Smart Home Products Starter Pack

Echo dot 4th genEcho dot 4th gen

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Investing in a smart home does not have to be hard, but it can lead you to ask, what smart home devices do I need to start?

A smart home starter kit should include:

  • A smart hub
  • A smart doorbell
  • Smart cameras
  • A smart lock
  • A smart thermostat
  • Smart lighting
  • A smart command center 

Once you’ve outlined what you’ll need, it’s time to put together your own smart home starter kit. Below, we have compiled a list of the best options for your smart home starter kit. Here are some of my favorites:

A Smart Hub, The Brains of The Smart Home

An Echo Dot 4th Gen is the ideal beginner smart hub for any smart home starter kit. This is because it has a sleek design, an affordable price, and is extremely user-friendly. 

Echo dot 4th gen

It supports the Alexa Amazon assistant and is compatible with other smart devices.

If this isn’t convincing, the specs speak for themselves. 

Below, we have outlined the Echo Dot 4th Gen specs to give you an in-depth understanding of the value you get for your money.

Smart AssistantAlexa
Operating SystemFire OS 5.3.3 or newer, Android 6.0 or newer, iOS 11.0 or newer
Audio3.5 mm output
Weight12 ounces
Width x Height x Depth3.9 x 3.5 x 3.9”
CompositionFabric, Plastic, Aluminum
WarrantyOne-year limited warranty

The Echo Dot 4th Gen is compatible with any Bluetooth smart device. This means it can help control doorbells, cameras, thermostats, floodlights, and more. 

This is optimal as not every smart hub allows the user to control multiple brands of smart devices on one hub.

Purchasing an Echo Dot 4th Gen is also easy. If you are an Amazon user, you can simply buy on their website. 

Echo Dot 4th Gen’s also available in many department stores and electronics specialty stores.

If you do not love the Echo Dot 4th, Gen Google Nest Hub is a higher-end alternative that also has a video-enabled screen.

A Smart Doorbell, See Who’s Visiting

Ring Doorbell Pro
A Ring Doorbell Pro is an excellent device to make your home into a smart home.

Now that you have the smart hub selected for your smart home starter kit, you can now begin to equip the rest of the home with other smart devices. 

The first step you should take is investing in a Ring Video Doorbell.

A Ring Video Doorbell allows the user to see who is at the entrance of their home before they open it. This allows for an extra level of safety and security within the home. 

It can also help people avoid pesky door-to-door salespeople or figure out when it is time to get the food delivery they ordered.

The Ring Video Doorbell is a great option for any tech lover as it has phenomenal video quality, a wide field of view, and a microphone option for push-to-talk scenarios. 

It also comes in a sleek modern design and is affordable compared to its competitors. 

The Ring Video Doorbell is compatible with the Echo Dot 4th Gen hub, which means you can control it anywhere in the home a Dot is located, making its management convenient.

The Ring Video Doorbell is a smart device that is packed with a lot of great features. Below are the specs to give you a general overview of its performance and quality.

Smart AssistantAmazon Alexa or IFTTT
Video Quality1080p resolution
StorageCloud only
ConnectivityWired or Wireless
Viewing Angle155 degrees
Night VisionNo

Ring Video Doorbell’s clear image quality makes it a top-tier product for any home starter kit. Its crisp image is easily stored in the cloud and can be recalled at the press of a button. 

This is the right option for your home if you want convenience and security.

If you are not a huge Ring fan, a great alternative is a Google Nest Doorbell.

Smart Cameras, Top-Notch Home Security

The line of all the Ring cameras
Any Ring camera is a great way to up the security in your home.

After the main entrance is secured with a smart doorbell, it is time to think about the visualization around the home. 

Inclement weather, bad characters, and visitors can happen anywhere at any time. Using smart cameras is best to know what is occurring at home.

Ring indoor and outdoor cameras are the best options when it comes to home monitoring. 

This is because they are less expensive than their competitors and provide the same quality imaging and features.

Ring Indoor Camera

Begin with the inside of your home by buying and installing Ring Indoor Cameras. It is best to buy enough cameras to monitor any entry point into the home.

Ring Indoor cameras

This should include the garage, a balcony, or windows that are on the first floor.

Once you determine how many Ring Indoor Cameras you need to accomplish this, it is time to mount them. 

These cameras are small and highly customizable, so it is easy to adjust the motion and viewing area minutely for the best results.

The Ring Indoor Camera is very small and affordable, but it also comes with many other great benefits. 

Below we have outlined its specifications to show its compatibility and other important features you will be looking for to build the optimal smart home.

Smart AssistantAmazon Alexa or IFTTT
Video Quality1080p resolution
StorageCloud only
ConnectivityWireless via WiFi
Viewing Angle140 degrees
Night VisionYes

This impressive camera is less than $100 per camera and has night vision. 

This secures your home at an affordable price while keeping it manageable by supporting the Amazon Alexa assistant and, therefore, the Echo Dot 4th Gen. 

Control the cameras with a quick command or through the convenient smartphone app. Video feeds can be viewed live at any time. 

Any motion activity is recorded and saved in the cloud. Motion detection is completely customizable, so you can fine-tune your experience.

Ring Outdoor Cameras

While Ring has a great lineup of indoor cameras, they also have outdoor ones available. 

Outdoor cameras are designed to sustain inclement weather, rapid and severe temperature change, and moisture.

Ring Stick up camera

An indoor camera should never be used as an outdoor camera unless specifically allowed by the manufacturer. This is where the Ring Outdoor Cameras come in. 

Ring has two outdoor smart cameras available to choose from; they are:

  • Ring Floodlight Cam (Wired, Plug-In, Pro)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam (Battery, Solar, Plus)

Each camera has different abilities and specifications. Both of them can withstand the trials of nature outdoors while still providing a crisp, clear image of your property. 

Outdoor cameras are important because they allow you to record accidents, inclement weather, or who is coming and going at your home. 

They provide another layer of security for any smart home enthusiast.

If you are looking for a more affordable introduction, the Wyze Cam is economical and has the same amazing video quality.

Ring Floodlight Cam

The Ring Floodlight Cam is an outdoor-rated smart device that allows users to monitor their home through video recording. 

Ring floodlight cam

It also has a floodlight that turns on when it senses motion to provide better-quality imaging and security. 

The Ring Floodlight Cam is not the least expensive outdoor cam, but it is not the most expensive option either. Below are its specifications to consider.

Smart AssistantAmazon Alexa or IFTTT
Video Quality1080p resolution
StorageCloud only, subscription required
ConnectivityWireless via WiFi
Viewing Angle140 degrees
Night VisionYes

This outdoor floodlight cam will work with your smart home hub and light up the driveway during late nights. Its colored imaging is high-quality and easily discernable. 

It will send notifications to your Echo Dot when movement is detected to keep you informed of any activity.

We suggest the Google Nest Cam with Floodlight for users who do not love Amazon.

Ring Spotlight Cam

The Ring Spotlight Cam is another outdoor camera option compatible with Alexa and the Echo Dot 4th Gen hub. 

Ring Spotlight cam

It is more expensive than the Ring Floodlight cam but has a smaller design with different power options available.

If you are into green energy and prefer not to use electricity to support your smart home, this camera will allow you to use a solar panel to power it. 

Additionally, it can run off a small battery which is great for those who want to limit power use.

This camera does not have all of the fancy bells and whistles of the Floodlight Cam, but it is comparable. 

Below are the specifications to help you determine if it is a good fit for your home’s smart home starter kit.

Smart AssistantAmazon Alexa or IFTTT
Video Quality1080p resolution
StorageCloud only, subscription required
ConnectivityWireless via WiFi
Viewing Angle140 degrees (horizontal)
Two-Way-TalkYes, includes noise cancellation
Night VisionYes
SirenYes, remote activated

This camera is a great alternative if you are not interested in an outdoor camera with a floodlight. 

It does not automatically set off the alarm when motion is activated, which some homeowners prefer.

Overall, either camera is the perfect addition to your smart home starter kit. It will provide surveillance for your perimeter at an affordable price point.

Again, if you do not love Ring, you will likely want an alternative solution. We suggest the Google Nest Cam for its high resolution and clear quality.

Smart Lock, Keep Your Home Secure

The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro WiFi should be your next investment. This smart lock is one of the best smart locks options available and is an extremely impressive smart lock because of its features. 

A smart homeowner cannot only open the door with the keypad but also use their fingerprint, a voice command, a mobile app, or a regular key.

Very few smart locks available have this many options for unlocking and locking a home. 

This allows the homeowner complete control over who enters and exits the home at all times.

The impressive features and specifications don’t stop here. Below is a chart outlining even more information about this impressive and affordable smart lock.

Smart AssistantAmazon Alexa, IFTTT, Google
Fingerprint CapabilitiesYes
ConnectivityBluetooth or WiFi
Location ServicesYes
Hardware for Manual UnlockYes
Night VisionYes

This smart lock is the perfect addition to your smart home starter kit. It is a long-term investment that provides high-caliber security for many years. 

Although there is no video, its unlocking and locking capabilities give it the leg up it needs compared to competitors.

If you do not need your smart lock to have all of these bells and whistles, try out the Eufy Smart Security Lock instead.

Smart Thermostat, Keep Track of Your Climate

Amazon thermostat and ecobee thermostat
Whether you choose a Nest Thermostat, Amazon Thermostat, or ecobee Thermostat, any smart thermostat is vital to making a smart home.

The Nest Thermostat should be included in your smart home so that you can control the temperature and climate at all times.

This device is great for energy-saving and busy travelers who are always on the go. 

This smart device can also learn routines, sense incoming and outgoing motion, and adjust temperatures accordingly. 

Due to its impressive features, it is a popular buy for smart homeowners, and many electric companies offer rebates due to its energy efficiency.

Below are even more highlights you should know about the Nest Thermostat before committing to the purchase.

