People Power Presence Security Pack
This Security Pack sensor kit does a great job of extending the functionality and usefulness of the Presence DIY home-monitoring app, but most will find the cost is too steep for what it delivers.
Edyn Garden Sensor
The Edyn Garden Sensor does a lot of things right, but an unfinished app mars the experience.
Elgato Eve Room
Temperature and humidity readings are easy to come by, but the Eve Room is an apt sensor that can work for you especially if you have a specific need for its unique VOC readings. For now, though, it's severely limited in ways to use that info and barely qualifies as a smart device.
Nest Protect ( Second Generation, Battery, White)
No other smoke and carbon monoxide detectors available today can match the second-gen Nest Protect in terms of looks and options, making it a great buy for anyone who appreciates design and connected features.
Myfox Home Alarm
Myfox's camera is pretty good, although there are better options out there -- and the whole system is seriously overpriced. Don't get it.
Finally Light Bulb
With a respectable but overstated quality of light, this bulb doesn't shine bright enough to impress. At $10 per bulb (more, once you factor in shipping), it's a poor value compared to what you'll find in the lighting aisle.
Neurio Home Intelligence
If you simply want to review your energy consumption in real-time, look no further than Neurio. But, Belkin and startup Ecoisme are expected to offer similar products soon (that promise to do more than Neurio), so I'd hold off if you're on the fence.
Netatmo still needs work, but it breaks new ground with facial recognition and shows enough prowess with that feature to be worth a look for anyone interested in cutting edge camera tech.
Ikea 1000L Ledare LED
Though not quite as competitive as the 600L version was last year, the 1000L Ledare LED holds its own -- and in some categories, it's a standout. If you're comfortable in the middle ground between the 60W and 75W levels, it's worth picking up.
Chamberlain 1-1/4 HPS Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener
The Chamberlain Wi-Fi Garage Door Opener is a feat to install but is a worthwhile way for those with outdated garage systems to gain a foothold in the connected home.
Lutron Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit
As the first retail-ready HomeKit product, Lutron's kit is just the beginning of Siri-integrated smart home control, but it works so well that I can easily recommend it today for any iOS users interested in plug-in lighting and dimmer products.
GE Bright Stik LED ( 3-pack)
At $10 for a three-pack, the Bright Stik LED is a compelling value pick in the lighting aisle.
Philips 60W Equivalent LED Bulb 9290011350
Unless you use dimmer switches in your home, it's hard to go wrong with this light -- and the price is just right.
Canary Smart Home Security Device ( White)
Canary is packed with solid hardware, but it doesn't add up to a device we'd want to depend on.
Pure Imagination Perfect Drink
Perfect Drink is a fun novelty splurge for your home bar, but it isn't a mixology must-have by any stretch.
Staples Connect Hub ( D-Link Edition)
Staples Connect is a reliable, easy-to-use platform, and the new D-Link hub is undeniably better than the original. If you already own devices that'll work with it, the new hub makes a lot of sense, but if you're starting your smart home from scratch, consider waiting to see what happens with Apple HomeKit and SmartThings 2.0.
Pricing not available
Anova Precision Cooker ( Black)
We loved the original Anova, and this one cooks just as well for less cash. Underwhelming smarts aside, it's a great sous vide starting point.
Osram Lightify LED Starter Kit
These aren't the cheapest smart bulbs you can buy, but Osram's Lightify LED Starter Kit is more affordable than Philips or Belkin's, and arguably more feature-rich, too. As a legitimate competitor, it deserves consideration.
Saffron 40W Replacement LED
Unless you insist on bulbs that look as traditional as possible, there's no reason to choose Saffron over stronger offerings from Philips, Cree and Osram.
Scout Home Security System ( Arctic)
Scout gives you choices, but its four-product line-up is actually pretty limited in comparison to Samsung's security- and home-automation-minded SmartThings.
Poly-Control Danalock ( Silver)
The Danalock's many inconsistencies make it less convenient than using an actual key, and therefore, very tough to recommend.
Philips 100W Equivalent Soft White A21 Dimmable LED Light Bulb ( 2700K)
Unless you find it on sale, this likable Philips LED can't quite offer the value of its competitors.
Cree 100-watt Replacement LED Bulb ( Soft White)
Cree's bigger, brighter LED is a very solid value, but it's not without legitimate competition.
August Smart Lock
We haven't seen a flawless smart lock yet, but the August Smart Lock comes closer than any of its competitors thanks to its ease of use and overall polish.
Advanced Lumonics Orbnext
At $129, Orbnext isn't an easy to splurge to justify, but makers, automation geeks and IFTTT aficionados might enjoy the niche appeal.
Available from the manufacturer.
Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set
Smart LEDs are an overdue addition to the WeMo family of gadgets -- thankfully, Belkin did a nice job of getting them right.
While the Wink Hub has some design and usability kinks to work out, its affordability and versatility make it a very desirable option for whole-home automation.
Philips SlimStyle BR30 LED
The price is right for this unique light, but as there are other options that offer notably better performance for a few dollars more, you may want to shop around.
Philips Hue Tap
We wish it cost a little less, but if you've already got Philips Hue LEDs in your home, then adding the Tap to your setup makes a lot of sense.
GE Energy Smart 60W Replacement LED
Though it isn't necessarily bad at anything, this GE LED isn't the best at anything either, and that makes it tough to recommend over flashier competitors.