Starting a smart home doesn't have to break the bank. These budget-friendly buys will get you on the way to a smarter home in no time.
Smart plugs are a smart home's secret weapon. With a good smart plug, you can schedule, randomize and automate nearly any object that plugs into a standard wall outlet.
The $21 Eufy Smart Plug Mini is a great smart plug that works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and includes power monitoring.
If you're interested in a smart plug, but need something HomeKit-compatible, the iDevices Switch costs $30 and includes energy monitoring. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit.
Smart speakers are a great place to start when it comes to putting smarts in your home. Likely the main interface of everything you'll connect in your home, a small speaker like the Google Home Mini is a great jumping-off point. It costs $49, and with the Google Home app you'll be able to control dozens of smart home products with your voice and Google Assistant.
The Wyze Cam Pan is a $30 Wi-Fi camera with a ton of features for the price. Its motorized base rotates a full 360 degrees and the lens has a 120-degree field of view. Live streaming is available in SD or HD at 15 frames per second. You'll also get night vision, two-way audio, support for time-lapse videos and an 8x digital zoom.
The Lifx Mini is a solid smart light bulb that doesn't require a hub. Lifx offers three bulbs -- a fixed, white-light-only bulb for $25, a color-tunable "Day and Dusk" bulb for $30 and a fully color-changing bulb for $45. These bulbs work with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT and Amazon Alexa.
Belkin's $80 WeMo Dimmer is a hubless, Wi-Fi dimming light switch that works with Amazon's Alexa, the Google Assistant, the Nest Learning Thermostat and other platforms via IFTTT.
Like the original WeMo Light Switch, the WeMo Dimmer won't work in three-way switch setups, where more than one switch is wired to the same light, but it does include new features like night mode, away mode and fade timers.
The $50 iDevices Outdoor Switch offers two outlets for automating anything you'd like to plug in near your patio. It's ideal for seasonal decorations or outdoor lamps and heaters, and it comes with energy monitoring and scheduling. The iDevices Outdoor Switch works with Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Want watering smarts for your lawn? The $69 Orbit B-Hyve Faucet Timer is easy to install and easy to use. It attaches to your ordinary garden hose and monitors the local weather to help you set a watering schedule for your sprinklers. It also connects to Amazon Alexa.
Smarts in the kitchen often come in the form of large appliances, but there are kitchen gadgets out there that also add smarts to your cooking routine. The Meater is a $69 wireless smart thermometerthat connects via Bluetooth to your device to track the internal temperature of your food while it cooks.
The Nexx Garage is a $100 smart garage controller that adds voice commands, remote access and auto opening to your garage door opener through the Nexx Garage app for iOS and Android devices.
It isn't compatible with HomeKit, but Nexx Garage is great for anyone wanting simple, fuss-free smarts and compatibility with the voice-activated assistants Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.