In 2016, home automation has reached a whole new level of convenience and smart capability. The software behind the devices is really quite remarkable, and is designed to make your home better, not to mention a safer and more secure place to live.
Home security and home automation are often intertwined in such a way that if you are not familiar with the latest technology, prepare to be blown away!
Back in the old days, home security was offered exclusively by private companies, who would stay back and watch your home from a distance, watching and waiting. If something didn’t look right, it was completely up to them to react and all of your home’s security was basically in their hands, essentially forcing you to play the role of the powerless victim.
Today, the opposite is true. You are completely empowered to have complete control over your home’s security via smart technology and software apps. This software and technology makes it possible for you to watch over your own home from anywhere in the world, and you don’t need to repeatedly check your phone to see what’s happening – you are sent notifications letting you know if and when something is up.
The best part is this automated security software does all the work for you. Your property is being watched 24 / 7 and, in the event something happens, you will be notified. All of the settings are generally adjustable – camera angles, light settings, alerts, motion-triggered recordings – all of that is done according to automated features.
We’ve researched what we consider the 24 best home automation devices of 2016, and we are excited to present this list to you today, complete with all relevant details including price, best features, and how it works.
VeraLite Home Controller
If you currently do not have a smart home, the VeraLite Home Controller is a great way to turn it into one! With no fees or contracts to worry about, the Vera is a very appealing little green and white box that comes at a very affordable price as well.
In terms of set-up, there’s nothing complicated about the Vera. Out of the box you get everything you need to hook it up quickly and easily and you’ll be taking your home to the next level in no time. The VeraLite Home Controller gives you the ability to control security cameras, lights, locks, alarms, thermostats, and much more with via your mobile device or laptop.
- Simple to operate UI (user interface)
- Remote access via any internet connection from anywhere in the world
- With the Vera, you can easily keep track of your energy consumption and save $$$
- Use plug & play IP cameras to monitor your home and keep track of everything with the VeraLite
Cost: *Est. $100-200
Belkin WeMo Light Switch
You can now control the lights and electronics in your home remotely, using this home automation app which is an updated version of the very successful WeMo app. It is Wi-Fi enabled and works with any Apple smartphone and Android 4.1 or higher.
- Simple to operate
- Works with an existing Wi-Fi router and any iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, with iOs 5 or higher
- Expandable – add any additional WeMo switches easily at any time
- Compatible with one-way connection lights, but not with three-way switches
- Metal faceplates might interfere the WiFi connectivity, so it needs a neutral wire
Cost: *Est. $49
Belkin NetCam HD
You can now monitor your house from literally any location with the Belkin NetCam Wi-Fi HD+ Camera with Night vision and glass lens. Watch live HD video from your house on your smartphone or tablet, without the need of a computer. Thanks to this camera, you will be able to relax even if you are away from your home, by checking your kids, pets and other family members in times when you can’t be with them.
- It’s easy to install, and it doesn’t even require a computer
- Belkin NetCam Wi-Fi HD+ Camera Works with WeMo products
- The package consists of the Belkin NetCam HD+, power supply, mounting kit with screws, and an install guide
- Provides high quality day and night image because of the premium HD wide-angle glass lens
- This camera connects just with the security servers of Belkin, thus providing secure connection
- Notifications through emails when there’s detected motion, and two-way push-to-talk audio microphone
Cost: *Est. $130
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch is a Wi-Fi enabled device which allows turning your devices on and off from every location, by connecting your electronic devices and home appliances to your Wi-Fi network. It also monitors your electronics and provides information about their energy usage to your tablet or smartphone.
- The Belkin WeMo Insight Switch works with many electronic devices, like wall A/C units, space heaters, fans, washers and dryers, TVs, etc.
- Compatible with any tablet or smartphone using iOS 6 and higher or Android 4.0 and higher
- You can customize the alerts and set schedules
- Works with Amazon Echo and Alexa for voice control
Cost: *Est. $50
Philips 426353 Hue White and Color Starter Kit
Philips Hue Persona Wireless Lighting is much more than an ordinary remote-controlling lightning. It allows expressing your creativity when it comes to the lightning in your home, making it suitable for your and your family’s needs. You will be in a complete control of your lights using your tablet or smartphone.
