CEO and Founding Partner of Greenstone Equity Partners | Chief Revenue Officer and Managing Director of World Business Lenders

A Buyer’s Guide: The Best Smart Home Devices of 2018

While still very much in its infantile stages, smart home technology has skyrocketed to popularity over the past several years, with popular brands like Amazon, Google, and Apple getting in on the action.

However, it is important to note that these three brands and their subsidiaries are not the only key players in the development of smart home ecosystems. Instead, a number of smaller companies and startups are beginning to gain traction in this specific niche, increasing competition across the board.

With that in mind, let us explore and review the best smart home devices of 2018.

Best Lighting System: Philips Hue

Released in 2012, this system was originally marketed as the first iOS-controlled lighting device, as Philips was exclusively partnered with Apple at the time. However, as demand increased, Philips revamped the system in 2015 and 2016, allowing it to be used across a number of operating systems and platforms.

Now, in 2018, Philips Hue is widely regarded as the best smart lighting system on the market, as it enables users to control the brightness of each individual bulb and connect up to 50 bulbs to a single hub. Furthermore, this system is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Home, and Nest.

Best Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector: Nest Protect

Although there are countless smart smoke detectors available on the market, few match up to the ingenuity of Nest Protect. Not only does this wireless device detect smoke and carbon monoxide, it has the ability to discern between slow- and fast-burning fires, enabling it to communicate which room the fire is in and how much time one has to get out.

Finally, the device is compatible with the Philips Hue system and can turn the lights on during an emergency situation.

Best Security Camera: Amazon Cloud Cam

Granted, there are many smart security cameras on the market, from the Netgear Arlo Q to the Nest Cam Indoor. However, none strike the right balance between affordability and usability like the Amazon Cloud Cam does. After a simple installation process, users can easily navigate the accompanying app to customize their settings, set motion detection, and even opt in to receive alerts when an individual is near their front door.

One of the greatest perks of this device, however, is the fact that it comes with free unlimited cloud storage — something its competitors simply cannot offer. Given that fact, it should come as no surprise the Amazon Cloud Cam can be considered the best of its kind.