Ah, the very best of manufactured consumer holidays is upon us with Prime Day… resulting in multiple days of deals, from all sorts of retailers. Unfortunately, it’s hard to keep up with many of the Amazon promos given limited windows and inventory. And, while there’s a ton of discounted gear out there, we’re discerning customers and I’m only going to present the best of the best. So, with those caveats behind us, here is some discounted smart home hardware that I would actually recommend year-round.
Echo Dot 4 + Connected Color Bulb | $25 | 62% Off
Echo Dots are an inexpensive and efficient way to add Alexa-powered smarts to your home. Trust me, I have way too many. And with a color Bluetooth bulb thrown in, why not? I expect this deal will rotate as Prime Day(s) progresses – bulb brand may change, bulb be swapped out for a smart outlet, etc. So keep checking if the initial dealio doesn’t strike your fancy.
TP-Link Kasa Smart Outlet | $7.50 | 67% Off
Both my mom and I rock TP-Link smart plugs and they’ve been extremely reliable controlling lamps and fans in our Alexa-centric ecosystems. But I’ve also had equally good luck with the Google Assistant. This dealio is a bit unique as it requires you order via Alexa. Fortunately, this can be done from the Alexa smartphone app should you not have any Echo hardware in the vicinity.
Ring Alarm | $200 | 39% Off
Beyond the hardware you see above, Ring Alarm provides professional monitoring and cellular backup for $10/mo, along with support for unlimited Ring cameras. HOWEVER, it can also be run independently of a subscription. And without the keypads, even. I primarily use our Ring Alarm system for its fairly economical leak detectors (which saved our bacon once already) and tie the contact or motion sensors into all sorts of Alexa routines. For example, if the basement door opens overnight, Hue lighting comes on.
Ring Video Doorbell + Echo Dot | $45 | 55% Off
If you’re mildly interested in adding a video doorbell (along with $30/yr subscription), this is the best price from a known brand that you’re going to find. This little guy does the basics, using existing wiring. And you’ll get a bundled Echo Dot 3 for your troubles. OR upgrade to an Echo Show 5 bundle instead ($65) to ask Alexa to show you who’s at the door. As for me, I’m holding out for a deal on the higher-end Ring Video Doorbell 4.
Google Nest Thermostat | $97 | 25% Off
Google’s already inexpensive base thermostat sees a nice 25% reduction in price. And this looker is likely the smart thermostat I’d pick up if I were in the market. It doesn’t have the learning capabilities of its big brother, but my wife and I actually found them disruptive and often fought the thermostat. It also, theoretically and optionally, completely does away with the C-wire requirement. For me, the only real drawback is a decorative backplate is an additional expense. But you should just patch your wall for a cleaner look, anyway. ;)
MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener | $17 | 43% Off
MyQ service and app are both way more responsive and reliable than when I first joined up two years ago. However, I still bristle at no native Alexa or Siri control … while they have no problem implementing Amazon Key and Google Assistant. But only $17 to check garage door status, or change it, at any time is quite compelling.