Tis the season to make your home merry and bright.  In a world full of tech companies vying for your attention, the number of home gadget options is increasing by the day.  If you’re thinking of giving yourself the gift of a smarter home this year, check out a few of this year’s top smart devices.

Lighting devices

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  • The second generation Lifx Color 1000 color-changing bulbs are among the brightest and most efficient.  They offer up to 16 million colors, including 1000 shades of white.  They’ve got one of the easiest to use apps that integrates with Alexa (Amazon’s virtual assistant) and IFTTT.  Unlike some other models, these bulbs don’t require a hub.
  • The Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit is affordable and simple, making it a great choice for those just getting started with smart lighting.
  • BeOn offers a security lighting system that can mimic your household’s usual lighting patterns while you’re away.  They also come on automatically when the doorbell rings and work even when the power’s out.
  • Lutron’s Serena Shades won’t come cheap, but offer the best remote controlled window shades.  They can be scheduled to raise or lower or controlled by smartphone app or Siri.

Home security gadgets

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  • One of the best DIY home security systems comes from Scout.  It’s not among the cheapest, but it is highly customizable.
  • August’s second-gen smart deadbolt offers great performance, easy installation, and a Apple HomeKit with support for Siri.
  • SkyBell video doorbell offers 1080p resolution and integrates with Nest, IFTTT, and Alexa.  It also offers free online video storage.
  • In terms of smart carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, Nest Protect offers one of the most feature-packed and best looking models available, though it is on the pricier side.

Baby monitors

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  • If you’re in the market for a smart baby monitor, the iBaby Monitor M6S is one of the best.  You get highest-level streaming resolution whether you’re home or away.
  • Project Nursery offers a video monitor system that includes a mini monitor that can be worn like a wristwatch around the house.

Smart cameras

  • Nest Cam has one of the top-rated indoor cameras.  It features 1080p streaming and a magnetic base that installs easily.
  • The Kuna Toucan outdoor cam offers 2 free hours of cloud storage, an alarm, and a cool look, all at a reasonable price.

Centerpieces

  • The Amazon Echo is one of the best control points for smart home gadgets and includes a voice-activated speaker and virtual assistant, “Alexa.”
  • Belkin’s WeMo Insight Switch can be toggled via your phone.  You can schedule it to come on automatically, use IFTTT to trigger it, and even track its energy usage.

Thermostats

There are quite a few different learning thermostats available, but the third generation of Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat tops them all.

While some smart home gadgets aren’t necessarily budget friendly on the front end, don’t forget to account for potential energy savings, extra peace of mind, and maybe even discounted home insurance premiums.