Giving good technology gifts doesn’t have to be expensive. You can give someone a good smart home gift for less than $50. Not sure what to get the home tech lover in your life? Here are some great smart home gift ideas that won’t break the bank.
Note: All products listed below are regularly available for under $50. Occasionally their prices may be a little higher.
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Smart plugs are a great smart home gift for those into smart homes and those wanting to get into home automation. They are easy to use and inexpensive. You can use them to remotely turn on and off lamps, coffee makers, computers, and more. Some smart plugs can monitor the energy usage of the device. You can get good smart plugs for less than $30. Here are some I recommend:
- Kasa (TP-Link) smart plugs (my review)
- Wemo smart plugs
- Gosund smart plugs (my review)
- Shelly smart plug US (my review)
Another easy to use functional smart home gift is a smart bulb. Smart bulbs can be used to add voice command to lights, add color and ambiance to a room, and some can even sync with music for fun effects. Here are a few under $50 that I recommend:
- LIFX mini smart bulb
- Kasa (TP-Link) smart bulb (my review)
- Geeni Prisma 1050 smart bulb (my review)
- Shelly DUO US and Shelly Vintage Bulbs (A19, ST21, and G40 – my review)
- C by GE smart bulbs
As I detailed in my smart home truths article, it is often better to use a light switch instead of smart bulbs to automate lighting in your home. It certainly can be less expensive. Installing light switches isn’t for everybody, but it’s also not too hard. Here are some reliable and inexpensive switches:
- Shelly 1 relay (my review and installation instructions)
- Shelly Dimmer 2
- Kasa (TP-Link) smart switch (my review)
- Wemo smart switch
- meross smart switch
These days you can’t have too many smart speakers. You can have one on multiple floors and multiple rooms. They can give you useful information, update you on the news, control your smart home devices, play games, act as intercoms, and the list goes on and on. Luckily, the mini versions of popular smart speakers are affordable.
There has never been a better time to get a streaming stick. Google has upped the ante with its recently released Chromecast with Google TV. Roku and Amazon continue to pump out affordable streamers as well. These days, you have a lot of options for a 4K streamer under $50. Here are a few good ones for cordcutters:
- Chromecast with Google TV (my review)
- Fire TV Lite
- Fire TV 4K
- Roku Premiere
- Ematic Jetstream 4K (my review)
- Tivo Stream 4K
LED strips and strings make a great smart home gift for those who like to tinker. It’s easy to create your own LED displays without breaking the bank. You can start with my article about getting up and running with LEDs in 10 minutes. Here is some of the LED gear you can buy:
Surveillance cameras creep some out, but they are great as baby monitors and security systems. A lot of people get smart doorbells like the Ring Video Doorbell and the eufy Video Doorbell to monitor their front door (so they can know who is at the door, and monitor package deliveries). These are expensive. You can get most of that functionality with an inexpensive WiFi camera, which is what I use. Here are some options:
- Wyze Cam (original)
- Wyze Cam Pan/Tilt/Zoom Camera
- Nooie Baby Monitor WiFi Indoor Camera
- SV3C WiFi Outdoor Camera (I have a couple of these)
- Dericam Wireless Pan and Tilt Security Camera (I have an older version of this camera)
The Smart Home Manual
This is a shameless plug for my book. If you want to give a gift that really helps someone plan and build their smart home this book can really help. You can learn more about it here, and you can buy The Smart Home Manual on Amazon in ebook or paperback format.
Smart sensors make great smart home gifts for those looking to monitor and automate their homes. Door and motion sensor can be used to trigger lights and alarms. Temperature and flood sensors can alert you to problems you need to take care of soon. Here are few inexpensive sensors to consider:
- Shelly flood sensor (my review)
- Geeni WiFi Door and Window Sensors
- SimpleSENCE WiFi Water Leak and Freeze Detector
- Govee WiFi Temperature Humidity Monitor
- You can also use surveillance cameras (especially the Wyze cam listed above) as motion sensors.
You need to be a little bit careful when giving a fitness tracker as a gift. Make sure you know it will be received well before giving one out! While not necessarily a smart home gift, I’ve come to think of them as essential to quarantine living. How many steps are you getting in at home? There are an astounding number of fitness trackers available for under $50.
- Letsfit Waterproof Smart Watch, Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate Monitor, and Activity Tracker
- Lintelek Fitness Tracker
- Xiaomi Mi Band 4
- Honor Band 5 Smart Watch, Smart Watch with SpO2 Monitor Heart Rate and Sleep Monitor
Outside the box smart home gifts
Trying to get an affordable smart home gift for the one who seems to have everything? Try one of these:
- Tile tracker and Tile sticker – These are great for keeping track of keys, wallets, purses, and many other things
- Nintendo eShop gift card – I know, gift cards seem like a cop-out, but at least if it is specific to a console it has some thought behind it!
- Blue light blocking computer glasses – a great gift to save one’s eyes from all the screen time we have
- Rocketbook reusable notebooks – I have one of these and they make putting your notes into the cloud easy
- Harmony Hub (my review) – This can take the place of all your remotes.
- Raspberry Pi – If you have a tinkerer gift recipient in mind, they’ll appreciate this gift
I hope you’ve found this list of smart home gifts useful. It’s truly amazing what you can get under $50 these days.
If you are looking for other gifts I think I are cool, but aren’t necessarily under $50, check out my Geeky Wish List article. You may also want to check out my other smart home shopping resources.
What smart home gifts under $50 did I mess? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!
2 thoughts on “The Under $50 Smart Home Gift Guide”
This was great info. I am moving into a new apartment soon and the bulbs and smart plugs were great and useful information. Thanks. Was wondering if you have any information for those that are hard of hearing. Such technology that helps them hear door bells better, phones and other devices.
Apartments are a little more difficult because they usually have more rules about what you can replace. One thing you could do is get a smart watch or smart bracelet that supports notifications and vibrates when you get a phone call, text, etc. You could do this with a smart doorbell as well, but I don’t know if an apartment would let you install one.
It is also possible to have a smart light bulb change colors or blink based on different things like a phone call or text as well.
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