Our Smart Home Devices

Welcome to Our Smart Home Devices. Here we link to more than 100 smart home devices running in the AppMyHome household. For your convenience, you can find links to purchase for most of the products we have tested and/or currently using below. We’ve also included, where available, links to our relevant story or video. 

Note: we have moved on from some devices, either because the company went out of business, the device was no longer needed or we replaced with a newer, similar product. We have listed these under RETIRED devices

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Our Smart Home Devices or similar available on our Smart Home Shop on Amazon and other Smart Home sites:

Automation Hubs and Controllers | Entertainment | Health and Fitness | Heating and Cooling | Internet | Kitchen and Bath | Lighting, Switches and Outlets | Security/Safety | Sensors | Smart Cameras | Smart Solutions

Automation Hubs and Controllers – Home automation hubs, voice control

We use these products to connect devices using Z-Wave and Zigbee protocols to our Wi-Fi network. This enables both remote access and voice control of those devices when supported by the device manufacturer. We use two hubs in our home only because the Konnected security interface requires the SmartThings hub. All the rest of our Z-Wave and Zigbee devices are on the Wink hub.

In your smart home, you should only need one of these products. Both hubs work well for Z-Wave and Zigbee devices. Before you buy, be sure to check the websites to verify your devices are compatable.

For voice control, we primarily the Amazon Echo. We use started with two full size Amazon Echos, but as we have been expanding throughout the house we have been using the smaller, less expensive Echo Dot. We have also have some devices listed elsewhere on this page with Alexa built in, which is handy to expand voice control throughout your home. 

Entertainment – TV, Audio, Video

There are many choices for entertainment that are Smart Home ready, with new functionality coming all the time.

When you choose a Smart TV be sure it not only supports Wi-Fi, but that the TV can be turned on by a command over Wi-Fi, otherwise you will still need your IR Remote.

If you don’t have a Smart TV but have an IR remote, you can use up a Logitech Hub which acts like as IR remote and even works with Alexa. This is what we did since our Samsung TV would not turn on without the remote. Newer Smart TV models like the one listed here most likely will be fine, but we suggest you check to be sure. There are the same issues with stereos and receivers, though even our older model Denon supports Wi-Fi control.  

We also have many other smart entertainment devices such as our Sengled Pulse light bulb/speakers and the iHome AVS clock with Alexa built in.

Health and Fitness– Sleep Gadgets, Fitness devices

There are plenty of devices to help in this category. As cyclists we rely on our Garmin to provide all the data we need to handle long rides. For sleeping we’ve recently picked up the Sleeptracker, which is amazing, and doesn’t require you to wear a device, just put it under you mattress and you are set. To aid in comfort while sleeping we have the BedJet, you can read our review here. As a CPAP user, the Dreamstation Go was our choice as we like to travel and the device is both small and quiet.

Heating and Cooling – Thermostats, Smart Vents, Smart Fans

Aside from heating and cooling our home, we need to cool our cabinet where the entertainment components live. For this we use the AC Infinity AIRCOM fan which fits perfect atop of our Denon receiver and disapates the heat out the back.

Our home heating/cooling is controlled buy a pair of Nest thermostats, and these paid for themselves over one summer in our northern California heat. To better distribute the heating/cooling to a couple of remote bedrooms we installed Keen smart vents, these open and close to maintain local room temperatures, and so far seem to be doing the trick.

A couple of nice looking smart fans from Haiku complement the living room and master bedroom and sync up with the Nests to provide a well regulated climate.

To save from having to install air filters before their time, we now are using the new bluetooth filters from Filtrete that tell us when to change them. No more changing every 3 months.

Internet – Cable Modems, Routers, Firewalls

Your internet setup is the most critical part of your Smart Home, it is the foundation. Make sure you get fast internet from your provider, at least 100 Mb/sec download speed, upload around 5 Mb/sec is fine. You can rent your internet devices from the provider, or better yet pick up your own Cable modem and Wi-Fi routers (avoid the all in one boxes), these are a one time purchase and you can upgrade any part of your setup independent of the other parts.

Don’t forget a Smart Firewall like the CUJO, remember all those devices in your smart home likely cannot load any virus or firewall software, so the CUJO will act to protect all of them as it protects your home network.

Since we have a lot of Wi-Fi devices, we choose a mesh Wi-Fi router to ensure we cover our whole house and backyard with a strong Wi-Fi connection. Mesh routers like Orbi put boxes at different locations in the house, but act as a single Wi-Fi network. If you don’t need a lot of coverage then a single router should work fine, just make sure it is the latest generation. You can use a network box like the Fingbox to test your current Wi-Fi signal strength. If you don’t know if your current router is strong enough, the Fingbox has a cool feature that uses your smartphone to test the strength of the Wi-Fi anywhere in your home.

Have you ever needed to restart your cable modem or router when you are not home? Well, check out the Digital Loggers power strip, it checks to see if the internet is working, and if not will power cycle your gear with any interaction from you.

Kitchen and Bath – Kitchen and Bath Gadgets and Meal Kit Apps

There are many new gadgets and apps for the kitchen. Even major appliances are now smart. While we haven’t tried out those, we have been using more affordable devices and apps to make cooking easier. Most these use bluetooth and W-Fi and connect to your smartphone and some with a smartwatch. A nice convenience today are delivered to home Meal Kits the you can order with the touch of their app on your smart phone or a click on your favorite browser.