- You can make your wireless LED light bulbs pulse, flash, dim and more to make your own light show
- Tunable white light – every possible color
- Compatible with existing light fittings
- You can control up to 50 bulbs of all types with one bridge per home
- You get a hue bridge and 3 A19 bulbs in the starter pack
- It was Forbes Product of the Year 2012
Cost: *Est. $197
Netatmo Weather Station for Smartphone
Netatmo Weather Station possesses unique set of monitoring sensors which enable wireless transfer of the information from your home to your smartphone. It monitors, tracks, and measures your environment and weather, both inside and outside of your home. The Netatmo App is free on the Google Play Store and iTunes, and enables access to the measurements of your Weather Station on the dashboard, in notifications, or in graphs. It records online so you can access your data through your PC or smartphone.
- It monitors humidity, temperature, indoor CO2 concentration, barometric pressure, local air quality index, indoor noise pollution, and detailed 7-day forecast
- It works with Android 4.0 or higher, and iPhone
- Real time graphs and notifications, recorded every five minutes
- Completely weatherproof
- Free personal account for your information
Cost: *Est. $177
Dropcam Pro Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera
Dropcam Pro combines cutting-edge technology with excellent image quality. It’s one of the most intuitive wireless cameras currently on the market, and it offers tons of features. Dropcam Pro is #1 Best Seller on Amazon, and connects you with your most important people, places and pets.
- 1 minute setup- connects with your iOS mobile phone or computer throgh your Wi-Fi network, and stream live in less than 60 seconds
- Updated image sensor and new optics offer 2x sharper video
- Outstanding field of view- 8x zoom, 130 degrees diagonal, night vision
- Intelligent notifications, two-way talks, scheduling, and web and mobile apps
- Available cloud video recording up to 30 days of footage, to review what you have missed, or to save and share your favorite videos
Cost: *Est. $280
D-Link DSP-W110 Wi-Fi Smart Plug
D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug enables controlling your electronic devices from anywhere in the world, via the mydlink Home app for tablets and smartphones. Enjoy in the conveniences provided by the app, such as already lit home or temperature-controlled room after work or school.
- Remote control of all electronic devices
- You can set schedule for the activities of your devices when your aren’t home
- Easily connect to your Wi-Fi network with WPS button
- Thermal sensor to turn off any forgotten overheating devices
- Compatible with iOS 7.0 or higher, and Android 4.1 or later
- Works with Amazon Echo
Cost: *Est. $30
Insteon 2842-222 Wireless Motion Sensor
This motion sensor enables your existing INSTEON system to react to motion changes, by turning your light on, and off when there’s no need. The INSTEON Wireless Motion Sensor will prevent you from stumbling in the dark, so you won’t need to come home to a dark house anymore.
- When motion is detected, it automatically turns on lights or appliances controlled by INSTEON
- In the same manner, it turns them off after 30 seconds to 2 minutes from the moment the motion stops (adjustable)
- It has great range of up to 150 feet from the closest access point
- You can adjust the light intensity and motion sensitivity
- Saves energy and money by keeping your lights off during the day if you choose the night-only mode
Cost: *Est. $34
INSTEON Mini Remote 4 Scene
INSTEON Mini Remote 4 Scene enables controlling up to 4 individual INSTEON items, and if you have more than 4, then go the INSTEON Mini Remote 8 scenes which provides control of up to 8 INSTEON devices. You can remotely and wirelessly control your INSTEON devices and lightning. Its small and unobtrusive size enables positioning it on the wall, your car, on your table, or even in your pocket.
- Small and convenient size and elegant design
- Use INSTEON Mini Remote as a portable handheld remote
- Wirelessly raise and lower lighting levels or recall a favorite lighting level
- Use it as a keypad mounted on the wall
- It requires one non-standard battery (rechargeable)
Cost: *Est. $42
INSTEON 2843-222 Wireless Open/Close Sensor
Home automations is surely brought to a new level with the INSTEON Wireless Open/Close Sensor. It automatically controls appliances and lights when your door or window is opened or closed. The once known TriggerLinc- the magnetic contact sensor, reacts as soon as the magnetic contact is broken. With this INSTEON Wireless Open/Close Sensor you won’t ever have to worry again whether you have left your window or door opened.
