The Best Home Automation Systems (2021 Reviews)

Rajat Hardy
Written by
Last update:

A home automation system is an easy way to make your home a safer, more efficient and more convenient place to live.

Whether you choose a DIY project or use one of the tech companies that provide smart home systems, your home will become more convenient and easier to control.

The system shown here in the next photo was professionally installed in just a day. With a smart home system, you can do everything from controlling the temperature in every room of the house, to controlling all of your lights with a single remote.

The home automation system shown here in the next photo was professionally installed in just a day.

NameCategoryProduct
Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart ThermostatBest OverallEmerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Kasa Smart Plug by TP-LinkBudget PickKasa Smart Plug by TP-Link
Google Nest Learning ThermostatUpgrade PickGoogle Nest Learning Thermostat

1. Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

Our rating: 9 / 10

Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Works with Alexa
  • Great, user-friendly features
  • Easy setup
  • Sleek appearance
  • Energy-efficient
  • Affordable for the quality of the device
  • Stunning touchscreen

Works with Apple HomeKit and Android.

This Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat with Touchscreen Color Display can help you replace all your HVAC equipment.

It can help you feel comfortable in your home by using the Nest app or Alexa, and you can control it from anywhere.

Read more about the Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat

2. ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat

Our rating: 8 / 10

ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Monitor heating and cooling remotely
  • Set up heating and cooling schedules
  • Remote presence

Cons:

  • Availability of humidity sensors
  • No sensors for carbon monoxide
  • Expandability

Ecobee’s second generation of its steller and budget-friendly smart thermostat, ecobee3 Lite, is so good that we’ve decided to include it as the first device in this best of home automation systems roundup!

Let’s start with the hardware. The ecobee3 has an internal motion sensor to tell you if there are guests coming into your room. However, what makes it so unique is that the thermostat can communicate with the remote thermostats to make sure that the whole house is at the right temperature, or that every room is comfortable.

It also has an occupancy sensor so it only uses energy when it needs to. It will turn itself off when there are no people in the room or anywhere else in the house, or if you’re coming home and will be entering the house soon. You can choose how long you want it to wait until it turns off, which can be up to 4 hours.

Read more about the ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat

3. Amazon Echo

Our rating: 8 / 10

Amazon Echo

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Provides effortless voice control over your smart home
  • Can play music
  • Can make calls
  • Can listen to audios

The Amazon Echo is a great device that allows you to control your home appliances with the power of your voice. It is compatible with most of the popular smart home protocols such as Z-wave, Zigbee, Apple Home Kit, Bluetooth and so on.

It is also compatible with many other smart devices including Philips Hue, Nest, SmartThings, Ring and others. Amazon even has an experimental voice control feature for IFTTT.

The Echo houses a high-quality speaker that can play music from Amazon, iHeart Radio and Pandora for free. You can also play your local music collection, but you will need an AUX cable to do it.

Read more about the Amazon Echo

4. Google Nest Learning Thermostat

Our rating: 8 / 10

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

Check Price on Amazon

The 3rd generation Nest takes the best from all the other Nest products and puts them in this one device. You can control not only your home temperature, but also the temperature in other places where you have Nest devices.

If you do get the Nest you will need a phone to set it up and you won’t be able to do it without. You will also need a Home Internet connection connected to your thermostat. Some users have found the deal breaker is the cost. If you look around, other comparable options could be cheaper and an upgrade like adding another Nest to the system to spread the cost out.

Read more about the Google Nest Learning Thermostat

5. Honeywell Home RTH9585WF1004 Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat

Our rating: 8 / 10

Honeywell Home RTH9585WF1004 Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Touch screen
  • Programs 7 days in advance
  • Energy star certified
  • Free apps for Android and iOS devices

(Discontinued by Manufacturer)

The Honeywell Home RTH9585WF1004 is a thermostat that is used to help users save up to 23 percent every year on energy costs and comes with a color touch screen. It’s easy to set up and can be controlled from your smart device, laptop, PC and tablet.

This thermostat has a 7-day programmable option, available settings for vacation and an energy-saving Auto mode, and a programmable system and delayed start. It also allows users to customize the temperature of each room in the house. The thermostat offers an electronic scroll for easy navigation and the options of the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales of measurements.

Read more about the Honeywell Home RTH9585WF1004 Wi-Fi Smart Color Thermostat

6. Mysa Smart Thermostat

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mysa Smart Thermostat

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Remotely controlled monitor
  • Can turn electric baseboard heaters on and off
  • Works with any baseboard heater or heater with a plug
  • Large touchscreen
  • Includes big visible graphics
  • Sensor-operated
  • Energy efficient

Cons:

  • Colors are white with a silver bezel, black with a silver bezel, and black with a dark grey bezel
  • No physical controls
  • Amber LEDs could use a black light diffusing coating
  • Does not have solar panel capabilities

One of the best smart thermostats you can use to manage your electric baseboard heaters, the Mysa Smart Thermostat for Electric Baseboard Heaters can let you change the temperature of your home even if you’re miles away.

One of the reasons why we like this smart thermostat is that it looks like a traditional digital display. Its small square housing, which is nearly the same height as a credit card, has a large touchscreen that is very visible.

The smart display is consistent with the wide, colorful, and big graphics on the current Android phones and tablets. You won’t be squinting at the thermostat’s display when you need to change the settings.

Read more about the Mysa Smart Thermostat

7. Smart WiFi Light Bulb

Our rating: 8 / 10

Smart WiFi Light Bulb

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Screws into a standard bulb socket
  • No hub required

Cons:

  • They may not be as bright as incandescent bulbs
  • May be a little confusing to set up
  • Low energy bulbs are usually dimmer the first time you turn them on

Multicolor.

The LED bulb comes with an app to control the colors and the app requires some initial setup. The setup takes about 5 minutes. You plug the bulb in, and then create an account. After you create an account, you can follow the instructions on your phone to switch it to the correct channel so you can control it.

The app is confusing at first, but you just have to play with it and get used to it. You can choose whatever colors you want. With the dimmer, you can change the brightness. It also has a timer so you can tell it to turn off after a certain length of time.

Read more about the Smart WiFi Light Bulb

8. Echo Plus

Our rating: 7 / 10

Echo Plus

Check Price on Amazon

The Amazon Echo Plus is a premium offering that doubles as a hub for connected products and smart home devices. Just link up a few of your smart items to the Echo Plus and you can command your entire smart home with just your voice. Plug in your web-enabled camera and you can access the live feed right from your voice-activated speaker. Plus Alexa plays music too.

The second generation Echo Plus looks a lot like its predecessor, but it improves on sound quality, has a physical volume ring and a new design on the top of the speaker allows you to adjust the bass, treble and midtones.

You at home? The Echo Plus works in conjunction with Amazon's video cameras and security devices. Want to turn on your lights? Ask Alexa. Need to keep an eye on things? Ask Alexa and see a live feed on your Echo. Worried about intruders at home? Ask Alexa to arm your security system. Alexa will work magic and will tell you what happened at home while you're away.

Read more about the Echo Plus

9. Orbit 83521 Clear Comfort Programmable Thermostat

Our rating: 7 / 10

Orbit 83521 Clear Comfort Programmable Thermostat

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • No batteries needed
  • Easy set up with the SmartSetup design
  • Intuitive touch screen
  • Weather alerts
  • Energy usage reports
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa
  • Advanced programming with 5/2 timing
  • Nightly setback

Cons:

  • Difficult set up for people with mobility disabilities
  • Large numbers on display are difficult for people with poor vision
  • No support for smartphone control

The Orbit 83521 Thermostat is the only programmable heat pump thermostat on our list, but this feature makes it very versatile and programmable. You can program this thermostat to control the indoor temperature based on your needs.

The large display of this thermostat comes with backlit color display, which makes it easier to read at night. Not all programmable thermostats come with backlit color display.

