8 best affordable smart home devices, say experts – your best life

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Upgrading your home on a budget usually meant finding an affordable source of furniture and home decor items. But thanks to new technology, your home won’t be fully modernized if it isn’t equipped with smart home features. The latest gadgets make working from home easier, controlling everything from lighting and temperature to media and security. And if you want to bring your home into the 21st century, luckily you can still do it without spending too much. Check out the best affordable smart home devices, according to retail and technology experts.

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A large TCL TV with a football player on the screenA large TCL TV with a football player on the screen

Over the past decade, our home televisions have transformed from screens requiring channel scanning to unrivaled entertainment devices. State-of-the-art devices can stream your favorite shows and movies on demand in crystal-clear resolution – not to mention they function as gaming hubs. And while it’s becoming easier to find high-quality sets at much lower prices, one brand in particular stands out for its value.

“When it comes to TVs, on a budget you can’t beat TCL TVs,” he says Jason Fischbeck, president and owner of Automated Environments in Mesa, Arizona. “These TVs come in a variety of sizes and come with a choice of two different user interfaces: Google TV and Roku TV. Both interfaces are easy to learn and use. It all depends on your preferences.”

He says one of the reasons TCL is a rising star in the TV world is because of its high-quality screens like QLED and mini QLED, which provide high-quality viewing of everything from sporting events to visually stunning movies – all at a lower price . than traditional brands such as Samsung or Sony.

“These TVs also offer gaming features for those who want to connect a gaming console and enable downloads of apps such as Netflix and Prime Video, as well as many other all-in-one devices,” he adds.

Yale Smart Lock kit, including keypadYale Smart Lock kit, including keypad

Traditional locks and keys have been around for centuries, but that doesn’t mean they’ve gotten much better over time. Homeowners still have to fiddle with them when they get home, and a missing set of keys can cause a major headache. But one new smart home device could simplify your hallway.

“The new Yale Approach smart lock is an excellent and affordable way to get a smart lock that will work for even most renters,” he says Christian de Looper, consumer technology expert at HostingAdvice. “It’s a retrofit lock, so it only replaces the inside of the lock, which means you and the landlord’s key will continue working on the outside. This is extremely helpful for those who do not want a complete lock replacement.”

The current model also includes a keypad that you can use to open the door, making it easier to let guests in when you’re not home, or to get inside if you’ve managed to lock yourself out.

Blue Google Nest MiniBlue Google Nest Mini

Anyone looking to make their home smarter will need a decent hub to help connect all their devices. But even if you haven’t started outfitting other devices, one inexpensive gadget can be a helpful addition in its own right.

“If you’re comfortable with the Google ecosystem, this $49 speaker will be a great addition to dip your toe into the smart home waters,” he says Julia Ramhold, consumer analyst at “Even if you don’t have other smart home products, Google Assistant and this little speaker can still do a lot: use it to track timers, set alarms, play music and audiobooks, answer questions, and more.”

Philips Hue smart bulb setPhilips Hue smart bulb set

Lighting at home is no longer limited to turning on, off and dimming. The Philips Hue range includes everything from light bulbs to LED strips that let you choose any color of the rainbow – all of which can be controlled via your smartphone or with voice commands via a smart home hub. But there are also other cool accessories that can really create an atmosphere.

“For the best cinematic TV experience, consider using Philips Hue Play smart LED strips,” suggests Fischbeck. “They come in two packages and can be connected to your TV. Simply download the app to change the color of these lights while watching your favorite shows or use them as ambiance when guests arrive.”

He also says that adding an extra connector can allow you to sync with your TV and really improve your viewing experience.

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Wemo smart plugWemo smart plug

Upgrading to smart appliances doesn’t mean you have to replace all your favorite fixtures and appliances. According to Ramhold, the WeMo Wi-Fi smart plug can act as an excellent slotted technology.

“You can buy one for just $49.99 and use it to make certain items in your home act as smart products, rather than buying smart versions of those things,” he says. “For example, you can plug in your holiday lighting decorations and control when they turn on and for how long, which will prevent your electricity bills from getting too high over the winter holidays.”

And because it supports all major smart home ecosystems, it’s easy to integrate with the rest of your smart home. “You can do a lot of cool things with it, especially once you get into automation,” de Looper says. “Schedule a lamp to turn on when you enter a room, make it easy to turn on multiple devices at once with a power strip, and so on.”

A close-up of the Amazon Echo Pop smart home hubA close-up of the Amazon Echo Pop smart home hub

Google’s Nest isn’t the only smart hub option available to homeowners. Amazon also offers its own simplified version that is as powerful as it is affordable.

“This sleek-looking Alexa speaker usually retails for $39.99, but can often be purchased for as little as $19.99,” says Ramhold The best life. “Even if you have to pay full price for it, it is an affordable smart home device that allows you to take advantage of the Amazon ecosystem. This one is available in a variety of colors, so you can choose what suits your interior design. scheme and offers great sound in a smaller package!”

Wyze Smart Home Thermostat Wyze Smart Home Thermostat

Being able to control your heating from anywhere can come in handy, whether that means heating your room without having to get out of bed or turning off the heating at the end of the day. While this may seem like an expensive addition, de Looper says one option provides all of this for less than $100.

“The Wyze thermostat is stylish and easy to use, and works with both Google Assistant and Alexa for broader smart home integration,” he says. “It can even help you save money with usage reports and energy-saving tips!”

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doorbell mounted outside the housedoorbell mounted outside the house
Brandon Klein Video/Shutterstock

It’s always good to keep an eye on your home when you’re not around. Whether you’re dealing with package and mail theft or just checking who’s stopping by, Fischbeck says Ring cameras can be a surprisingly affordable choice for smart home security.

“They just have high-quality products and customer service, and they’re easy to install and configure,” he says. “Ring doorbells provide good image quality even at night and clear sound.” He also adds that the latest improvements now provide even better visibility in the dark.

And don’t worry about it syncing with other devices. “Many Ring doorbells also offer Alexa integration, so if you’re part of the Amazon family, you’re already prepared,” he says.