Smart AssistantGoogle, Amazon Alexa (with the addition of skill)
Screen TypeColor LCD
ConnectivityBluetooth or WiFi
Heat System CompatibilityMost 24 V heating and cooling systems
SensorsMotion, ambient light, temperature, humidity, proximity, magnetic
Size3.3-inch diameter, 8.6 ounces
BatteryRechargeable Lithium Ion

Homeowners can use this thermostat for many common heating systems. 

The homeowner can customize heating and cooling times, triggered events, and schedules through its companion app.

If you like to control the environment and temperature in your home, this thermostat will provide you with ample opportunities to fine-tune your heating and cooling experience.

Not ready to shell out $300 per smart thermostat? Grab a Honeywell Home thermostat for its lower price and high quality.

Smart Lighting: Light Up Your Home

Thre Tradfri with a smart light bulb
The Tradfri line from Ikea is a fantastic way to integrate smart lighting throughout your home.

When building your smart home starter kit, remember that there is also smart lighting available. 

Smart home lighting is a great addition as many people find it convenient to turn on and off the lights with a quick voice command.

Many smart lights also allow the user to set schedules. This means you can tell the lights when to turn on and when to turn off. This capability is included with the Wyze smart bulbs.

Many smart homeowners like this technology because it saves on power and provides light at the right moments, so the house feels safer and more secure.

The Wyze bulbs have many great specs, which are listed below.

Smart AssistantGoogle, Amazon, IFTT
Bulb ColorWhite or Color
Temperature of Light2,700k to 6,500k
Lifespan25,000 hours

If you are hesitant about these lights because you use a dimmer, don’t be. These lights can be dimmed safely. Conveniently enough, you can even ask Alexa to dim them for you. 

A pack of bulbs will only cost you $15, and these bulbs will last for many years without burning out.

While these lightbulbs are great, the Philips Hue product line is another great smart light bulb.

Smart Command Center, View Everything on Your TV

Fire TV Cube
The Fire TV Cube is a fantastic control center for any smart home.

Now that your house is secure, it’s time to update your entertainment options. 

The Fire Cube TV is the perfect addition to any smart home starter kit because of its convenient ability to combine all of your favorite streaming apps in one place.

This little cube has a unique design, includes a voice remote, and has 4k HDR playback capabilities. 

While older versions prevented users from viewing all their favorite streaming services, the newest version has fixed the issue.

This small cube packs a big punch with the following specifications.

Smart AssistantAmazon
OSFire OS 7
Bluetooth EnabledYes
WiFi EnabledYes
Storage16 gigs
Image QualityResolutions up to 4K

The Amazon Fire Cube TV integrates seamlessly with any Amazon product, including the Echo Dot 4th Gen. 

This means you can control the Fire Cube wherever you have a dot or an Amazon voice-compatible device.

Additionally, this small cube houses up to 16 gigabytes of storage space. This means there is plenty of room to download and enjoy your favorite streaming services all in one place.

If you don’t love the size of the Fire TV Cube, opt for a Roku TV instead.

Tech Savvy Upgrade: Make Your Home Even Smarter

Creating a smart home with a smart home starter kit or guide is easy; upgrading it makes it even better. 

Hundreds more products are available to upgrade your abode into the ultimate smart home. Some of our favorites are:

  • Ring Flood Light
  • Ring Alarm System
  • myQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Control

Each smart device provides another layer of control and convenience to your smart home. 

Each item is also compatible with the Amazon Echo Dot 4th Gen hub, making integration seamless. 

When planning out your smart home, compatibility is key. Below we have provided more information on our favorite upgrades that can add even more convenience to your home.

Ring Flood Light

The Ring Floodlight is the perfect addition to the outdoor safety of a smart home. 

It detects motion activity and automatically lights up so that intruders are easily seen, animals are caught, or the homeowner can see where they are going on a dark night.

These lights also help homeowners see what is outside during inclement weather and foggy evenings. 

This floodlight has easy installation instructions, is affordable, and will integrate seamlessly with the smart home starter kit we outlined above.

Ring Alarm System

Ring has a variety of alarm systems available to help keep your home safe. Some of these alarms and accessories include:

Any one of these alarms will provide homeowners with more peace of mind due to the level of safety and security they provide. 

Additionally, homes that are alarmed and monitored regularly often receive a discount on their homeowner’s insurance.

If you are looking to up the ante with your smart home, any alarm system from Ring is a good investment. 

myQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Control

Due to advancements in technology, even your garage door can be controlled through an app and work with a voice assistant. 

The myQ Chamberlain Smart Garage Control works with newer garage door opening systems.

This convenient control allows homeowners to control their garage door through an app on their phone, or ask for the door to open or close with a quick Alexa voice command.

This convenient little device also alerts owners if their garage door is left open and will close it automatically if you have adjusted the settings.

Live Smarter, Not Harder

Technology allows us to reap the many benefits of convenience and efficiency. This is especially true when it comes to creating a smart home. 

Our homes can be controlled with a quick command with the simple implementation of a smart home starter kit. 

Get out there, and start building your smart home kit to reap the many benefits a smart home has to offer.

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