Walk into any room in your home and there’s a good chance it could be improved. Your TV can be turned on with your voice, you can monitor your latest Amazon delivery through a video doorbell, and watch its feed from a smart display in your kitchen. Going on vacation? Why not invest in an internet-connected smart alarm system and security camera to protect your property remotely? Stay in? Fire up the streaming stick to watch the latest shows and movies, and when night falls, use the routine to dim all the lights and play some relaxing music to help you fall asleep.
The best smart home devices add convenience to your daily life. Smart thermostats can help you monitor energy use, smart locks let you operate doors via a mobile app, smart bulbs let you set the mood in your rooms, and smart plugs can replace traditional appliances like kettles. , connect lamps and old TVs to your home Wi-Fi. Tying it together are the major voice assistants – Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri – that power devices and let you control them with quick commands.
We’ve tested all kinds of smart home tech, and in this roundup, we’re bringing you the best devices you can buy in 2022. We will focus on products that offer the most compatibility – so they will work with multiple platforms. – and feature gadgets at a range of prices. Still not sure how to build a smart home? Scroll down and, under our recommendations, you’ll find out how to start a smart home for under £100.
The best smart speaker
Amazon Echo (4th Generation)
£54.99 (39% off)
The best smart plug
Meros Mini Smart Plug
£20.39 (15% off)
The best smart light bulb
WiZ Color Smart Bulb
Best streaming device
Roku Streaming Stick 4K
The best smart alarm
Yale Intruder IA-320G Sync Smart Home Alarm (6-piece)
The best wifi security camera
Arlo Pro 4 Smart Security Camera
Best indoor security camera
Arlo Essential Indoor Security System
The best video doorbell
Google Nest Doorbell (Battery)
£100.63 (44% off)
The best smart thermostat
Google Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)
Best Mesh Wi-Fi
Google Wi-Fi Pro
The best smart lock
Alshin Noki Smart Lock
Are smart home devices worth it?
Yes, smart gadgets are a great way to make your daily life easier. Using your voice and touch controls, these internet-connected gadgets let you turn on the lights, set the thermostat temperature, check who’s at the front door, listen to music, set reminders, set daily Lets get news briefings, stream latest movies or TV shows. , and monitor the surveillance system.
You can set routines to control how your devices interact with each other (like turning off all the lights when you say “goodnight” or dimming your room’s light bulbs when the TV is on). changing), as well as they have separate Mobile apps so you can get notifications and alerts on the go. Smart home devices are ideal for pure convenience, as they give you much more control than traditional home appliances, and let you control them remotely.
How can I turn my home into a smart home on a budget?
While it’s tempting to create a vast futuristic sound-control utopia, it’s probably best to start small. The good news: you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a taste of the smart home, and it’s easy to get a basic setup for under £100. For that, you’ll get a smart display or speaker, plus some smart light bulbs, a smart plug and a video doorbell. The Echo Show 5 is regularly discounted from under £40 and the Echo Dot from under £30, while a two-pack of TP-Link Tapo bulbs costs £19.99. A pair of Meross smart plugs are under £20 and Amazon’s budget Blink video doorbell is often on offer for around £35. If we only had £100 right now, here’s how we could spend it to get a smart home on a budget:
• Echo Dot 5: £26.99
• Blinking video doorbell: £34.99
• Meros 2 Pack Smart Plug: £17.99
• TP-Link Smart Bulb x2: £17.98
What happens in a smart home when the internet goes down?
Most smart devices need a constant Wi-Fi connection to work, and if your internet goes down there’s a good chance your devices will be less smart – but not entirely smart. But not unusable. Every product is different, but in general, features that rely on a constant cloud or Wi-Fi connection for features — like a voice assistant that checks the weather, a security camera that lets you access live footage, etc. Gives or your bulbs change color through an app.
But in many cases, the product will still work – just on a basic level. A smart thermostat will still let you change settings manually, a smart lock will also be able to connect to your phone via Bluetooth (or in some cases use a physical key as a backup) and A speaker will still let you set alarms and timers. Your bulbs will still turn on, but only manually.
Unlike other major platforms, Apple’s HomeKit offers local control through a dedicated hub (it can be an Apple TV, HomePod mini or iPad), meaning it doesn’t always rely on a constant cloud connection. As a result, your HomeKit smart devices can continue to work if you experience an unexpected outage, although Siri sounds like other platforms if your home Wi-Fi goes down. Help will be interrupted.