Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide: Smart home devices make awesome holiday gifts

Published by Parisa Ostovari

’Tis the season for giving. Looking for some cool gift ideas that are sure to be remembered?

Products featuring smart home technology are incredibly popular. That’s because they help keep homes better protected and running more efficiently — plus, they’re super convenient. There’s also a cool factor to monitoring or operating home systems with your mobile device, tablet or computer — at home, or wherever you go.

To get you started, we put together this holiday gift guide featuring some cool home automation gift ideas that are sure to drop some jaws and bring on the hugs.

Video Doorbell Cameras: With video doorbells, you can go simple or go all out. These systems detect movement and feature HD video with wireless recording, and most support real-time video and audio chat with a visitor. See and chat with whoever’s at the front door from your family room or from your favorite café.

Smart Lights: For many smart light systems, just screw in the Bluetooth light bulbs, download an app and it’s easy to set the mood for dinner or dim the lights for movie night from anywhere in the house. Some systems also allow users to create set routines (lights on/off at specified times) for ultimate convenience.

Smart Switches: Take smart lights even further with smart light switches. First of all, these are no ordinary-looking switches, so they’re sure to impress guests. Second, they work with home assistants (i.e. Amazon Alexa, Google Home, etc.) and allow users to set schedules, turn on/off or dim lights with their voice and a more. Some of the pricier options even feature touch-sensitive tempered glass, cool backlighting and unlimited automation capabilities.

Smart Plugs: Wish you could control your small home appliances through your smart phone or through your other smart home devices? Well now you can. Smart plugs like the ConnectSense Smart Outlet 2 adds some smarts to your coffee maker, lamps and TVs.

Smart Lock: Forgetting to lock the door is a quick fix using the web or a mobile device, and many smart lock systems allow you to set entry codes for faster access without having to dig for keys. Hint: Systems that feature a fingerprint-resistant touchscreen provide even more security. Most systems are battery operated, so they don’t require additional wiring, making installation a simpler process.

Smart Speakers / Wireless Speakers: Smart speakers are a great way to play music anywhere in a home using your voice. Wireless speaker systems are also great gift ideas because with many you simply plug them in, download the app, and set them up in whichever room(s) you prefer. You can play country music in the kitchen and classic rock out on the patio — at the same time. Hint: If the wireless system you’re looking at is a little more on the pricy end, you can always give one speaker now and have them add to it later on to make their wireless home music system even more robust.

Smart Shades / Smart Blinds: Automate windows with smart shades or blinds — they’re definite crowd pleasers. You can set schedules to better manage the amount of sunlight that enters your home during winter or summer months to help with heating/cooling costs — they’re great at boosting home efficiency. And if the sun is washing out your TV experience during the day, just adjust your smart shades from the couch as needed. Very cool!

Smart Dog Camera: Need to keep an eye on the furriest members of your family while you’re away? Indoor home security cameras like the Furbo Dog Camera let you keep an eye on your pup. Cameras like Furbo provide barking alerts, two-way audio so you can hear and talk to your dog, and best of all it lets you toss treats to your pet.

Smart Bed: From fitness trackers to smartwatches there are a lot of options for tracking your sleep. Did you know your mattress can also track your sleep? The Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed incorporates biometric sensors to help you sleep better. Use the app to view your sleep trends and gain insight on how you can rest better.

Smart Thermostat: Know someone who’s constantly adjusting the temperature in their home? Get them a smart thermostat. They’ll be able to set temperature schedules (by days, weekdays, weekends, etc.) that match their lifestyle. Smart thermostats help with home energy costs, especially during the summer and winter months. Hint: If someone gets hot or cold in the middle of the night, a quick adjustment from a connected mobile device will get them back to sleep without even getting out of bed! And forgetting to turn off you’re A/C during a long summer vacation is no longer a concern — you can turn the system off as you’re boarding the plane. There are a wide range of brands and models to choose from, and most are easy to swap with an existing thermostat. However some HVAC systems might be a little more complicated and may require an HVAC professional.

Use these smart home device holiday ideas to make someone’s holidays extra-special this year!