Some devices work together like the Vitamix blender and scale. Check out our story.

If you haven’t tried cooking with Sous Vide, there are several on the market. And don’t miss out on temperature probes like Weber and iDevices which are great for both grilling and the oven. No more guessing.

Lighting, Switches and Outlets– Smart Light Bulbs, Switches and Outlets

Lighting can be done by either using a smart bulb or by automating your wall switches and outlets. Keep in mind that if you use a smart bulb that is controlled by a light switch you’ll need to keep the switch on. The other option is to just use a smart switch or smart outlet and use a simple LED bulb. Either way there are lots of options. And some light bulbs can be dimmed or can change color, which is a lot of fun, for example the Phillips Hue.

For switches and outlets you can purchase add on devices that either stick to your wall plate, like the Switchmate, or are a plugin smart outlet like the WeMo or TP Link. Any of these can be controlled with your smartphone. This is a good option for those that rent, or don’t want to replace your home’s built in switches and outlets.

If you do decide to replace however, there are some really good choices we recommend as they look great and don’t require batteries. Typically the smart outlets come with one outlet smart and the other always on. The switches come in either on/off or dimmer, including some that have a motion sensor built-in. If you have a 3 or 4 way switch setup be sure to pick up the add-on switch that matches the main switch (for example the GE Z-Wave Smart Dimmer Switch and the GE Z-Wave Add-on Switch). We do recommend hiring an electrician to install these built-in devices, and then you can easily add the device “smarts” to your phone app.

Smart bulbs, switches and outlets (built-in or plug-in) come with different protocols. The ones with Wi-Fi connect straight to your router, the bluetooth, Z-wave and Zigbee devices do require a hub that provides W-Fi access. Any way you go should be fine. Z-Wave and Zigbee actually provide extra coverage as more devices are added as they mesh together.

Plug-in

Built-in, wiring required

Security/Safety– Smart door locks, Smart Doorbells, Smart Smoke and CO detectors

Smart devices can automate your door locks, doorbells, window sensors and smoke detectors providing you with information at your phone anywhere in the world. Most the devices we mention here use Wi-Fi to communicate to your phone, or have a Wi-Fi bridge that lets them talk to your phone.

You can put battery powered sensors on your windows and doors, but with products like Konnected you can actually connect those wired window and door sensors already in your home and then see their status on your phone.

Accessing your home has gotten easier too, even allowing you to let people in while you are away. There are several types, some with keypads, some with touch to open like Kevo and others where you just press a button on your smart phone. These either replace part of your deadbolt or all of it. And most of these will also allow you to control the locks from anywhere. We choose Kevo as it provides touch to open via bluetooth, so the phone just stays in the pocket. We added the Kevo Plus bridge to allow us to control from anywhere.

Many people are now installing smart doorbells that not only record when someone walks up to them, but also integrate with the smart door locks so you can open the door for your visitor. Key with the video doorbell is to make sure it is 1080p and that it records a few seconds before motion is detected so you get the best picture of the person.

Smoke detectors have come a long way, with several name brands providing smart ones. We have installed the Nest Protect throughout our house. This device replaces your existing smoke detector, comes in both wired and battery only models for those rooms where you didn’t have one but should and they detect both smoke and CO (very important) as well as warning you in every room by voice if there is an issue and where.

Sensors – Motion, Water Leak, Energy Monitors

These are the eyes and ears of your smart home. Use them to control other devices in the home, like turning on a light when there is motion. They usually are Z-Wave or Zigbee based, so you may need a hub. Others use Wi-Fi and may use a standalone app. Most are battery based so expect at some point to need to replace batteries. Some do use wall power, or USB which limits installation location. We use these to detect motion, monitor temperature, humidity, and water leaks and even discover our power usage. Hub apps like Wink need to support the sensor you buy, so make sure before you do that your smart home app does.

Smart Cameras – Smart Cameras, Indoor Cameras, Outdoor Cameras, Gimbal Stabilizers

When selecting cameras there are many questions. Do I need indoor or outdoor, do they detect motion, can they tell a pet from a human from a car? Do they capture video before the motion is detected (or you may miss the subject)? Are they Wi-Fi or wired? Do they have night vision, and how good is it? They need to be at least 1080p resolution to help in making out the subject. Do you want local storage, cloud storage or both and how much are you willing to pay? Will you be able to use a single app for all cameras or is using one for each acceptable? Do you trust the security of the camera or the storage? Do they use batteries, support solar panels or require wall or USB power?

Smart Solutions– Blinds, Irrigation, Garage Door Opener

Most these devices are complete solutions in themselves. They provide the device, the app and usually do not require another smart home device or app to use. They usually integrate into one of your home’s systems to provide additional convenience.

RETIRED Devices

We have moved on from some devices, either because the company went out of business, the device was no longer needed or we replaced with a newer, similar product. So don’t necessarily pass these by as they may be just what you are looking for. 


Recommended devices available by category on our Smart Home Shop on Amazon:

All Smart Home Recommendations | Automation Hubs and Controllers | Entertainment | Health and Fitness | Heating and Cooling | Internet | Kitchen and Bath | Lighting, Switches and Outlets | Security/Safety | Sensors | Smart Cameras | Smart Solutions

Affiliate Disclosure: AppMyHome.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We are also a participant in the Awin, Impact, Refersion and ShareASale affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to various merchant sites.