- Controls thermostat, lights, and appliances
- Use the HouseLinc 2 to custom to what it links to
- Use it for windows, doors, sheds, drawers, cabinets, etc.
- Monitor more windows and doors by wiring standard security sensors to this one
- Great range of up to 150 feet from the closest access point
- Easy installation and battery operated
Cost: *Est. $31
Yale Security Real Living Electronic Touch Screen Deadbolt
Yale Real Living has manufactured an electronic lock in the YRD220-ZW-619 that elevates the bar for home security, applying z-wave technology to bring residential deadbolts to a whole new level in the 21st century.
- Fits on all standard doors
- Lock or unlock your door remotely, with pressing a single button on your smartphone
- 8 digit programmable code, up to 250 user codes
- Certified grade 2 ANSI/BHMA
- Heavy duty, highly durable and weatherproof deadbolt
- Illuminated and attractive keypad
Cost: *Est. $211
INSTEON LampLinc Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module, 2-Pin
INSTEON LampLinc Plug-In Lamp Dimmer Module provides remote control of the level of your home lightning. You can turn the lights on and off, control brightness and dim to create the lightning atmosphere you desire, by using a handheld remote, a wall keypad, smartphone, or computer.
- Remote control of lights from anywhere in the house
- Control a lamp wirelessly from any INSTEON controller compatible with this lamp controller
- The maximum load is 300-watt
Cost: *Est. $42
Philips 259507 Friends of Hue Personal Wireless Lighting Lightstrip Single
You can create your favorite lightning designs with this Lighting Lightstrip Starter Pack which provides over 16 million colors. Control it with your smartphone or tablet, even when you’re away from home.
- The 2 meter Lightstrip is quite flexible, so you can position it wherever you want
- As it includes innovative LED lights, it is highly efficient and long lasting
- Easy mounting on any piece of furniture, thanks to the integrated adhesive tape
- You can synchronize it with music
- Set timers, alarms, and alerts, and dim lights whenever you like
- Compatible with Alexa for voice control (you will need a hub for this)
Cost: *Est. $90
Fortress Security Store S02-A Wireless Home Security Alarm System
Fortress S02-A from Fortress Security Store is a complete home security system with sensors and fully programmable main unit. It detects suspicious movements and forcible entries in rooms through passive motion sensors, and through magnetic ones for windows and doors. If there’s a security breach, it automatically calls a designated number.
- The package contains a main control panel with auto-dialer, 2 passive motion detectors, 5 door/window contacts, 2 key fobs to activate/deactivate the alarm, 1 loud 110dB Fortress Internal Siren, and 1 panic alarm
- The siren might deter possible intruders, and will notify neighbors
- In case of a security breach, it will call up to six designated phone numbers
Cost: *Est. $130
Fortrezz SSA2USR Siren Strobe Alarm
Siren/Strobe Alarm Module from FortrezZ will improve the alert part of your home automation system. It provides visual and audible alerts as it is completely programmable with Z-Wave smart controllers.
- You can use it with your home security system with Z-Wave
- To control it you need a compatible Z-Wave Getaway
- Indoor usage only
- Intense strobe light and loud alarm- >110dB@1m
- Three available modes: Strobe Only, Siren Only, and Strobe & Siren
Cost: *Est. $43
Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Multi-Sensor
This MultiSensor does the job of four different home security items, due to its z-wave capabilities. Control and monitor actions and information inside or outside with the Aeotec Z-Wave MultiSensor regarding temperature, motion, light, and humidity.
- The motion sensor enables traditional security monitoring, and gives you the opportunity to custom different types of scenarios, such as lightning control
- Your MultiSensor will monitor the level of humidity in your house, and will control it via Z-Wave
- You can monitor the temperature in your room and control further control it
- Couple of functions connected to the light sensor, such as ensuring safety, saving energy, and controlling comfort
Cost: *Est. $44
SmartSense Presence Sensor
This product is way more than a regular motion sensor. You will get notifications about the location of a person, pet, or a car, extending the range of your existing Samsung SmartThings Hub. The SmartSense Presence Sensor is a real home automation device, enabling you the ability to trigger other devices compatible with SmartThings to activate when a person or animal comes and goes.
