If you’re completely new to home automation, is it worth considering a smart home starter kit?
Well, depending on what you want from this purchase, the answer is, “Probably.”
The trouble is, once you start scouring for starter kits, it’s all too easy to get bogged down with a welter of bundles all clamoring for your attention.
Which kits are any use for starting your smart home?
Which ones are not really worth your time or money?
We’ll launch right in and highlight 8 of our favorite starter kits. We’ve aimed to serve up a cross-section catering for a range of tech levels, budgets, and applications.
7 of The Best Smart Home Starter Kits
When you’re looking at starter kits, you’ll be hunting for value for money alongside a convenient collection of devices.
So, if you’re considering going all-in with an Insteon ecosystem, this Remote Control and Wireless Devices Kit is a superb starting point.
As the name makes abundantly clear, the core focus of this smart home starter kit is to streamline control of the smart tech in your home. The mini remote allows you to control up to 8 different scenes from the physical control. Keep in mind, the hub is not included in this starter kit. So, if you want to enjoy remote control, invest in this gateway as well and you’ll also be able to take charge using Google Assistant or Alexa. You will need a Home or Echo device for hands-free control.
You won’t need any rewiring or complex installation with these modules. All you need to do is plug them into any existing outlet and you’ll smarten up any old appliances, from lamps, fans, and heaters, all the way to coffee machines.
This Insteon starter kit, especially if you build on it with a hub, gives you a powerful and versatile introduction to home automation.
- Mini remote control (8-scene)
- Two Insteon Lamp Dimmer Modules
- Two Insteon On/Off Modules
You can find so many different bundles revolving around smart speakers and smart displays, so the sheer breadth of choice can be overwhelming. If you’re a Google Assistant lover, this combination of Google Home Mini and a smart bulb is a simple way to test the waters of home automation.
This kit makes a good gift if you’ve been trying to entice an elderly relative into probing the benefits of home automation. Rather than confusing them with a bunch of technology and devices, why not gift them this simple and compact smart speaker along with a single bulb. This will allow them to get started without any need for a hub and with no complicated installation to worry about either.
Once you have your relative sucked into the convenience of dimming and switching off the lights without needing to jump up off the couch, they’ll be asking what else Google Assistant can do.
For a combination of hands-free entertainment and basic smart home control, this entry-level starter kit is tailor-made for beginners.
- Google Home Mini
- GE smart LED
The problem with most smart bulbs is that you generally need a third-party home hub to get the most from them. Sengled meets this head-on by throwing in their gateway with a pair of LED bulbs so you can get started with basic home automation right out the box.
Choose from a staggering 16 million colors and a range of brightness levels and warmth.
You can take the helm in-app on your smartphone using the intuitive Sengled app. If you have the requisite smart speaker, then you can use either Alexa or Google Assistant for hands-free control. Also, scheduling and building out scenes is a cinch and you can create a wider-reaching smart home from the humble beginnings of this kit.
As with all smart light starter kits, you can also opt for white bulbs if you’re not concerned about color and you’re looking to shave off a few bucks.
With everything you need included, down to the Ethernet cable and power adapter, you can road test automating your home without too much commitment or financial outlay.
- Sengled hub
- 2 x smart LEDs
Not everyone wants an intrusive alarm system complete with home monitoring and the ongoing costs that it involves. Maybe you’re renting or perhaps you just don’t want those ongoing contracts or the rewiring and hassle of installing a full-bore security system.
As a result, the compact Scout system gives you around-the-clock protection since you’ll get 4G cellular backup safeguarding you even if there’s a power outage.
Set-up is so straightforward that there’s absolutely no need to call in the electrician and you won’t be tearing your hair out with a complex DIY install either. In minutes flat, you’ll have an extra layer of protection around your smart home.
You won’t be restricted to your cellphone for access. Use the RFID sticker or your key fob which is used in place of keypads.
There’s a piercing siren in place which should be more than crushing enough a sound to send any intruders scurrying off once the alarm is breached.
Interoperability is first-rate. Scout plays nice with Google Nest, Alexa, IFTTT, Philips Hue and much, much more.
The Scout Starter Kit is a pocket-friendly way to introduce an alarm system into your connected home without spending a fortune.
- Door panel
The Samsung SmartThings ecosystem comes with everything you need to get your smart home started.
With the versatile SmartThings Hub in place, you almost have your value right there. Following that, you just have to throw in some sensors and a smart plug and then you’re ready to start some simple automation.
You’ll get great scope for compatibility with other smart home devices when you buy into the SmartThings ecosystem. From Alexa and Google Assistant to If This, Then That, most major platforms are supported. Look for the Works with Smart Things logo when you’re adding products to your ecosystem. In addition, always check closely for compatibility before committing to purchase.
You can use the sensors included in this kit to determine how much further you want to take security within your home. These SmartThings sensors are a nice way of building out protected zones.
Also, with the smart plug, you’ll be able to inject some intelligence into regulation lamps and fans, heaters and coffee machines.
Considering the ultra-low price-point, this is a neat way to buy into the SmartThings ecosystem at a competitive rate.
- 2 x multipurpose sensors
- Motion sensor
If you have a larger garden and smart home, you’ll need a security system to match.
This bundle contains no less than 5 of the hard-hitting Blink XT security cameras for blanket coverage of even sprawling grounds.
These cameras return 1080p footage in full HD. Each of the cameras comes with a mounting kit, which means you can establish a perimeter of cameras protecting your home from all angles day and night.
Installation couldn’t be much easier and you won’t be stiffed with any ongoing fees or contracts either.
As with all the best security cameras, you’ll get alerts sent over to your cell phone in the event of any security breach at all.
If you already have an Echo device, you’ll be able to control your cameras using nothing but voice commands.
This starter kit is not especially cheap, however, the value you’ll receive is enormous. If the cameras end up preventing a burglary, then the cost soon becomes an investment rather than an expense.
- 5 x Blink XT cameras
- 5 x mounting kits
- Sync module
- 10 x batteries
You’ve got a welter of Philips Hue Starter Kits to choose from depending on your specific needs.
You’ll be presented with 3 choices of an LED bulb which are white, white ambiance, or color and white.
Whether you want to enjoy the varying shades and warmth of white light or you prefer to inject a little color into proceedings, you can do it with Philips Hue.
Most starter kits throw the hub in, which allows you to get the most out of your smart bulbs and to automate and schedule along with enjoying remote access.
If you plan to build out smart lighting all around the house, you might be better advised investing in smart switches throughout. If you fancy testing the water, though, Hue lighting is a great entry-point.
- Various configurations of bulbs (white/white ambiance/ white and color ambiance
Well, we hope you’ve found a starter kit to mesh with your needs in this curated list of the best on the market.
You should view any smart home starter kit as something to build from, as opposed to an all-inclusive solution. These kits are a great way to secure more tech at a keen price if you know what you’re looking for.
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