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Our living lab

Smart-home tech is on the rise, and we've been hard at work testing all of it out in the CNET Smart Home, our living lab for the connected living space. Click through for a look at all of the tech you'll currently find throughout the house -- along with how much all of would cost.

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Amazon Echo

The centerpiece of the CNET Smart Home has to be the Amazon Echo smart speaker, which we use to control various gadgets using voice commands. We've got two of them -- one in the family room and one in the living room.

Price: $180

Number in CNET Smart Home: 2

Total cost: $360

$99.99 at Dell
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Amazon Echo Dot

Head upstairs to the master bedroom, and you'll find the Echo Dot -- the smaller, quieter version of Amazon's smart speaker -- sitting on the bedside table.

Price: $90

$89.99 at Amazon
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Philips Hue

Another smart home tentpole: Philips Hue lighting. We started out with a set of Hue's second-gen color-changing LEDs.

Price: $200 for three-bulb starter kit, plus two extra color-changing bulbs at $60 each

Total cost: $320

$175.00 at Amazon
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Apple HomeKit

The second-generation Philips Hue Hub that we're using is compatible with Apple HomeKit -- which means we can control the bulbs using Siri commands. That includes color changes, something Alexa still can't do.

There aren't any service costs associated with HomeKit -- you just need a compatible iOS device and an iCloud account.

Price: N/A

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Philips Hue White LED

We changed out most of the rest of the bulbs in the house with Philips Hue's more affordable, white-light-only smart bulbs.

Price: $15

Number in CNET Smart Home: 26

Total cost: $390

$34.94 at Walmart
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Philips Hue Go

Those original color-changing Hue bulbs started out in the kitchen, but we soon decided that they'd be put to better use in the kids' bedroom, where we added the bowl-shaped Philips Hue Go fixture into the mix.

Price: $100

$95.96 at Amazon
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Philips Hue Tap

For kid-friendly controls, we hooked all of those lights up with the battery-free Philips Hue Tap, then loaded it up with fun, colorful presets.

Price: $60

$81.98 at Amazon
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Quirky Porkfolio

We've long had a soft spot for the Quirky Porkfolio, a kid-friendly, app-enabled piggy bank, so we put one of those in the kids room, too. You can find them pretty cheaply on sites like Amazon.

Price: $20

$11.30 at Amazon
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Sleep Number Sleep IQ Mattress

Sleep Number makes a series of "Sleep IQ" mattresses that feature built-in sensors and a dedicated app for tracking your sleep. We put a twin-size model into the kids room, so a hypothetical smart-home parent could get an alert on their phone if their hypothetical young 'un got out of bed in the middle of the night.

Price: $800

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Nest Cam

We've also got a Nest Cam in the kids room to keep an eye on that hypothetical kiddo. You'll also find Nest Cams keeping watch over the the living room, the family room and the garage.

Price: $200

Number in CNET Smart Home: 4

Total cost: $800

$154.49 at Amazon
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Nest Protect Smoke Detector

You'll also find a couple of Nest Protect smoke detectors throughout the house.

Price: $100

Number in CNET Smart Home: 3

Total cost: $300

$119.00 at Walmart
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Nest Learning Thermostat

Those Nest Cams and Nest Protects sync up with the Nest Learning Thermostat. We originally had two of them in the CNET Smart Home, but we replaced the one downstairs (more on that in the next slide).

Price: $250

$218.00 at Amazon
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Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat

That replacement for the downstairs Nest? It's the Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat. We swapped it in to test out its integration with Amazon Echo, but ultimately kept the upstairs Nest so we could continue testing out gadgets that work with both. They share the same price, so the cost comes out in the wash.

Price: $250

$229.99 at Amazon
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Haiku Smart Ceiling Fan

We wanted to test out smart ceiling fans, too, so we installed a pair of Haiku ceiling fans from Big Ass Solutions. They're awfully expensive, but they work with Amazon Echo, as well as both the Nest and Ecobee thermostats. And they sure are pretty to look at.

Price: $1,045

Number in CNET Smart Home: 2

Total cost: $2,090

$1,445.61 at Amazon
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Scout Home Security

We also wanted to try syncing a security system up with Amazon Echo, so we went with Scout Home Security, a system that promises to do just that.

Price: $320

$229.00 at Amazon
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Belkin WeMo Light Switch

We smartened up a whole bunch of the Smart Home's light switches by swapping them out for Belkin's Wi-Fi-enabled WeMo Light Switches. You can turn them on and off with Alexa commands. We even built four of them into a single fixture -- here's that particular how-to, in case you're interested.

Price: $50

Number in CNET Smart Home: 12

Total cost: $600

$39.99 at Crutchfield
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Garageio

We've tested out a lot of tech for the CNET Smart Home's garage, but ultimately, we settled on the Alexa-compatible Garageio for smarter garage door controls.

Price: $200

Number in CNET Smart Home: 2

Total cost: $400

$129.00 at Garageio
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Blumoo

Alexa-powered voice controls for your TV set and entertainment devices? It's possible with Blumoo's Bluetooth device controller -- you'll find one in our family room.

Price: $90

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Philips Hue LightStrips Plus

At first, we used these Philips Hue LightStrips to decorate the coffee bar in the CNET Smart Home's kitchen. Now, we're looking into using them as bias lighting for the family room TV.

Price: $90

$79.99 at Crutchfield
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Pantelligent

Speaking of the kitchen, we keep Pantelligent's temperature-tracking smart frying pan close at hand. It's one of our favorite connected cooking gadgets.

Price: $200

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Belkin WeMo Switch

We've even hooked the Pantelligent up with this Belkin WeMo Switch, setting it to cycle the burner on and off according to the pan's temperature. The result? Food that just about cooks itself.

Price: $40

$260.43 at Walmart
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iDevices Switch

It isn't the only smart switch in our smart kitchen -- we've also got a coffeemaker hooked up to this iDevices Switch. With a single tap on the phone, we can set a pot of coffee to start brewing from afar.

Price: $50

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Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

The biggest, flashiest smart thing in the smart kitchen has to be the smart fridge. It's the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, to be exact, and it's a $6,000 appliance with a 21.5-inch touchscreen on the door and cameras on the inside to keep an eye on your leftovers.

Price: $6,000

$3,099.99 at Best Buy
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Samsung Wi-Fi Range

Take a few steps back from the fridge, and you'll see a matching Samsung smart range -- no touchscreen, though.

Price: $3,100

$2,499.99 at Best Buy
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Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer

You'll find smart appliances in the laundry room as well -- specifically, this Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer.

Price: $1,400 for the washer, another $1,400 for the dryer

Total cost: $2,800

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Neato BotVac Connected

And what smart home would be complete with a smart robot vacuum? We decided to go with the Neato Botvac Connected, which won our Editors' Choice award for its high scores in our cleaning tests.

Price: $700

$512.21 at Walmart
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DuPont Corian wireless charging countertop

Of course, not every product in the CNET Smart Home is a winner. Take this countertop that promises to double as a wireless charging surface for your phone. Sounds like a great idea, right? Unfortunately, it was a lousy performer.

Price: $4,980

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Keen Home smart vent

These Keen Home smart vents were another idea that didn't play out so well in practice. The mounting brackets to hold them in place in the ceiling weren't secure enough, causing more than one to fall out. That's an obvious deal-breaker -- but fortunately, Keen Home fixed the problem. Now, with an integration with Ecobee in the works, we're optimistic that these smart vents can bounce back.

Price: $80

Number in CNET Smart Home: 3

Total cost: $240

$99.99 at Amazon
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Adding it all up

The total cost of everything listed here? That'd be $26,450.

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