With great power comes great responsibility and this list of the best smart home gadgets take their job of managing your home very seriously. Buying the latest smartphones and laptops is always exciting but buying some of these must-have smart gadgets can give you the rush of adulthood like nothing else. Smart home gadgets are controversial for some—are we really too lazy to get up and turn off our lights when the switch is just a foot away? These gadgets are less about laziness and more about simplifying living for people who want to create a home that caters to them instead of the other way around. 

These technological marvels not only make life easier, but they also make lives more secure and improve the overall quality of living for users who choose to set up a smart home. If you want to give such tech a try but don’t know where to get started, these are some of the best smart home gadgets you can get started with this year.

Best smart gadgets 2024

Best Smart Home Gadgets That Promise to Improve Your Life

Many classic movies have tempted us with futuristic tech that bows down to our needs and works its magic at the touch of a button. The trajectory of smart gadgets does seem to be headed in that direction but we have a little distance to go before we can have a home that’s fully-automated. It can be quite expensive to set up a smart home and invest in a variety of technologies all at once, so incremental purchases towards the ultimate goal of building a smart home are a much better idea. Many of us have got a head start already with Amazon Echos and Ring Doorbells, but those beginner categories are just the start of what the tech world has to offer.

If you’d like to advance to the pro leagues with the top smart home gadgets in 2024, here are our recommendations to get you there.

Best Smart Security Camera

Best Smart Security Camera—Arlo Pro 4

If you want to get started with hunting for the best smart home gadgets, one of the ideal places to start is home security. Crimes are always on the rise, whether it’s people stealing Amazon packages off your porch or worse crimes like house squatters and home burglaries. Smart home cameras can create a sense of security for you whether you’re in the house or away on vacation, making it a good investment for your home. The Arlo Pro 4 is one of the best security cameras on the market right now, and despite its expensive price tag, it might still feel well worth your money. 

The camera is easy to install and connects to an app you can download on your phone to toggle through its settings and features. It uses your home Wi-Fi connection and has a 6-month battery life that is easily rechargeable even through magnetic charging. The camera outputs 2560×1440 resolution at a 16×9 aspect ratio with a 160-degree FOV, has audio recording and output, and is water resistant so it’ll manage just fine outdoors. The Arlo Secure subscription has object detection features, 30-day video storage, a built-in siren, and an integrated spotlight that is very handy at night. 

The drawback is that you have to pay a subscription fee to use its smart features, which is $7.99 USD per month for a single camera or $12.99 USD for multiple cameras, and that can rack up to a lot over time. It’s not an unreasonable amount given the range of features and quality of video recording so it’s a worthwhile investment in the end. There is no local storage available either unless the device is connected to the Arlo SmartHub. The device is priced at $200 USD but it’s a long term investment that can serve you well. 

Alternate Smart Home Security Cameras to Consider:

  • Arlo Essential 
  • Google Nest Cam
  • Eufy 4G “Starlight” Camera S230
  • Reolink Video Doorbell PoE camera
  • Wyze Cam Outdoor v2

Best Smart Home Thermostat

Best Smart Home Thermostat: Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium

Priced at $249.99 USD, the Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium can be a great way to monitor the air quality in your home and maintain temperatures intuitively. Ecobee’s earlier product was already a decent investment but the current upgrade to both the appearance and features makes it all the more appealing. The clean design and sleek zinc body can fit into your home easily and the touch screen is very responsive and can give you all the information you need at a glance. 

Paired with the wireless smart sensor that you can place in another room of your house, it enables motion detection that allows the smart thermostat to regulate the temperature of the room you’re in rather than just where the main device is placed. It has a built-in assistant option compatible with Siri and Alexa, and you can use this feature for voice activation of controls. If you opt for the additional bundle of Ecobee smart home devices, you can also turn it into a hub to coordinate with the security tools if you like. For a more affordable option, the Enhanced thermostat is an option, but it has a plastic body, no additional sensor, and it does not detect air quality.

Alternate Smart Thermostat To Consider:

  •  Wyze Thermostat
  • Honeywell Home T9 
  • Nest Learning Thermostat 
  • Amazon Smart Thermostat
  • Sensi Smart Thermostat ST55

Best Smart Home Hub

Best Smart Home Hub: Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)

If you’re looking for a central hub that can be your one-stop for setting up all your home technology, the Amazon Echo is a must-have smart gadget. Its adorable design holds half its appeal, fitting into any home without demanding too much attention, but its features are what make it truly worth the price. The device has an ultrasound motion detector that can automatically turn the lights on in your room as well as an ambient temperature sensor that can turn on the AC when the temperatures move up too high. 

