexa, 3-Stage Cleaning System, Schedule Cleaning Support, iAdapt 2.0 Navigation
ECOVACS DEEBOT N79 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner: Sensors to climb Uphill, Automatically Recharges, WiFi Connected
iRobot Roomba 650 Robot Vacuum: iAdapt Navigation 2.0, Cleaning Schedules, 3-Stage Cleaning System, Auto-Adjusts to Different Floors
iRobot Braava jet 240 Robot Mop: Precision Jet Spray to get Hard to Reach Areas, Cleans hardwood, tile, stone