15 smart home essentials under $100 we absolutely love

USATODAY

If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives. Smart-home technology can make your life easier and a lot more entertaining. Unfortunately, convenience doesn't always come cheap. It would be easy to blow your weekly grocery budget on smart home upgrades.


15 smart home essentials under $100 we absolutely love

USATODAY

If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives. Smart-home technology can make your life easier and a lot more entertaining. Unfortunately, convenience doesn't always come cheap. It would be easy to blow your weekly grocery budget on smart home upgrades.


Smarten up your home lighting for cheap with deals on Wemo dimmer switches and Philips Hue bulbs

PCWorld

Add some smarts to your home lighting system today with Amazon deals on a few essential lighting items. First is a two-pack of Wemo dimmer switches; usually $80 apiece, you can get the pair for $100. The Wemo dimmer switches give you control over your lights from anywhere, hub-free. Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, you'll be able to use your voice to adjust lighting conditions. You can also create schedules, dim lights, and set Night Mode to keep lights low as it gets dark.


The best plug-in smart outlet

Engadget

This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and Engadget may earn affiliate commission. After spending more than two years testing 41 smart outlets, we're confident that the Wemo Mini is the best smart outlet plug-in adapter for people who want to add remote control and automation to their existing lamps, fans, or other electrical devices. It's the most reliable Wi-Fi smart plug we tested, it's simple to use, and it works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. The Wemo Mini is the only model that has been rock-solid reliable over long-term use, offers a compact design that won't block both outlets on a wall plate, and supports all the major voice-control platforms. Like most of the smart plug-in switches we tested, the Wemo Mini is easy to set up: Just plug it into an outlet, download an app to your phone, set up the wireless connection, and then control lamps, small appliances, and even higher-draw devices like fans and air conditioners. The Wemo family also includes light switches and dimmers, so it's easy to expand your system. The Lutron Caséta Smart Lighting Lamp Dimmer costs quite a bit more than the Wemo Mini, but it has two outlets, allowing you to control two lamps or strings of lights at once (though not independently).


These are the best switches to buy for Alexa, Google Home, and more

USATODAY

If you want to smarten up your home, one of the easiest ways to do it is through smart switches. You can use them for lights (although you might want smart dimmers for that), bathroom fans, ceiling fans, garbage disposals, outlets, heck, even electric fireplaces! But unlike their dumb brethren invented in the 1800's, not all smart switches are the same. While all of the switches we tested pass the basic test of turning things on and off (phew!), they do vary in how they perform thanks to their apps and integrations. So we put them to the test, comparing their setup processes, apps, and integrations with popular platforms like Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home, to find you the very best switches you can buy.