X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

9 smart-home gadgets you can get for less than $50 (pictures)

Looking to get connected on the cheap? We've got you covered.

Ryan_Crist2.jpg
Ryan_Crist2.jpg
Ry Crist
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
Ry Crist
3-refuel-lifestyle-2750.jpg
1 of 10 Colin West McDonald/CNET

A smart home on a budget

A smart home doesn't have to center around large scale connected appliances that cost thousands of dollars. Think smaller, and you'll find the kinds of bargains that can get you connected without breaking the bank. Click through for a few of our favorites -- none of which cost more than $50.

2Z9A1903.jpg
2 of 10 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Belkin WeMo Light Switch

Belkin's line of WeMo products make for good, relatively inexpensive entry points into home automation. The WeMo Light Switch requires a slightly hands-on installation, but the reward is app-enabled smart lighting control, along with full IFTTT integration.

climeflower1600x1059.jpg
3 of 10 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Clime

Available for preorder now, these tiny, Chiclet-like Clime sensors promise to keep tabs on environmental conditions around the home, then relay the info back to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Best of all, they only cost $15 each.

2Z9A2013.jpg
4 of 10 Colin West McDonald/CNET

iDevices iGrill Mini

If you've got a Labor Day cookout coming up, then consider the iGrill Mini. At just $40, its probe will keep a watchful eye on that beautiful hunk of meat you're grilling, then ping your smartphone when it's cooked to temperature.

5-refuel-lifestyle-2815.jpg
5 of 10 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Quirky Refuel

While we're talking grills, the $50 Quirky+GE Refuel is a smart propane tank sensor that'll let you know when it's time for a swap.

2Z9A3911.jpg
6 of 10 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Insteon LED

Your smart lighting options have increased significantly in the past year or so, but the $30 Insteon LED remains a solid option. This is especially true if you use a Windows Phone, as Insteon's controls now come baked into Windows 8.1 thanks to a deal with Microsoft. And yes, this means you can tell Cortana to turn the light on and off.

hue-lux.jpg
7 of 10 Philips

Philips Hue Lux

The Philips Hue Lux is another smart lighting option due out this fall. Like its color-changing cousins in the Philips Hue family tree, the Lux offers full smartphone controls and automation capabilities thanks to built-in Zigbee support. However, unlike its predecessors, the white-light-only Lux will sell for less than $50 per bulb.

2Z9A6544.jpg
8 of 10 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Quirky Spotter

The Quirky Spotter is a motion detector that also tracks changes in light, temperature, humidity, and sound. Aside from following along on your smartphone, you'll be able to use it to trigger IFTTT recipes, too. The sometimes-spotty performance could probably use some polish, but at $50, the Spotter is priced just right.

tabu-lumini-led-product-photos-2-2.jpg
9 of 10 Colin West McDonald/CNET

Tabu LuMini LED

If you want your home lighting to change color on demand, but you don't want to invest too heavily, the Tabu LuMini LED is a perfect compromise. It's not the brightest little guy, but with a full range of color-changing smarts and a low $35 price, this Bluetooth-powered bulb is big on value.

wink-hub-controlling-a-model-smart-home-photos01.jpg
10 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Wink Hub

The Wink Hub is like a Rosetta Stone for your smart home. Fluent in multiple wireless protocols, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and Zigbee, the Wink Hub is capable of controlling all sorts of popular smart-home devices, uniting them within a singular interface. We've seen that same kind of functionality from high-end products like the $300 Revolv Hub -- which makes the $50 Wink Hub a bargain-priced breath of fresh air.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos