Best Smart Home Gifts For Any Occasion
Whether you’re buying for tech-savvy or not-so-tech-savvy folks, cool smart home gifts are clear winners. A holiday, anniversary, birthday or other special occasion is always around the corner.
So you start searching — and it’s a bit exhausting. You see dozens of gadgets for sale just while scrolling through social media or watching TV. Sometimes you’ve got so many smart home tech gifts floating around that picking the perfect one is a pain.
Fear not — there’s an ideal present for that special person. And they’ll be delighted when your gift ties into smart home tech. Lightning-fast networking and an apt gadget are all you need.
You might want to go all out and build or expand a smart home. Or you might want to go compact and portable. Either way, our smart home gift guide will give you an idea of what’s novel, neat and even a tad nutty.
So cozy up, load up your virtual cart and scope our seven unique smart home gift ideas.
[Related: Smart Home Systems: Where to Begin?]
1. A Dongle: Streaming’s Best Friend
When in doubt, opt for entertainment. And a dongle (yes, it’s a weird-sounding word) is an entertainment staple. They’re easy to use for the tech-cautious and expandable for the tech-conscious — that is, they’re must-have smart gadgets.
So, what’s a dongle? In terms of smart home gift ideas, it’s a small device that plugs into a port, usually USB or HDMI. Using a dongle, you can stream from practically anywhere and never go without 4G or Wi-Fi connectivity.
In fact, a dongle can do all sorts of nifty smart home-compatible stuff, including pairing with voice assistants for remote-free binge-watching. For gifting purposes, we recommend a dongle from Google — Chromecast:
- It’s affordable, at about $20 for the core product. But honestly, the $50-plus models offer tons of extra-neat features.
- Dongles — Chromecast included — are tech-flexible and often pocket-sized. Because misplacing them’s a factor, try dropping a smart key finder in your gift bag. (They’re not just for keys, and you earn bonus points from your giftee!)
- A dongle’s pretty much indispensable once you’ve used one.
In other words, it’s definitely one of our essential cool smart home gifts.
Pro tip: Dongles are especially great for outdoor entertainment. Want a smart backyard theater for a friend or family member? A dongle can streamline the setup.
[Related: 7 Upgrades to Transform Your Outdoor Entertainment Center]
2. Smart Home Hub
We all know that person who always has their hands full — bouncing a baby, building spreadsheets, fixing the radiator.
They’d probably love a smart tech gift that combines other devices and makes viewing info easy. Their solution (and yours)? Check out a smart home hub as one of your top smart home gifts.
Once you pair a smart home hub with a voice assistant and networking, you’ve got a sleek touchscreen display. And that screen ties together your other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It’s sort of like a brain that coordinates other smart gadgets.
We think smart hubs are particularly great for grandparents. If vision or hearing is a problem, the touchscreen-plus-speaker combo makes viewing, hearing and controlling other devices simple.
You can find an array of smart home hub systems, from simple to complex, but the go-to gift is the Google Nest Hub. You can snag one for about $100 as of 2022. Whether you need gifts for smart home lovers or novices, a smart home hub’s a surefire pleaser.
Pro tip: If you or your giftee needs help with setup, contact an audiovisual (AV) consultant for expert guidance. They can ensure all your smart devices work in sync.
[Related: Smart Home Technologies Supporting Aging in Place]
3. Smart Cooker
The Instant Pot made multicookers famous. But how about taking that one step further with IoT tech?
A smart cooker is perfect for the on-the-go gourmand in your life. With Wi-Fi connectivity and an accompanying app, a smart cooker saves your giftee guesswork and leaves lots of flavor. They’ll add ingredients, follow basic instructions and come home to a ready-made meal.
Smart cooker enthusiasts love the app integration aspect, but they also rave about the built-in digital scale and calculator. Those features are almost exclusive to the CHEF iQ smart cooker — and it learns user behavior over time.
It’s smart, sensible, compact and frankly, impressive. We think it’d work well for busy couples who can’t necessarily nail down each step in a dish. Life gets busy, but with cool smart home gifts, it doesn’t have to be bland.
In full disclosure, it’s one of the pricier items in our guide at about $200. You might want to save it for smart home Christmas gifts if you’re working with a tighter budget.
Pro tip: If your funds allow, add smart light bulbs and a smart speaker for smooth, ambient dining. Who knows? You might just save someone’s marriage.
[Related: 8 Restaurant Tech Trends on the Rise]
4. Smart Indoor Garden
Eating fresh tomatoes in the dead of winter? Helping that friend with a not-so-green thumb? A smart indoor garden can do both — and look gorgeous in a smart home.
Indoor gardens have come a long way from past hydroponic systems. Smart indoor gardens use sun-mimicking LEDs, automated irrigation and app controls to streamline plant growth. Your giftee can even monitor plants’ life cycles and get gardening tips from their smartphone.
Plus, we love the idea of giving someone a way to produce practical goods while brightening their home: It’s a win-win. Gift-worthy smart gardens fit on a counter or shelf, although you can buy bigger vertical systems (for a higher price).
