Top 10 Black Friday smart home deals: Our favorite bargains of 2018

Smart lights, smart speakers, smart security, smart thermostats... We've seen tons of good Black Friday deals on smart home gadgets from Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and more. Here are the 10 that are tempting us the most, ranked.

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Ryan_Crist2.jpg

Ry Crist

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1 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

'Tis the season for savings

Black Friday draws near, and with it, dozens upon dozens of tempting deals on the latest smart-home gadgets. We've already listed all the Black Friday offers we've spotted thus far for your perusal, but here we'll run through the 10 deals we find most tempting.

Just remember: Most of these deals won't be live until Thanksgiving (Nov. 22) or Black Friday (Nov. 23). Also, please know that CNET may get a share of the revenue when you buy one of the products listed in this gallery.

Got it? Good. Let's get started with No. 10...

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2 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

10. Google Home Mini with C by GE Bluetooth Smart Bulb for $25 ($30 off)

The Google Home Mini smart speaker will be available everywhere for $25 on Black Friday, but the best deal we've spotted comes from Lowe's, where that same price will net you the Home Mini bundled with a free Bluetooth smart bulb from GE. 

Thanks to a recent update, that bulb will pair automatically with the Google Assistant as soon as you screw it in and turn it on, which makes this a great gift for smart home newbies.

Save 55 percent on the Google Home Mini with free C by GE Smart Bulb
See it at Lowe's.

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3 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

9. Apple HomePod for $250 ($100 off)

Apple devices don't go on sale very often, so this sizable discount on the Siri-powered Apple HomePod is pretty noteworthy. Consider also that the HomePod can serve as a dedicated HomeKit hub, so if you're interested in Siri-compatible smart-home gadgets and would like to be able to access and control them from beyond your home's Wi-Fi network, then this discounted smart speaker might be a smart buy.

Look for the deal at Best Buy starting Thanksgiving Day at 5 p.m.

Save 28 percent on the Apple HomePod
See it at Best Buy.

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4 of 12 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

8. Nest Hello Video Doorbell for $179 ($70 off)

The headline on my colleague Megan Wollerton's review of the Nest Hello reads, "The smartest video doorbell around" -- and she should know, having reviewed several of them. This deal saves you $70 and brings the price down to $179, which is about as low as we've ever seen it. Look for it online from Dell the day before Thanksgiving, or in-store at Lowe's and at Kohl's starting Thanksgiving Day.

Bonus: Kohl's is offering $15 of in-store credit for each $50 you spend, so if you buy it there, you'll get an extra $45 to shop with.

Save 30 percent on the Nest Video Doorbell
See it at Dell.
See it at Lowe's.
See it at Kohl's.

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5 of 12 Philips

7. Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Remote Sensor and Amazon Echo Dot for $199 ($100 off)

We're seeing the Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat marked down at multiple outlets to a Black Friday sale price of $199. That's a good deal to begin with for this smart thermostat, which has built-in Alexa voice controls and a free remote sensor accessory to track the temperature in that back room that always runs too hot or too cold.

Best Buy is going one step further and throwing in a free third-gen Amazon Echo Dot to sweeten the deal. That's a terrific deal that'll save you a total of $100.

Save 20 percent on the Ecobee4 with Remote Sensor, get a free Amazon Echo Dot
See it at Best Buy

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6 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

6. Google Home Hub for $99 ($50 off)

Barely a month old, the Google Home Hub basically staples a 7-inch touchscreen to the Google Home Mini, so you can ask Google Assistant to pull up a weather forecast, a recipe, a YouTube video or one of a whole host of other screen-enabled features. We were fans of the design when we reviewed it, especially the Ambient Light feature that automatically dims the screen based on how bright or dark the room is. Also note that, unlike a lot of smart displays, this one doesn't have a camera at all, which might be preferred by privacy-minded users who want to use the thing at their bedside.

We're seeing this Home Hub deal at just about every outlet that sells it. You'll find it first on Jet.com at 10 p.m. ET on the day before Thanksgiving. After that, you'll be able to find it on Thanksgiving Day at Walmart, at Best Buy, at Kohl's and at Lowe's. Then, on Black Friday, it goes on sale at Target.

Save 33 percent on the Google Home Hub
See it at Jet.
See it at Best Buy.  
See it at Kohl's.
See it at Lowe's.
See it at Walmart
See it at Target.  

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7 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

5. Nest Thermostat E for $99 ($70 off)

Numerous outlets are offering $70 off of the third-gen Nest Learning Thermostat for Black Friday, but as far as I know, only Dell is offering that same $70 discount on the Nest Thermostat E, which offers all of the same smarts in a white, plastic-bodied design that costs less to begin with.

The online deal starts Nov. 21, and it brings the asking price for a top-of-the-line smart thermostat down to just $99, which is the lowest price I've ever seen for a Nest, period. That's why this deal cracks our top 5.

Save 40 percent on the Nest Thermostat E
See it at Dell.

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8 of 12 Ry Crist/CNET

4. 3rd-gen Amazon Echo Dot for $24 ($26 off)

The new Echo Dot smart speaker offers an improved design and much better sound than before, and it still retails for just $50. That makes it one of the best smart-home starting points money can buy -- and starting on Thanksgiving, you'll be able to get it for even less.

Specifically, Amazon is offering the new Echo Dot for $24, which is more than half off. That's a great little discount on a great little smart speaker -- and if you'd rather shop in-store, you'll find the same deal at Target, at Best Buy and at Kohl's.

Oh, and one more thing -- if you're willing to buy three Echo Dots, Amazon will take $80 off the final price, bringing the cost down to just $70 total, or $23.33 per Dot. That's an even bigger deal than the Black Friday special -- and you can get it right now (you'll see the discount once the Dots are in your cart).

Look for similar bulk specials live now for the Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Dot Kids Edition.

Save 50 percent on the 3rd-gen Amazon Echo Dot
See it at Amazon.
See it at Best Buy.
See it at Kohl's.
See it at Target.

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9 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

3. Lenovo Smart Display for $99 ($100 off)

2018 saw the debut of multiple Google Assistant-powered smart displays not made by Google. Our favorite of the bunch? The attractive Lenovo Smart Display. With a well-designed user interface on its 8-inch touchscreen and decent-sounding speakers, plus a knack for walking you through a recipe, we think it's a perfect fit for the kitchen. Best Buy will offer it for half off on Black Friday -- just $99. That's an outstanding deal for a new, well-reviewed piece of smart-home tech.

Save 50 percent on the Lenovo Smart Display
See it at Best Buy

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10 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

2. SimpliSafe Home Security Starter Kit with free SimpliCam for $170 ($200 off)

Been thinking about getting a smart security system for your home or apartment? Black Friday might be the day you've been waiting for, as our top pick for smart security gets a nice discount at Best Buy.

Here's the deal: save $100 on any current-gen starter kit and get a free SimpliCam smart security camera to boot. That's a total savings of $200 -- more than what you'll pay if you buy the baseline "Protect" kit, which includes the base station, a wireless keypad, a motion sensor and four open/closed sensors for doors and windows. You can add extra devices like a keytag remote or a glass-break sensor a la carte, and subscriptions to SimpliSafe's 24/7 monitoring start at $15 per month.

Whichever kit and accessories you go with, SimpliSafe is a top-tested system that's won multiple Editors' Choice Awards here at CNET, and it works with Google Assistant, Alexa and August Smart Locks. That might make this the best smart security deal I've seen in recent memory.

Save 54 percent on a SimpliSafe Starter Kit with SimpliCam
See it at Best Buy.

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11 of 12 Chris Monroe/CNET

1. Ring Video Doorbell 2 and an Amazon Echo Dot for $140 ($110 off)

Head to Best Buy after you feast on Thanksgiving, and you'll find the Ring Video Doorbell 2 marked down to $140, complete with a free third-gen Amazon Echo Dot for good measure. Both are well-reviewed products that have held up well to our tests at the CNET Smart Home, and together, the two would typically cost you $250. Is this the best smart-home deal of Black Friday? I think it might be one of the best smart-home deals of the year.

Save 44 percent on the Ring Video Doorbell 2 with Amazon Echo Dot
See it at Best Buy.

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12 of 12 Ian Knighton/CNET

Bonus Deal: Two Amazon Echo smart speakers for $100 ($100 off)

Here's an extra deal from QVC: Two Amazon Echo smart speakers for a total price of $100. That's essentially a buy-one-get-one-free deal, and it's an even better bargain than Amazon's own Black Friday special.

This was initially listed as "Today's Special Value" on Nov. 14, but as of updating this on the morning of Nov. 16, it's still live. I'll delete this slide once that changes, so if you're reading this, the deal is probably still live.

Save 50 percent on two Amazon Echo smart speakers
See it at QVC

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