Smart home devices

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Wyze Security Cameras

The goal at Wyze is to make quality smart home technology accessible to everyone. By working with efficient manufacturers and selling directly from their website, they’re able to offer high-quality products at much lower prices. The companies first product, Wyze Cam is a great alternative to more expensive options available on the market. While it does not have a battery, it is powered via an included 6-foot-long micro USB cable which should work for most indoor applications. The camera is not rated for outdoor use however many users have placed them underneath an eave, or inside a windowsill looking outside.


Sense Energy Monitor ( is installed right in your main electrical box and can identify the energy consumption of appliances in your home. It connects to your phone app anywhere in the world via your home’s WiFi and internet connection. Two clamps with sensors are placed around the main wires coming into the home, and a breaker is added to power the device. If you’re not comfortable opening your electrical box, I would recommend having a licensed electrician assist with the installation. It can take a couple of weeks for the device to identify various appliances and learn your energy

Samsung SmartThings Hub

Samsung SmartThings is a home hub that wirelessly connects your smart home devices. This allows you to remotely control and automate devices across different manufacturers that don’t have direct integrations. Want your voice assistant to alert you and turn a light on when your security camera detects a person outside at night? It can do that! SmartThings works with the most devices available on the market right now and is very user-friendly. We’ve tested ours with a variety of different sensors, cameras, locks, thermostats, speakers, plugs, switches, and voice assistants. Setting up the hub is very easy, simply select the

RING Security Cameras

Ring outdoor security cameras come in a variety of models, the main variations are based on the power source and there is also an option to add floodlights. The Spotlight Cam Battery version uses rechargeable batteries and can be placed anywhere within range of your 2.4Ghz wireless router, no need to worry about having a power source nearby. The batteries last 3-6 months and a solar panel can be added so you never have to worry about it recharging them. The Spotlight Cam Wired is the same camera but with a plug for a nearby outlet The Spotlight Cam Mount,

Phillips Hue Smart Lights

Philips hue-colored light bulbs, lamps, and light strips are a popular choice for renters and homeowners alike. They are easy to install since you’re just replacing the bulbs and don’t require any rewiring. If you decide to move, you could take them with you but be sure to change them out before including them in advertisements or in use for any showings. The lights are controllable with an app on your phone that allows individual color and brightness customization including scenes for groups of lights in an area. They can also be controlled by voice when integrated with your favorite


Lutron is an industry leader when it comes to smart lighting, the Caseta is their consumer-friendly line of products which includes smart switches, dimmers, fan control, shades, remotes, and a bridge to control them all. By replacing a switch on the wall as opposed to bulbs in the ceiling you do not lose functionality of the wall controls. The switches look very professional and blend well with other ‘dumb’ rocker style switches. When paired with a hub, users can create scenes, schedules, and control lighting with an app on their phone, by voice or an endless amount of automations. Lutron dimmers

Kwikset Smart Doorlocks

Kwikset has been around since 1946 and has a patent on SmartKey Security deadbolts which allows users to easily rekey their own locks. They recommend that homeowners change out the locks anytime a property changes ownership or a key has gone missing and is not accounted for. You may never know when someone that has been given access to the property has made a copy of the key or shared the code. In addition to their standard door locks and smart code electronic locks, they offer locks that connect via Z-Wave, Zigbee, or Bluetooth. The 916 series connects with Amazon

Hubitat Elevation Smart Hub

Hubitat Elevation is a smart home Z-Wave & Zigbee hub that focuses on local automation. This means that your data is not shared, and your automation will still function without being connected to the internet. Most Hubitat end up transferring their devices over from another hub such as Wink or SmartThings and tend to be a little more advanced. It is not as easy to set up as Samsung SmartThings but it provides a deeper level of control and functionality. One of my favorite things about Hubitat Elevation is the Lutron Caseta integration, when paired with a Lutron Smart Bridge

Haiku Smart Fans

Haiku L series is made by the Big Ass Fan Company and retails on Amazon for $600 with its Wi-FI module. The wall switch is an extra $100, which will need to be purchased from the manufacturer directly. Not only does it work with Alexa, but it can also sync with your Ecobee or Nest thermostat and will adjust settings and speed based on the current temperature. It even has sleep settings. The Haiku fan is a bit more complicated than the standard fan you’ll find at a hardware store. Installation is also a bit more complicated. You’ll need to make

FIBARO Smart Hub

FIBARO smart home devices operate on the Z-Wave network and are compatible with most of the popular smart home gateways including Samsung SmartThings and many others. For this test, I used the FIBARO Home Center Lite and also tested each device with my Abode gateway. Each device works independently and can be paired together with other FIBARO devices or across other manufactures devices within the Z-Wave network to create helpful home automation. The Home Center Lite connects via ethernet to your local router and can be controlled remotely, it is used to monitor the status of devices connected to the


Eufy wireless video doorbell is a very good, inexpensive ($169 on Amazon) that is easy to self-install.  The device provides 16GB of HomeBase local storage which can save approx 180 days’ worth of video recordings at 2K (2560 x 1920) at 20-30 frames per second – 4:3 Aspect Ratio.  Is also Alexa enabled which means you can trigger actions and routines via any Alexa powered device. Check out this video from Smart Home Tech Decisions a partner with RETI featuring RETI team member Brandon Doyle as they provide an unboxing and breakdown of the Eufy Wireless Video Doorbell.

Ecobee Thermostat

Ecobee is a smart thermostat that competes with Nest, it doesn’t have as much brand awareness however it is arguably a superior product. The major benefit to any smart thermostat is that you can automate schedules and control the temperature remotely in order to save money on your utility bills. There is no sense in heating or cooling your home when you aren’t there, Ecobee has a feature that will automatically change the mode to away when you’re gone using a geo-fence and your phone to determine your location. It also has optional sensors which can be placed around your

Blink XT2 Security Cameras

Blink is now owned by Amazon along with a competitor Ring. The Blink XT2 camera is the indoor/outdoor version of their Wire-Free HD smart security camera lineup. Added features include two-way audio communication, day & night HD (up to 1080p) coverage with infrared night vision. The camera can be mounted anywhere within range of your 2.4 GHz 802.11n wireless network and connects via the mobile app. There are no monthly fees, the clips are stored in the cloud for up to a year however each clip is limited to a maximum of 60 seconds.  There is not an option to

Arlo Video Doorbell

Arlo Video Doorbell is designed to capture what traditional video doorbells can’t, the new smart entry solution boasts an industry-leading vertical field of view, allowing users to get a bigger, more precise picture of their front porch. The Video Doorbell captures footage in a square aspect ratio to allow users to fully view packages on the ground or visitors from head to toe. It also offers features such as HD resolution image quality along with clear, two-way audio for users to simultaneously see and speak to visitors. The Arlo Pro Doorbell can be purchased on Amazon –

ABODE Smart Devices

Abode Smart Home Hub & Security System is a smart home hub and sensor manufacturer that operates on the Z-Wave network and is compatible with many 3rd party products from companies such as Ecobee, Kwikset, Aeotec, Phillips Hue, Kwikset, and many more.  To see what products it works with, go here. The system is available as a gateway that connects to your router via ethernet as well as a version called Iota that includes a built-in camera and can connect wirelessly making it perfect for your entryway. Both versions come with a door sensor and key fob. They can be expanded to include additional door