On that note, depending on how much you’d like to spend, a smart garden might fall under smart home Christmas gifts. Dropping $2,000 on a workiversary present may be inadvisable.
Considering the wide range of smart indoor garden models, Click and Grow’s Smart Garden 3 is likely your best bet. It runs at a reasonable $100 on average. The company offers fancier systems, but the SG3 covers the basics: herbs, fruits and veggies in small batches.
Pro tip: Ask your giftee to place a smart speaker or play high-performance audio next to their smart indoor garden. After all, research has hinted that plants respond to music. (Maybe it’s a myth, but it wouldn’t hurt to try!)
[Related: Design Considerations for Incorporating AV Into Your Home]
5. Smart Pet Camera
That sibling who always posts pics of their fur baby on social media will love this one. With a smart pet camera, you can keep tabs on your dog or cat (or parakeet, ferret, mini pig, etc.) from your smartphone 24/7.
And you’d be surprised at the number of features available! Some smart cameras are mobile, and some have built-in smart speakers, motion sensors, treat dispensers, night vision and more. It’s perfect for pet parents who might fret … or wonder which kitty claws the cabinets while they’re away.
But what we really appreciate in smart home tech gifts is multitasking. With a smart pet camera, you don’t simply watch your dog — you watch your residence. Keeping tabs on Fido while surveilling your home certainly makes the gift worthwhile.
Now for the details! Again, you’ve got a fairly wide selection to choose from.
Pricewise, we recommend a Petcube. The company offers multiple models, with a baseline cost of about $40 (the cost rises alongside the number of features). If you want all the bells and whistles, check out setups from Furbo or Eufy.
Pro tip: Tell your giftee they can connect multiple smart pet cameras for more extensive coverage. They’ll have a broad range of vision, and they can build a multipurpose home surveillance system.
[Related: 5 Considerations for Installing an Effective Home Surveillance System]
6. Smart Movie Projector
We said it earlier, and we’ll say it again — when in doubt, opt for entertainment. A smart movie projector is one of the coolest of the cool smart home gifts.
A portable smart movie projector easily turns a surface into a cinematic event. Think of it as a super-smart TV packed into a device you can tote outdoors, upstairs, downstairs or elsewhere. When making your selection, check for a few key features:
- Sharp resolution
- Device-pairing capability
- High-quality sound
- Voice controls
- Fast internet and Bluetooth connectivity
Add a big bow, and voila — you’ve got one satisfied (and lucky) giftee.
Now, we have to tell you that smart movie projectors come in a rainbow of models, features, sizes and prices. In fact, you might gasp at some models’ price tags.
If you’re spending around $500, Popular Mechanics deems that affordable. So when you’ve been saving up for that big gift for your parents, this might be it. But if you’re getting a stocking stuffer for a coworker, you should probably look elsewhere.
Granted, smart movie projectors are becoming more and more economical. You can find a fairly priced model from Anker, especially in its Nebula series.
Pro tip: If this is the perfect option among these smart home gift ideas, enlist an AV installation company. Technicians will ensure your giftee has every inch of space (and every dollar) put to good use. They can even integrate motorized window treatments for a rich, immersive viewing experience.
[Related: Home Movie Theater Ideas: Your Ultimate Guide]
7. Smart Plugs and Power Strips
Naturally, you’ll have practical gifts to buy. Enter smart plugs and power strips.
All right, they’re not the most exciting presents. But in a smart home, tech gifts can take many forms. The thrifty folks in your life will love them — and your wallet will, too.
Smart plugs and power strips often pair with apps, react to voice commands and monitor power use. A smart plug is usually a single device, and a smart strip is, well, multiple smart plugs.
When you forget to turn off the coffee pot, pull up the app and cut the power from work. If you want to illuminate the driveway with string lights before you park the car, switch ’em on as you leave the store — merriment activated.
And did we mention they can save you money? Yep — you can monitor your electrical use and lower your bill.
Snag a TP-Link Kasa mini smart plug for about $20 and a TP-Link Kasa power strip for roughly $35. They’re easy to operate, affordable and way more useful than you might first think. In other words, they sound like top smart home gifts to us.
Pro tip: Grab a smart thermostat to really round out the package. Your giftee won’t have to worry about sudden temperature shifts or fiddled-with dials. And if you’re in it for the long haul, consider investing in lighting control and climate control systems as gifts.
[Related: 8 Ways Climate Control Improves Your Home]
Let AV Smart Solutions Set Up Your Cool Smart Home Gifts
From gifts for smart home lovers to gadgets for the tech naive, let’s delight loved ones with smart tech! And it may be difficult to wrap, but a fully automated smart home is the coolest gift of all.
Whether you’re itching to outfit yourself or your loved ones, AV Smart Solutions offers smart home system packages and custom home AV systems.
With our expertise in residential, restaurant, hospitality and office environments, we’re here to help. Plus, we’ll take care of installation, advice and maintenance for your smart home systems and equipment. Don’t worry — your decor will go undisturbed.
Give us a call at (425) 655-5052, or fill out our inquiry form. One of our AV specialists will be back in touch far before the festivities begin!
Featured image via Pexels