Technology is useful is many aspects of our lives, but one place where it’s becoming more and more useful is around the home.
Smart Home tech has spread over the past couple of years to new form factors — leading to tons of new opportunities. Cost is a big factor however in turning your home into a smart home. If you’re looking to get started with a limited budget, here are 5 products we recommend checking out.
TP-Link Light Bulbs
The first item on our list are connected light bulbs from TP-Link. Available in three variants, these bulbs offer 50-60W of brightness in white. The base 50W variant costs just $19 while the 60W warm white and 60W tunable cost $25 and $35 respectively.
What’s the benefit of using there bulbs? For one thing the cost. For the price there aren’t too many WiFi connected bulbs out there that will offer the same functionality, flexibility, and reliability.
The other big benefit is that these bulbs don’t require a hub. Simply plug them in, set them up with the Kasa app, and you’re good to go. It even works with an Echo.
LIFX White 800
Next let’s talk about another bulb, the LIFX White 800. This is another white-only bulb which offers a sturdy build, 60W of power, and tunable whites. Everything can be changed from the LIFX app and it works great. The only big flaw with this bulb is the size ─ it’s huge.
For just $30 though, it’s hard to complain, especially since this works great with the Amazon Echo.Get the LIFX White 800
Moving past lighting, this is the iHome connected outlet. This compact outlet connects over WiFi to its own app and can also be integrated into the Wink app. Of course, it can also be connected to the Amazon Echo.
The fun part about this outlet is that it’s universal. You can plug anything with an outlet into this device to turn the power on and off wirelessly. It works great for products such as LED strips, TVs, and more.Get the iHome Outlet
TP-Link Smart Plug
Another option for an outlet is from TP-Link. While this option is considerably bulkier, it is extremely reliably and inexpensive. At $30 it’s one of the most useful products on this list, and yes, you can use it with an Echo.
Get the TP-Link Smart Plug
Amazon Echo Dot 2nd Gen
Speaking of the Echo, let’s talk about the Echo. Amazon’s Alexa platform has been around on the Echo for quite some time, but this month the company has taken things to a new level. The new 2nd gen Echo Dot costs just $50.
You can learn more about the Dot in our full review, and the differences with the new compare to the old here. However, the basic thing you need to know about the Echo Dot is that it control music, answer questions, and acts as a voice-controlled hub for your smart home.Get the Amazon Echo Dot