5 Best Devices for the Modern, Family-Friendly Smart Home

  • 01 of 06

    Smart Home is where the heart is.

    Father and son using tablet in kitchen looking at ceiling lamp
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    Whether designed to welcome you back, keep your family comfortable, or simply protect the things that matter most, smart devices help make a modern house a home.

    Thinking about creating the perfect smart home system for your busy family? These five family-friendly smart devices are the perfect place to start! 

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  • 02 of 06

    Ring Wireless Video Doorbell

    This genius doorbell device allows you to use your smartphone to answer your front door anytime, anywhere with just the touch of a button.

    When a visitor rings the doorbell or triggers the built-in motion sensors, you’ll receive a mobile alert. Answer the alert, and you can see, hear, and speak to your guest even when you’re not at home. Still in your jammies? They’ll never know! Out and about? They can’t be sure. With Ring, you’re always there - a benefit that can go a long way toward keeping your family safe.

    The simple act of answering your door is known to discourage burglars, package thieves, and other ill-intentioned visitors, who often check to see who’s home by posing as solicitors before targeting your house. Your Ring device can even record every interaction and motion-triggered event using its night-vision capable, 720p HD camera, which can be accessed on demand using the “Live View” feature from the app. Best of all, the Ring Video Doorbell is easy to install and use—no professional help or special tools required. Just connect the device to your Wi-Fi, download the intuitive and easy-to-use app, and you’re good to go.

    Ring Wireless Video Doorbell, $99, Home Depot.

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  • 03 of 06

    Nest x Yale Door Lock

    Whether you have your hands full with toddlers or are busy keeping tabs on your teenagers, this dependable and attractive smart lock by Nest is the perfect solution for families on the go.

    Just got home? No need to dig for those keys. Simply use your smartphone to unlock your door before you ever even get the kiddos out of the car. The remote access feature works from anywhere, allowing you to let repairmen, babysitters, and other guests in without needing to give them a door code. You can also assign unique passcodes to specific individuals and schedule limited times for their use—a great feature for regular visitors such as maids. The app’s “access history” page will also alert you whenever someone uses his or her specific code to lock or unlock the door, allowing you to check on school kids, dog walkers, and curfew-dodging teenagers alike.

    The Nest x Yale Door Lock’s keyless deadbolt is secure and tamper-proof, and locking it is as easy as a single touch on your way out. Not sure you remembered? Check the door's status from you phone at anytime. You can even program your device to automatically lock itself after you leave the house for a completely worry-free departure. 

    Nest x Yale Door Lock, $279, Home Depot.

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  • 04 of 06

    Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Starter Kit

    Hate coming home to a dark and empty house? Caseta’s Wireless Smart Lighting Kit will leave the light on for you.

    This simple smart lighting system allows you to control your lights through your smartphone or a voice activated assistant, like Alexa, Siri, or Google Mini. A quick tap of the app or a voice command will turn lights on or off or adjust the brightness of the LED bulbs. Going on vacation? Caseta’s “Smart Away” feature will turn lights on and off randomly throughout your trip. You can also use the app to schedule your lights to turn on before you arrive home, ensuring a bright and safe welcome for your family every time.

    Installation takes only 15 minutes and the three-step instructions couldn’t be simpler. Once installed, each individual dimmer can control up to 17 individual light bulbs, making it easy to light up an entire house in a single click.

    Caseta Wireless Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Starter Kit, $99.95, Home Depot.

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  • 05 of 06

    Nest Smart Learning Programmable Thermostat with Temperature Sensors

    When it comes to heating and cooling your home, comfort can come at a pretty hefty price. Want to keep things cozy for less? Try Nest’s Smart Learning Programmable Thermostat.

    According to the results of an independent study, this clever little device could save you an average of 10 to 12 percent on your heating bills and as much as 15 percent on your cooling bills, paying for itself in less than two years. As if the cost-savings were not enough, Nest has revolutionized the market, taking the guesswork out of the elaborate programing required by most thermostat models and replacing it with a simple and intuitive system that “learns” your temperature preferences and automatically adjusts to save energy when you leave the house. Nest will even learn how long it takes to heat or cool your space and keep an eye on the weather to ensure your home is at a comfortable temperature when you return.

    If at any point you’d like to make a change, use the Nest app to adjust the temperature from your smartphone. You can also issue a voice command to the voice assistant when you're at home. Worried about kid or pets? The system comes with two additional sensors to help maintain temperatures in individual rooms, such as your little one’s nursery or the space where you crate your puppy, ensuring that every member of the family remains safe and comfortable at all times.

    Nest Smart Learning Programmable Thermostat with Temperature Sensors, $299, Home Depot.

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  • 06 of 06

    Google Home Mini

    Need help managing your new smart home? Get yourself a virtual assistant.

    Virtual assistants come in many shapes, brands, and sizes. But when it comes to value for money, the Google Home Mini can't be beat. 

    This handy little device offers all the benefits of the original Google Home in one compact, convenient package, and at just $49 each, you can afford to put one in every room. Ask questions, play music, and control all your compatible smart devices simply by issuing voice commands to your Google Assistant. You can even pause, play and rewind your favorite songs hands-free. 

    Google Home Mini, $49, Home Depot.