The new generation of home automation products is cooler than ever. And if you’re looking for a creative housewarming gift, tech items are perfect for a homeowner to customize their new place.
No matter the homeowner’s level of tech knowledge, these innovative products can be incorporated into a new home by both techies and newbies alike. Here are five tech-related housewarming gifts for the new homeowners in your life.
Amazon Echo Voice-Controlled Home Hub
What it is: Amazon’s voice-controlled artificial intelligence device, the Echo, is an excellent central point for a smart home. For a home automation newbie, the Echo is an excellent stand-alone device, too.
The capabilities of the Echo are incredible. Simply ask Alexa (Amazon’s digital personal assistant, which responds to your voice commands) to perform a task – like playing music, ordering a pizza or calling an Uber – and she’ll get it done for you. Integrate Alexa with home automation technology, though, and it really shines. You can ask Alexa to dim your smart lights, change the temperature on your smart thermostat or activate your smart alarm system.
Pros: The 9-inch-tall, 360-degree speakers on the Echo are powerful. Alexa has over 100 skills, accessible through the Echo app, and the software capabilities are constantly updating.
Cons: The Echo isn’t portable – it’s designed to stay in one room in your home, plugged into the wall and connected to the internet through Wi-Fi.
Vimtag 361 HD Indoor Camera
What it is: The highly ranked Vimtag 361 HD indoor camera is a convenient way to ramp up your home security and help you feel safe in your home. This security camera can be a strong deterrent to burglars who may be thinking of robbing your home while you’re at work or on vacation. The 24/7 video monitoring and 720-pixel camera let you keep a digital eye on your home when you’re away through an app on your smartphone or tablet.
The Vimtag also includes a microphone and speaker that allow you to communicate through the camera when you’re away – a useful feature if you want to check in on a pet, nanny, child or aging parent. The camera boasts a 3x-zoom feature and clear night vision.
Pros: Reasonably priced, the Vimtag is much less expensive than other indoor HD cameras with comparable features, and setup is easy.
Cons: Though the camera can pan 120 degrees and tilt 320 degrees, customers complain of a narrow field of view.
Nest Smart Thermostat
What it is: Smart thermostats are a major upgrade to the old-school, programmable thermostats that were standard units for decades. As a trailblazer in its field, the Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the best.
Most people don’t take the time to constantly change the settings on a programmable thermostat, but a smart system does the work for you. It shuts off when no one is home, automatically changes heating and cooling schedules with the seasons, targets occupied rooms in the house, and even learns a home’s heating and cooling needs. Plus, Nest thermostat users save big bucks – customers save an average of 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling bills, netting an average of $131 to $145 annually.
Pros: Through the Nest app, you can check your energy usage history, and a leaf symbol on the display screen indicates every time the thermostat is operating at an energy-saving level.
Cons: The price is higher than other smart thermostats on the market.
Philips Hue Connected Smart Bulb
What it is: From scheduled timers to different color and brightness settings, smart lightbulbs have features that are not possible with traditional incandescent bulbs. The Philips Hue Connected Smart Bulb kit has positive customer reviews and can be controlled through an app on your phone.
The customization controls allow you to create a lighting scene from a picture, turn bulbs on and off automatically when you leave your home, and set the lights as an alarm to slowly turn on in the morning. The interactivity of Philips smart bulbs is a fun feature, especially for entertainment fans. The lighting system can sync with various TV shows and movies, providing an immersive viewing experience with changing mood lights.
Cost: $199.99 for a three-pack starter kit
Pros: It’s incredibly simple to install. Just screw the Philips Hue bulbs into existing lamps, and then the bridge plugs into your Wi-Fi router, allowing you to control the lights remotely.
Cons: Reviewers complain that the bulbs aren’t bright enough on their own, pointing out that the bulbs work better as an accent light instead of a direct light needed for something like reading.
Click and Grow Smart Pot
What it is: Forget gifting the tired house plant that, if ignored, will quickly shrivel and die. Instead, try the Click and Grow, a smart pot that stores and dispenses enough water and nutrients for a month’s worth of care.
Click and Grow is a modern-looking white pot with a reservoir deep enough to meet a plant’s monthly water needs, and the wide soil base is ideal for an indoor herb garden. The pot also includes an LED lamp designed for fast growth, smart soil that automatically releases the nutrients for a plant to thrive, and an automatic timer that takes care of the watering for you. An energy saver, the pot consumes only $3 worth of electricity a year.
Pros: Because the smart pot takes care of plants automatically, homeowners won’t need to worry about their plants’ needs and can just enjoy the results instead. The Click and Grow seeds come with a 100% guaranteed germination rate, so you can trust that they’ll sprout.
Cons: Refill replacement pods are expensive, at roughly $20 each.
Smart devices are saving energy and transforming the way we live. Techy housewarming gifts are thoughtful, practical and easy to integrate into the homeowner’s new place, creating a modern, connected lifestyle.
Which tech gadgets do you think make for great housewarming gifts? Let us know in the comments below!