The world of smart-home technology can be intimidating — if you’re new to the scene, these are the products you should consider first.

In this weekly column, hosts Brandon Doyle, Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results, and Colton Pratt, project manager, walk through smart-home products and showcase their capabilities while reviewing pros and cons. 

The world of smart-home technology can be intimidating — from Echoes and Alexa to smart televisions, thermostats and doorcams, there are a lot of products on the market. If you’re new to the scene and not sure where to start, these are the products you should consider first. Watch the video above to find out why we like these products best.

1. Voice assistant

Options include a variety of Amazon Echo and Google Home devices and now Josh.ai, which uses natural language processing without selling your data to advertisers.

Our pick: Echo (gen 3)

2. Smart thermostat

Popular brands include Ecobee, Nest and Honeywell. Ecobee is my personal favorite because it includes an additional occupancy/temperature sensor that can be placed in another room in your home. Both systems have scheduling and a geofence feature that will adjust settings based on whether you’re home or not using your phone as a presence sensor.

Our pick: Ecobee

3. Video doorbell

A video doorbell allows you to see who is at your door, when packages arrive and avoid those pesky door-to-door salesmen. If you’re in the market for a video doorbell, be sure to make sure you’ve got a strong Wi-Fi connection or you’ll be disappointed with the video quality.

Our pick: Ring Doorbell 2

4. Lighting

Whether you install a switch or just replace a few light bulbs, smart lighting is a popular choice for convenience, security and entertainment. These can be integrated with a smart-home hub and sensors to create additional automations.

Our picks: Lutron Caseta Smart Start Kit or Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LED Smart Light Bulb Starter Kit

5. Plugs

Smart plugs are a great option for controlling devices such as lamps, fans or holiday lighting. You can set up schedules, automations, and when paired with a voice assistant, you’re able to tell them to turn on or off.

Our pick: Amazon Smart Plug

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