With summer quickly approaching, there are plenty of ways to put your preferred voice assistant to work. We’ve rounded up some of the best devices for both Alexa and HomeKit setups to prepare your smart home for summer. So whether you’re looking for some help monitoring allergens, controlling outdoor lights or automating your lawn care routine, you’ll want to check them out below.
Door and Window Sensors from $20
As one of the most versatile additions to your smart home, a door and window sensor can be used for everything from basic automation to improving your abode’s security. Fitting more into the former category, bringing one of these sensors into the mix allows you to prevent automated cooling routines from running if your home’s windows are open. Another notable way to take advantage of them is being notified ahead of sudden run showers.
For those reliant on Siri for control, the Eve Door & Window Sensor remains one of the best ways to prepare your smart home for summer at $40. Alexa users on the other hand will find Samsung’s SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor to do the trick for under $20. It leverages Zigbee connectivity for interfacing directly with devices like an Echo Plus.
Awair Air Quality Monitor: $175
Late spring and summer months also bring with them a rise in pollen and other allergens. I’ve found monitoring these conditions on a hyperlocal level to be a great way to act on combating seasonal allergies. So luckily integrating that into my smart home has been a cinch.
While there are many smart air quality monitoring devices out there, Awair is one of the more notable entries in the category. Rather than just keeping tabs on humidity and temperature, it can detect changes in dust levels, CO2, VOC and more. A wide range of connectivity options back that functionality, as it pairs with Alexa alongside Google Assistant and IFTTT. At $175, Awair also features a natural wood frame for a more appealing design.
iHome HomeKit Outdoor Smart Plug: $35
Outdoor smart plugs are a notable way to spruce up your home ahead of summer as well. They are solid options for handling plenty of different tasks; whether you’re in search of a way to add voice-controlled outdoor lighting or want to automate flood pumps, water fixtures in a pond or something else.
One standout for us is the iHome Outdoor Plug. It features a single outlet and comes wrapped in a weather-resistant design. Arguably the most compelling aspect of this smart plug is that you won’t have to choose between voice assistant compatibility. Out of the box it integrates with Siri through HomeKit, as well as Alexa and Assistant. Plus, at $35, it’s more affordable than other options on the market as well.
Rachio HomeKit Sprinkler Controller from $128
Upgrading your smart home can also make lawn care easier throughout the summer as well. To bring voice control or automated watering to your kit, there’s no better option than Rachio’s line of best-selling smart sprinkler system controllers.
The brand’s latest third germination model now boasts HomeKit integration alongside support for Amazon’s voice assistant. It also can be scheduled to water at specific times, and can even go beyond that with additional smart functionality. The sprinkler controller can be tied into hyperlocal weather reports to make sure it more efficiently waters your lawn.
Starting at $229 for the eight-zone Rachio 3, picking up the 16-zone model will then set you back $265. Though if you’ll be going primarily using Alexa, the previous generation model will save you around 45% from $128. If having the best lawn you can this summer is a must, your smart home certainly will be better off with Rachio added in.
Honorable Mention: Smart Thermostats
Smart thermostats are one of the best devices for pretty much any home these days, regardless of if you’re trying to beat the summer heat or not. For an in-depth guide on how to choose the best option for any budget, check out our roundup of the four best smart Thermostats.
Is there an essential smart home gadget you’ve found irreplaceable throughout the summer? Let us know in the comments below.
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