6 Smart Home Gadgets That Are Actually Worth Owning Like any tech product, some smart home devices are better than others.
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you'll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
Over the past few years, smart home products have dominated the gadget space, with goods ranging from innovative updates to the items we currently rely on daily (think smart TVs and kitchen appliances) to the emergence of new technology that has drastically changed how we operate at home, such as voice-assistants.
Like any tech product, some smart home devices are better than others. While you may not find a ton of use in a smart-enabled egg tray, which sends you push notifications if your ingredients are on the verge of expiring, you likely will find yourself happy that you invested in a thermostat that can regulate the temperature inside your home when you’re away (thus, saving you money).
Ring Video Doorbell
It’s estimated that over a third of Americans have had packages stolen from outside of their homes at least once -- a number we can only expect to rise as online shopping becomes more and more prevalent. One way homeowners and renters can better protect themselves against theft is by investing in the Ring Video Doorbell. This device allows users to see, hear, and speak to those on the other side of their front door through any smart device. Additionally, it provides a 24/7 video feed, where users can get a live view and record videos of any actions that happen outside their home. While the camera alone may not stop thieves dead in their tracks, you will have video proof to give to local authorities to help ensure it doesn’t happen more than once.
Get the Ring Video Doorbell for $99.99.
Google Home Smart Speaker
Ever had the urge to Google something, but find yourself not within arm’s reach of your computer or smart device? Just simply ask Google with a Google Home, a voice-controlled assistant that can answer your burning questions. More than that, the Google Home can also set timers, read you the news, play your favorite music, tell you the current weather forecast, and call friends and family.
Get the Google Home for $79.99.
Roku Streaming Stick+
Many TV models on the market now have smart capabilities, which allow viewers to stream their favorite online content from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon Prime directly to their screen. That’s all well and good if you’re currently in the market for a smart TV, but if you don’t have the means to invest a brand new screen, the Roku Streaming Stick+ provides users the same smart streaming capabilities but without the need to invest in a brand new entertainment setup. Simply plug the device into your existing television, sync it to your home’s WiFi and you’ll soon be able to watch all of your favorite online content without needing to screen mirror on a secondary device.
Get the Roku Streaming Stick+ for $46.08.
Click and Grow Smart Garden
For the many of us who weren’t blessed with the gift of a green thumb, the Click and Grow Smart Garden can care for your fresh herbs and ingredients, ensuring they get adequate water, sunlight, and nourishment without much effort on your part at all. The kit comes with a biodegradable plant pod with the seeds and nutrients needed to grow your chosen ingredient. After plugging in the device and putting water into its tank, the device will accurately give your plants what it needs at any given point. In the matter of a few weeks, you’ll be enjoying perfectly homegrown, organic, and pesticide-free fresh food.
Get the Click and Grow Smart Garden for $99.95..
Nest Learning Thermostat
For those concerned with their carbon footprint, the Nest Learning Thermostat can help ensure homes remain energy efficient. True to its name, the device learns about your living habits, automatically adjusting your home’s temperature for you in moments where you don’t need it, such as when you’ve left for the office or are gone on vacation. On average, Nest reports that Thermostat users save on average 10 percent on their heating bills and 15 percent on their cooling bills, or what the brand estimates is between $131-$145 annually.
Get the Nest Learning Thermostat for $209.
Gosund Smart Plug
Even if all of the items around your home aren’t voice or smartphone controlled, by using a smart plug you can effectively use them like any other smart home device. The Gosund Smart Plug, for instance works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice integration, as well as through its companion app, and allows you to control any device plugged into its socket through your voice or smartphone. This means that you can turn the radio, lamps, and even fans around your home on and off without lifting a finger.