- Place the sensor in the backpack or keychain of your child to get notification when they return home
- Put the sensor on your pet’s collar to be alerted when it goes out of your home/yard.
- Attach it to the keychain to trigger beep sound in order to find your keys more easily
- The range of the product is 30 to 50 feet, and it’s a ZigBee-powered device
Cost: *Est. $23
Lyric RCH9300WF Wi-Fi Thermostat
You can now control the comfort levels in your home via your tablet or smartphone, regardless of your location. The Geofencing uses your smartphone location to adjust your home temperature as you return and leave, thus saving you money on energy bills. Honeywell’s Lyric Thermostat can truly automates everyone’s home.
- You will stay connected with your thermostat, controlling it via the Lyric mobile app
- This product has a classic round design with simplified touchscreen interface and 3 inches diameter polished glass face
- The display will sleep if there’s no detected motion, unless you have c wire
- Smart Cues feature alerts you when there’s extreme conditions, and sends you maintenance notifications
- Both, indoor and outdoor humidity and temperature are considered by Fine Tune, reaching a set point that will make your home really feel like the displayed temperature
Cost: *Est. $169
Everspring Wireless Flood Detector
Home automation products for prevention of water damage and flooding are often overlooked, although are as much important for the safety of one family as any other home automation product. You can place Everspring’s Wireless Flood Detector at positions in your home where leakage is possible, such as near HVAC units, heaters, toilets, showers, and sinks.
- Compatible with Z-Wave
- It sounds a 30 seconds audible alarm, beeping, plus sends you a z-wave notification when it detects water
- LED indicator for the status of the battery
Cost: *Est. $44
The SmartThings Hub is the focus of the SmartThings line of home automation items. The hub connects to your Ethernet network by plugging it into your router, thus linking all your various sensors to get alerts about specific activities. Thanks to this hub, you will be able to remotely control the energy usage and security of your home through your smartphone.
- It will connect different smart devices or sensors in order to monitor and control them through the free iOS/Android apps
- You will receive notifications on your mobile phone on the basis of the statuses of your smart devices, such as information if your door or window is opened or closed
- You can connect any SmartThings-compatiable device or SmartThings sensors to your SmartThings account
Cost: *Est. $85
Aeotec Z-Wave Door Window Sensor, 2nd Edition by Aeon Labs
The Aeotec Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor, 2nd Edition is an intelligent home automation Z-Wave sensor which sends information to your Z-Wave network to react to certain events. For instance when a door or window is opened it will trigger an alarm. What’s more, specific information about your doors and windows are sent to Z-Wave to provide further safety measures, so an open door might require turning the light on for a pleasant welcome.
- The Aeotec Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor, 2nd Edition is completely wireless and requires a specific Z-Wave wireless signal which is not supposed to interfere with the other home technologies
- Monitors the status of your doors and windows, whether they are opened or closed
- Its range is up to 300 feet
Cost: *Est. $34
Belkin WeMo Switch & Motion Sensor
You will be able to control your home electronics and appliances with the Belkin WeMo Switch and Motion Sensor, by turning devices on and off when there’s detected motion. The free WeMo app is compatible with iOS 5 or later and Android 4.0 or later, so that a fan turns off when you leave or a light turns on when y return.
- It comes with 6-foot cord, so you can mount it where you want
- You can have even more control if you add more WeMo motion sensors and switches
- You will get alerts via email or SMS when there’ll be detected movement in your house
Cost: *Est. $79
Belkin Conserve Socket Energy-Saving Outlet with Timer
The Belkin Conserve Socket measures how much energy your home devices are using when you aren’t in fact using them. It will shut off the power from your devices at the specific time you have chosen, to help you save energy.
- You will no longer worry if you have left your iron, space heater, or curling iron turned on when you leave your home, as it will automatically turn them off
- Set the timer easily for half an hour, three hours, or six hours
- After the time expires, it completely cuts power
- You can use it for multiple home devices, such as kitchen appliances
Cost: *Est. $11