Its audio infrastructure is impressive and it works quite nicely as a speaker when you just want Alexa to play some music while you cook or work. It is very easy to set up routines with compatible devices to ensure the device starts various systems up when the time is right. Its tap control gestures are quite handy but its main selling point is its ability to pick up your voice even in the midst of all the noise of a busy home. The device is priced at $28 USD, but if you pay $10 USD more, you can also have the version with a digital time display, which makes it even more useful within the home space.

Alternate Smart Home Hubs To Consider:

  • Google Nest Hub Max
  • Aeotec Smart Home Hub
  • Homey Pro
  • Hubitat Elevation
  • Amazon Echo Show 10 

Best Smart Lighting

Best Smart Lighting: Govee LED Smart Light Bulbs (H6008)

Lighting is everything—it can take your home from looking like a sterile hospital to a well-loved home in a second. If you’re not in a position to make a big renovation in your home or invest in an extensive smart home system, you can still opt to make more affordable changes to your space by elevating the lighting system. If you prefer white lights then the Wiz Tunable LED Smart Bulb should be a good choice for you, but if you want to customize the colors to suit your mood then the 9-watt, 800-lm Govee LED smart light bulb is a good choice.

It is easy to set up, there are a lot of color options that ensure you’ll find what you’re looking for, and they can be paired with Alexa, Siri, or plain old Google to bring in that smart feature without requiring you to invest in a hub. The app gives you the freedom to have some room to experiment with auto-scheduling, so you can come back home to a space that welcomes you in. 

The bulbs do not have Matter support or Zigbee integrations so that is one of the downsides to the purchase but at $19 USD for a pack of two, it’s to be expected. The company also has a range of light strips and color panels that you can consider if the lightbulbs don’t do it for you. Changing the lighting was one of the ways we got started with smart home technology so this could be a good gateway to the best smart home gadgets for you too. 

Alternate Smart Lighting Options To Consider:

  • Philips Hue Color Ambiance
  • Govee Glide Wall Lights
  • Ring Pathlight Solar (For the outdoors)
  • TP-Link Kasa Filament Smart Bulb KL50
  • Nanoleaf Shapes

Best Smart Lock

Best Smart Lock: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock (4th Generation)

When it comes to smart locks, you have a few options—biometric-enabled, digital dial pads for typing in combos, QR code scanners, etc. One of the best options to integrate with your existing deadbolts is the August Smart Lock which can be retrofitted over your existing lock—you only have to change the part of the lock that’s on the inside of your house. This serves the additional benefit of keeping outsiders from seeing the smart gadget, considering it looks like a regular lock on the outside. 

The Wi-Fi-enabled device works with the DoorSense sensor to let you know if the door is closed and has features like auto alert if the door is left ajar for some reason. The auto lock/unlock can ensure a stress-free experience when you approach your door, eliminating the struggle of riffling through your bag on your doorstep. You can also create temporary keys for when you have guests over, giving them access to your home without having to share a password or give them a physical key. These keys can be set to work at specific times, so a pet sitter will only be able to come in during the time you’ve set for them to come and go. 

The device is available at $199.99 USD and is available in Silver and Matte Black. If you want a built-in keypad, it’s available at a slightly higher price as well.

Alternate Smart Locks To Consider:

  • Google Nest x Yale Lock
  • Aquara Smart Lock U100
  • Lockly Flex Touch Pro
  • Lockly Secure Plus
  • Schlage Encode Plus

From the best smart security cameras to the top lighting smart bulbs, these are some of our recommendations for smart home gadgets you should consider installing in 2024. Don’t rush to buy one of everything because the costs might make you regret your decision very quickly. Instead, make a decision on which category you want to get started and then start building your smart home. 

One possible strategy could be to pick a good smart home hub and then start building an ecosystem of devices there but you’re honestly free to play around with a mix of devices that almost always have app integrations that you don’t need the smart hub to control. These may be some of the best smart home gadgets out there, but determining what works best in your home space while keeping your budget in mind is the best way to decide what kind of tech you should spend your money on.