An early holiday gift guide: shop smart home technology

It’s that time of the year again, folks! There are holiday shopping lists to prepare, flashy deals to seize, and then a mad rush to shower loved ones with gifts before the end of the year. If you’re looking for a gift that keeps on giving, while also being innovative and techy, then look no further. We have some smart ideas for you - in more ways than one.

We’re here to share with you all about smart home technology. For starters, smart home technology is not just for the early adopter anymore. With the ease at which it can be implemented, it’s becoming mainstream for all age groups - even for those who aren’t as tech savvy. What makes smart home technology so “smart”, you ask? They are basic home amenities that are outfitted with communication technology to allow for automation or remote control use - most often from an app on your phone. They usually offer broad customization options for the customer to program a home device according to their unique needs. Common examples of smart home technology include smart speakers, light bulbs, and sensors.

Here’s a look at what’s trendy for winter 2021/2022 and worth considering for your holiday shopping list:

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smart-speaker

Smart speakers

The Google Home and Amazon Alexa smart speaker skills are becoming common household command centres as people dive into the world of voice command. They offer incredible convenience as they can easily integrate with many other applications and smart devices. A user can ask their smart speaker to turn on the lights, play their favourite playlist, and convert metric to imperial all whilst baking in the kitchen. Consider one for a friend or family member who loves to multi-task.

Fun fact: Hydro Ottawa has a smart speaker skill you can try. Say “Open Hydro Ottawa” and ask “How can I reduce my energy use?” or “What is the current cost of electricity?”

Our favourites:

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Google Nest Audio

Apple HomePod Mini

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smart-thermostat

Smart thermostats

Give the gift of energy savings and home comfort. Smart thermostats allow users to automate when and how to fluctuate the temperature of their living space. Users can optimize their heating and cooling to save on energy based on the time of day, the season, or when they are home.

Our favourites: 

Google Nest thermostat

ecobee3 lite

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smart-lighting

Smart LED bulbs 

Smart LED bulbs are not only highly energy efficient, but also highly customizable. Users can connect them to their wifi and turn them on or off via an app on their phone or via voice command to their smart speaker. They can be adjusted to almost any intensity, colour temperature or even a specific colour (red and green for the holidays, anyone? This is a fun party trick that kids will love too!). 

Our favourites:
LE WiFi Smart Light Bulb

Globe LED Dimmable Colour/Tunable White Smart Bulb

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smart-outlet

Smart outlets

If you have a friend, family member or colleague who is always worrying that they left something plugged in after leaving the house, then smart outlets are a very affordable life changer for them. Smart outlets enable users to remotely power on and off any devices plugged into them. Likewise, they can schedule their outlets to power on and off at specific times.

Our favourites:

Wyze Plug

Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini

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motion-sensor

Motion sensors

For those who already own smart bulbs, smart motion sensors make for a great add-on. Users can strategically place them where they want and it will turn the lights on whenever there is activity. Better yet, many models also have a daylight sensor to prevent turning on the lights when daylight is sufficient. Overall, they are great devices for convenience and energy savings.

Our favourite:

Philips Hue Motion Sensor

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green-lawn

Smart sprinkler controllers

For the green thumb or lawn lover in your life, they will love you for this one. Smart sprinkler systems can connect to the internet for weather data. When the weather is dry, watering regimes adjust to meet the user’s garden or lawn care needs. The user can also create their own automated schedule or remotely control when their sprinklers turn on or off.

Our favourites:

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

Orbit B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor Sprinkler Controller

Smart home technology gadgets make a great gift since they fit into a wide range of budgets - you need not spend a fortune to get “smart”. Even better is that they’re sure to delight your recipient with ongoing convenience features and energy savings. So, as you’re shopping this holiday season, we hope these smart options will help expand your list of ideas.

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holiday-gift-guide
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