One of the great technological milestones of the past year has been the disembarkation of smart speakers, with Google Home being the first to do so. If you have already bought one or this Christmas you have been given the Google Home or the Google Home Mini, the next thing is to discover what you can (and what not) to do with them and prove it in its main function: to be the epicenter of the smart home.
For this it will be necessary to domotize our home with light bulbs, plugs, sensors and a series of compatible devices with Google Home and Google Assistant, your voice assistant. In this purchase guide you will find a selection of gadgets to turn your home into a smart home.
Eye on connectivity
Light bulbs, plugs, thermostats, sensors, cameras … there are a good number of manufacturers and devices compatible with Google Homenatively. However, this number grows if we create routines through IFTTT so that other devices that can be natively controlled from a mobile app, we can manage them by voice.
It is important to pay attention to connectivity since these smart devices controlled by voice often use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or protocols such as Zigbee or Z-Wave, the latter the least common of them all. What sets them apart? When using the Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols, a hub or intermediary bridge between the devices and the router will be necessary.
This does not make them better or worse, it will simply depend on your intentions and expectations. While the models with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth are easier to use and we save having to buy the hub, the use of a bridge is more agile if we have a large number of smart gadgets and minimize interference, since only there will be a device connected to the router.
Before buying a smart device, carefully read both its compatibility with different voice assistants and its connectivity.
They are known as smart bulbs but in reality they are LED bulbs that have been incorporated connectivity.
For this reason when buying a smart light bulb will have to pay attention to features such as energy efficiency, ignition cycles, life, color and temperature, light output or angle. We can also choose if we want a classic light bulb, LED strips or other type of luminaires.
However, the function of smart bulbs is not simply to program and turn them on or off, but also to change the color, brightness, intensity, create scenes and environments, etc.
IKEA has in its catalog a series of smart bulbs that can be purchased from 8 euros. Beware that to use them you need to use a hub, which can be the Trådfri line itself or the popular Philips Hue. And the Swedish firm sells bridge, sensors and switches, so you can acquire all the home automation of your home without leaving the store. They work with iOS smartphones, Android and with the IFTTT app.
In Xiaomi’s huge catalog of products, we find Yeelight, Xiaomi’s smart bulbs. The Yeelights are a great alternative for their value for money, especially if we buy them in China: 16.91 euros cost in Gearbest and something else ( 21 euros in Amazon) in Spain.
Although at the beginning they were not compatible with Google Assistant, the bulbs of Xiaomi can now be controlled with the Google Home and also by Alexa. These bulbs work through Wi-Fi, so it is not necessary to use bridges. The Chinese firm has several formats and versions of light bulbs and lamps.
The Philips HUE enjoy great popularity thanks to the extensive lighting options and the versatility they offer, in fact they are compatible with iOS and Android, IFTTT and also with the main voice assistants (Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant). They are available from 18.97 euros , although it will be necessary to use a hub. If you do not have it, the best option is to buy a kit like this one made up of the hub, command and 3 bulbs for 80 euros.
Among the smart TP-Link range of products is a line of luminaires with different power and options white, multicolor and white adjustable. They work through Wi-Fi, so they do not need Hub. They are compatible with iOS, Android and IFTTT. From 24.60 euros on Amazon.
Another alternative of versatile bulbs with a good catalog of options are those of LIFX, being able to choose between different nozzles, colors and models . Since they work using Wi-Fi, they do not require a Hub. They are compatible with iOS, Android, IFTTT, Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri (Apple HomeKit). From 28.83 euros, being able to select between
OSRAM Smart +
OSRAM is another well-known brand in the world of luminaires, which has a home automation line called Lightify. Note that OSRAM has two differentiated lines for the different voice assistants : one exclusive for Siri compatible with Apple Homekit and another for Google Assistant and Alexa, the latter being the one that we will have to buy to use with Google Home. What is the difference between them? While the option for Apple HomeKit uses Bluetooth, the line for Google Assistant uses the Zigbee protocol, so it requires a hub, which we can buy separately for 41 euros.
In the Lightify line we also find sensors, plugs and other electrical devices. These OSRAM smart bulbs are available in different color options, shape, cap size and power. From 28 euros.
SPC Sirius 1050
The Sirius 1050 is part of the SPC home automation line. This luminaire, which is connected via Wi-Fi (therefore does not require a hub), is available in E27 socket, and you can choose between several power options. It is compatible with iOS, Android, IFTTT and with Google Assistant. For 29.90 euros.
The main function of the smart plugs is to be able to turn on, turn off and program any domestic appliance through voice commands or through the smartphone. As in the previous case, in some cases we will be able to use it with an intermediate bridge and in others it will not be necessary when operating through Wi-Fi.
This smart plug connects to Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz, at which point we can use it with both the mobile and Google Home (also works with Amazon speakers). It has options such as “out of home” mode to scare away potential thieves when we are not at home. For 19.99 euros without energy monitoring and 32.90 euros, the version that allows us to check how much energy we consume through the device.
A light and comfortable alternative is SPC Clever, a model that allows to connect devices up to 10 A and maximum power of 3680 Watts. It allows to program and establish routines. It works through Wi-Fi and is compatible with iOS, Android, IFTTT. It is also available in strip format. For 22.90 euros
If you opt for OSRAM’s Lightify line and acquire its bulbs and its bridge, then you can expand it with its smart plug. It is a somewhat bulky model that is also available in outdoor, waterproof format. This model is compatible with iOS, Android, IFTTT and with voice assistants Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. For 27.99 euros
The D-Link DSP-W115 is a compact plug that uses Wi-Fi at 2.4 GHz and has the functions of switching off and on, programming, sending alerts when a device is turned on and off, integrated thermal sensor to avoid overheating. In PcComponentes for 29 euros.
Meross strip Mss210
A great idea if we have the house full of gadgets and appliances is to make us with a terminal like this Meross ( 33,99 euros ), which has 3 plugs and 4 USB ports. Within the catalog of this brand we also find simple smart plugs and an external terminal strip. It connects to Wi-Fi at home at 2.4 GHz and allows us to create routines, has a random start mode for when we are not and also electrical protection.
Pack 4 TECKIN plugs
If your intention is to domotize your home completely, an alternative to save money is to buy kits like this TECKIN that includes 4 plugs for 47.99 euros. This model, in addition to being quite compact, has consumption monitoring and is limited to appliances that consume a maximum of 2,200 watts at 10 A of intensity. They are compatible with iOS, Android and IFTT and also with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Security and surveillance cameras
Security cameras allow us to know what happens in our house or in the environment, taking this into account is usual to find them for indoor and outdoor, resistant to inclement weather. It is also common to integrate night vision, microphones and motion sensors, to activate when something falls within its radius of action. These security and surveillance cameras are connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
Like any other camera, we will pay attention to its optics in sections such as its megapixels, viewing angle or the maximum resolution reached. They usually store the content either in a storage unit such as an SD card or uploading it to cloud services.
This is one of the most affordable and simple models of Garza. It is very compact and discreet, records video at 720p, is able to rotate vertically and horizontally and has a viewing angle of 75 degrees. Integrates microphone, speaker and motion sensor. The recordings are stored on SD card. It is compatible with iOS and Android smartphones, with the IFTTT app and voice assistant Google Assistant and Alexa. On Amazon for € 39.95
Like the previous model, this indoor surveillance camera also records quality with HD 720p, although its viewing angle is 120 degrees. With this model you can program warnings notices and upload the recordings to the cloud (it is a payment function). It has infrared LEDs to record at night. In this price range, it is one of the cameras with the best performance – cost ratio. For 54.99 euros on Amazon.
The SPI Teia is an indoor camera that can rotate 360 degrees as well as lean and swing to cover a wide range of vision. It has night vision, motion detection and bidirectional audio. As for storage options, you can save the recorded to internal SD card or upload it to the cloud. In PcComponentes for 55 euros
Logitech Circle 2
If we are looking for a versatile model that can be used both indoors and outdoors, the Logitech Circle 2 is one of the best options. It is compatible with Alexa, HomeKit (Siri) and Google Assistant and works very simply: it turns on when detecting movement, being able to record with Full HD and wide-angle quality. Another interesting point is that you can save what you record in the cloud for free for 24 hours. For 164.42 euros on Amazon
Arlo Baby ABC1000-100EUS
The Baby Arlo is a camera designed to monitor the little ones. It allows recording with 1080p HD resolution and even do it at night. It has bidirectional audio, so we can listen to everything and even talk and be heard from the other side. It has motion and sound alerts, air sensor to control the temperature and even has a function to put lullabies. Of course, it’s compatible with Alexa. For 161 euros on Amazon
Movement, smoke, noise, temperature, leakage, humidity … the sensors detect the variation of parameters within a set range to notify us, or the home automation system to take action. For example, if it detects presence, the lights come on.
Domes SM-0 Motion Sensor
This basic motion sensor works by infrared, being able to detect variations up to 10 meters and at an angle of 178 degrees. You can activate and deactivate it by voice and it works with Wi-Fi, so it does not require using a hub. On Amazon for 29.90 euros.
Philips Hue motion sensor
With this Philips Hue motion sensor it is possible to configure the lighting system so that the lights come on when we enter a room. Of course, remember that it requires a bridge to function. It is compatible with iOS, Android and the IFTTT app, as well as with Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa. For 31.90 euros
Osram Smart Sensor
If you have opted for the smart line of OSRAM, in its catalog there is also a motion sensor that works through Wi-Fi. This sensor detects the movements in a radius of 100 ° and up to a distance of 4.5 meters, informing if the foreign object is still in its radius of action, since it turns off the light as soon as it leaves. It also provides the temperature of the room. For 34.93 euros
Another very useful function for the comfort and the saving that can suppose is the air conditioning. Thanks to these devices we can program, turn on and off our air conditioning systems by voice.
Tado Starter Kit V3 +
Either by mobile, manually or by voice, you can know and control the temperature of the house with this Tado brand kit ( 199 euros ). Its use is simple and has an attractive, compact and minimalist design. 118 euros. This system has functions such as geolocation, detection of open windows and weather adaptation in order to optimize the use we make of home heating. It provides information about the freshness of the air in your home and the quality of the outside air and, of course, allows you to turn it on, turn it off and program it.
It is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, with the IFTTT app and with iOS and Android smartphones, as well as with 95% of heating systems (depending on the manufacturer).
This solution allows us to convert the air conditioning of our home into an intelligent air conditioning system , to be able to control, automate and monitor their consumption from the mobile and with the voice. It is compatible with iOS, Android, IFTTT, Alexa and Google Assistant. On Amazon for 99 euros.
Although there are TVs such as LG’s high-end of 2018 with ThinQ AI that allow voice control with Google Assistant, a more affordable alternative compatible with any TV with HDMI output is to get a Chromecast from Google (39 euros).
Google Chromecast is one of the simplest and cheapest solutions to turn a TV into a Smart TV. The Chromecast castellates the content of your phone to your TV, playing from your mobile phone what we indicate (Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Spotify), but without the need for the phone to be occupied with that task. In this tutorial of Xataka Basics we show you step by step how to use Google Assistant with Chromecast to control your TV with Google Home.
Netgear Orbi Home
If you need the Wi-Fi signal to reach all parts of the site optimizing the intensity of the network, this Orbi Home mesh system offers a coverage of up to 250 meters (expandable with other satellites) depending on the manufacturer, besides being tri-band, have MU-MIMO, allow to configure parental controls and reach speeds of up to 2.2 Gbps. This pack in particular can be controlled with Google speakers and also with the Amazon Echo. For 241.48 euros