If you’re shopping with the intent to expand a friend’s stable of smart home devices or bring a relative’s home into the 21st century, you can’t beat these gifts.
A Word on Gifting Smart Home Products
Most of our gift guides don’t require a lengthy introduction, but smart home products are slightly different from other tech products like Bluetooth speakers or pair of touchscreen gloves.
First, you must consider how the recipient will use the devices. Giving your brother a pack of smart security cameras you know he’ll jump at the chance to set up is a lot different than giving your grandmother a video doorbell that requires her to use additional equipment like a smartphone or a smart display. She might love it if you gift her both together and set them up, but it’s something to consider.
Second, and related to that grandmother dilemma, it helps to know what (if any) smart home gear the gift recipient already has. If you know your friend is all in on the Alexa platform or the Google Home platform, it helps you pick out gifts that will mesh with their gear.
The same goes for other sub-platforms within the smart lighting. If you’ve heard them raving about how much they like their Nanoleaf or Philips Hue lights, buying them something from those companies is a slam dunk.
If you know they have smart home stuff but are unsure what platform they use or what gear they have, it’s easy to find out. Start a conversation with them about smart homes and ask them if they recommend the gear they have.
We can’t speak for everybody, but around here, we love talking about our smart home gear and will happily rattle off everything under the sun in our homes and what we think about it.
Smart Home Speakers
Smart home speakers are an all-around slam-dunk when gifting smart home gear. They have been, and remain, the most popular smart home product category, and for good reason.
They’re inexpensive, fun to use, and who doesn’t like on-demand music and voice-based smart home integration parked anywhere they want it in their home?
Sonos One (2nd Generation) Smart Speaker
Whether they use Alexa or Google Assistant, the Sonos One line of smart speakers offers premium sound in a smart speaker package. If excellent audio quality is the end goal, you can’t go wrong adding some Sonos speakers into your smart home.
Amazon Echo (4th Generation)
The newest Echo sports not just a sleek form factor with improved bass but a Matter smart home hub tucked inside. The Echo line is the best-selling line of smart speakers on the market, and for a good reason. It’s a polished ecosystem that’s quite user friendly.
Echo Dot (5th Generation)
The Echo Dot offers a smaller form factor with the same spherical look. One of the coolest new developments in the Echo world is that the new 5th generation Dots include eero mesh network extenders. Pair one with a smart home powered by an eero mesh network and you get an instant coverage boost.
For folks in the Google Home ecosystem, the Google Audio is a substantial 30W speaker with room-filling sound. Smaller speakers like the Nest Mini might be great for just giving commands or getting a weather update, but for music playback you want something bigger like the Audio.
Smart displays are just about as popular as smart speakers, and for a good reason. Combine the interface of a small tablet with a smart speaker, and you have an all-in-one station for everything from listening to music to watching cooking videos in the kitchen.
Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation)
The Echo Show 8 offers an 8-inch touch screen, easy integration with the Ring cameras and accessories, and a built-in camera for video calling. It’s bigger than really petite displays and speakers but not counter-dominatingly large.
Echo Show 5 (2nd Generation)
Not only is the smaller Echo Show 5 a bargain, but it’s the perfect size for night stands or adding a smart display to just about anywhere. You probably won’t want to do any serious video watching on it, but it’s handy to get visual feedback.
Echo Show 10
If you want to buy your giftee a smart display, a smart speaker, and you don’t want to skimp on either one, then you should consider the Echo Show 10. It sports a big 10.1" screen, a substantial speaker, and it might just be the perfect kitchen smart device. They can use it for video calls, displaying recipes, watching YouTube and more.
While smart speakers and smart displays might be the most common smart devices around, they are followed closely by smart lights. And when it comes to flashy fun, you really can’t beat smart lights. From mood lighting to syncing the colors to music to changing the lights for the holidays, you really can’t beat the wow factor of smart lighting.
Philips Hue Starter Kit
This kit includes three white and color ambiance bulbs, a Hue smart hub, and a wireless physical control switch to add real-world tactile controls to the Hue system. It’s a great introduction to the robust Hue lighting platform.
Philips Hue Go
The Go is like the Hue Iris, but with a battery, so you can easily move it. Perfect to use as sunrise alarm and ambient mood lighting during the evening. On the lower brightness and candle settings it can last all night without a recharge.
Govee Smart Bulbs
For inexpensive but reliable color changing bulbs, it’s tough to beat Govee. The bulbs are bright and colorful, and the Govee app has a ton of fun patterns for every mood and season.
Govee 65-foot Smart LED Strip
LED strips are a fun way to add a lot of color to a space inexpensively. This Govee kit gives you all the benefits of the Govee lighting platform, including localize music syncing using a built-in mic, and enough LED strip to light up a large room.
Nanoleaf Elements Lighting Kit
This subdued light panel kit from Nanoleaf isn’t just a really cool looking accent piece, it can also serve as a Matter border router for smart home integration.
Smart Security Cameras
Installing security cameras used to be a huge hassle, and you wouldn’t give somebody something requiring them to hire a professional to drill holes in their home and run cable. But now you can get smart cameras that run for months on a single charge, no cable pulling required.
Ring Stick Up Battery Camera
Indoors, outdoors, you can stick these cameras anywhere to keep on eye on everything from your yard to your pets. If your giftee already has one of the popular Ring doorbells, this is a slam dunk gift.
Blink Outdoor Wireless Cameras
A three-pack offers enough cameras to keep an eye on the front yard, back yard, and driveway. Or every bird feeder and a squirrel nest if that’s more interesting.
Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera
Sleek, minimalistic, and with a powerful 2K camera, the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera is an excellent security camera regardless of where you place it. Day or night, you can see everything bright and clear.
Wyze Cam v3
If you know your giftee would love a security camera but you’re a budget, you can’t go wrong with a Wyze Cam. The company has made a name for itself making compact and affordable smart security cameras.
RELATED: How to Mount Your Smart Cameras Without Drilling
Smart Plugs and Energy Monitors
Smart plugs might seem like, well, not a very exciting gift compared to a sleek smart speaker or a cool set of smart light panels. But it’s all about knowing your recipient and smart plugs and related accessories can be a perfect gift for a person who would like to make an existing thing in their home (like a table lamp or a window fan) smart.
They’re also a great gift for the curious folks on your list who love knowing how much a certain thing was used or how much power it used in a given month. And they’re great to have around during the holiday season!
Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug
Indoors, outdoors, this rugged IP64-rated weather resistant smart plug is great everywhere. It has two independent 15A outlets that can be separately programmed to control just about anything.
Kasa Mini Smart Plugs
The compact form factor of these smart plugs makes it easy to sneak one in just about anywhere without blocking adjacent outlets. A four-pack means your gift recipient will plenty of chances to use them around the house.
Kasa Mini Smart Plug with Power Monitoring
This four-pack offers a welcome upgrade for the curious people on your list, power monitoring. Not only do you get all the great features of Kasa smart plugs but now they can track and monitor how much power the attached devices use.
Kasa HS300 Smart Power Strip
This large power strip is well suited for use with a media center or home office setup. If you’re shopping for someone who is always unplugging devices to save money, the environment, or both, help them automate the process.
Smart Strip with Auto Sensing Shutoff
Want to help a friend or relative who doesn’t want to fuss with smart home apps? This clever power strip is smart in an old-fashioned way. It can sense when the main device is turned off, like a computer, and will shut attached devices like printers or monitor automatically.
Looking for more gift ideas? Take a look at our other gift guides: