LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb
All the same colors and shades of white as the Philips Hue, but without the need for a hub. With a few of these bulbs, you can put that old swingers pad you had in the ‘70s to shame. But really, you should probably leave those days behind you. On second thought, no. Time to get it on.
We were all grateful enough when robots started vacuuming our houses years ago. But these little androids were so generous that they went on evolving, because they just can’t help wanting to be more helpful. These days, you can integrate them with your smart home hub and monitor them from afar to make sure they’re not tormenting your pets or ordering any dirty movies that will show up on your credit card bill.
The Philips Hue system gives you complete control over your home lighting with every shade of white light you can imagine, 16 million different colors, and full integration with your smart home system so you can schedule your lights to do all kinds of tricks automatically. Instantly make your home as beautiful, soothing, or obnoxious as you want.
The original smart speaker and still the reigning champ of the category (in popularity at least). Alexa, the Echo’s tireless digital assistant, can do wonders for you: make your grocery list, play your favorite music on Spotify, or order more cashmere socks after a long night of mooning the paparazzi. Connect it to a fully functional hub and you can control your vast smart device kingdom with the sound of your voice.
Every new parent rests easier with a good baby monitor. Being able to check in by picking up your phone and pulling up an instant video feed is the ultimate in parental comfort. Whether you’re worried that you sleep too soundly to hear your new arrival crying (in which case, oh boy, you’re in for a surprise) or you’ve just seen The Omen too many times, this will surely put your mind at ease.
It’s not the only streaming box on the market, but for die-hard Apple users it might as well be. Not only because it integrates with Siri and all of your other Apple devices, or because it’s the only streaming device that can play your iTunes collection right out of the box. That’s all true, but here’s the real reason: the one with the golden ticket houses the ghost of Steve Jobs.
This is the centerpiece that ties all of your connected devices together. Automation is the name of the game with smart home equipment, and with a hub like the Samsung SmartThings you can get as sophisticated as you want. Use schedules and routines to make your smart home operation as hands off as you wish your relationship with your boss could be.
The Fire TV Stick is an ultra-portable, ultra-affordable alternative to the full Amazon Fire TV setup. It may not deliver 4k UHD and it might not handle all of the video games that the big kahuna does, but you get all of the same TV shows and movies in full 1080p HD, at a price that makes it hard to beat.
What day does the milk expire? Who the hell knows the answer to a question like that off the top of their head? Actually, your refrigerator does, if you’ve got one of these. Interior cameras allow you to monitor food levels from your phone, and you can receive instant messages when the door is left open so you know which kid to beat. Just kidding. Don’t do that.