Just like all other programmable thermostats, you’ll have to set the temperature for each day of the week. You can set the weekday and weekend temperatures separately and according to your schedule. It’s also possible to perform setback program for each day of the week, which means you can set the indoor temperature lower during the night.

Read more about the Orbit 83521 Clear Comfort Programmable Thermostat

10. Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit

Our rating: 7 / 10

Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • It lets you record events and receive alerts via your smartphone
  • It lets you customize your alarm system for your needs
  • It gives you full control when you’re away and at home
  • It’s easy to set up
  • 24/7 professional monitoring comes at an extra cost
  • In case of a power outage, the alarm battery will keep the system up and running

Cons:

  • The included siren might be too loud for you
  • Although there is a battery backup, monitoring fees are needed in case of a power outage

Ring Alarm is a revolutionary device that allows you to monitor your property without the need of a 24/7 professional monitoring. The system comes with a 100% Wire-Free design which allows it to save you thousands of dollars spent on installation and monthly fees.

The system is easy to install and set up. You can do it yourself, or you can bring in professionals able to do the job in a short period of time.

In order for the system to be fully functional, you’ll need a smartphone, a downloaded app, and a Wi-Fi connection, ” says Gadget Review. In addition, you can bring in a professional monitoring service for a small fee.

Read more about the Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit

Our rating: 6 / 10

Kasa Smart Plug by TP-Link

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Wide compatibility
  • Relatively affordable
  • Good design
  • Reliable
  • High portability

The Kasa Smart Plug allows you to control your home appliances by giving you the freedom to control your electronics even when you’re away. This electric outlet will not only let you turn your appliances on and off at your command, but you can also schedule your appliances so you won’t have to worry about wasting electricity anymore.

The Kasa Smart plug comes with an intuitive, easy to use, plug-in design. It comes with Alexa’s voice control compatibility, allowing you to control your electronics with just the sound of your voice.

One of the best things about the Kasa smart plug is that it doesn’t need a hub. Now you can play around with one of the most popular smart home gadgets using only a plug.

Read more about the Kasa Smart Plug by TP-Link

12. Ring Video Doorbell

Our rating: 6 / 10

Ring Video Doorbell

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Excellent customer service
  • Very easy to install
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Wi-Fi required
  • Hard to remove batteries

Read more about the Ring Video Doorbell

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best home automation system?

The best home automation system depends on your needs and budget. You have plenty of options on the market ranging from web-based to locally operated systems.

If you are looking for a cost-effective home automation system, you can explore the DIY options that combine wireless, smart-home devices like light bulbs, appliances, and locks to perform certain tasks in your house when triggered.

If you have a tight budget, a simple web-based home automation system may be your best bet. You can buy sensors for your doors and windows which will trigger a customizable action when a certain event happens. Some examples are triggering a light to come on when a window is opened or switching on your lawn sprinklers if a door is opened.

If you are looking to get a professionally installed system, instead, you can buy a standard controller or a system that centrally stores and controls all your devices in a single app. Controllers can be wired while central systems are wireless.

Which smart home system is the best?

Home automation systems are the order of the day in the smart living arena, and choosing the right one isn’t easy due to the overload of choices and options. However, a few options that always stand out are the Samsung SmartThings and the Wink.

Both of these have arguably the best smart home platforms in the market and their mobile apps are both intuitive and easy to use on a daily basis. Both also come with several certified devices that let you start off with smart home automation easily without having to do a lot of research.

How do I choose a home automation system?

The first thing you should think about when choosing a home automation system is whether you want it for residentially or commercially. Presuming you are looking for residential, then you should study on the varieties of home automation systems first.

Do you want for compact design that can be controlled from your mobile device or computers? Or is it more convenient to have controls built directly into the house? Do you want the lock system to be wireless or do you want some wires coming out?

You can select home automation systems with built-in controls, or wireless systems with controls that can be adjusted manually.

When selecting the device that will be the control for your home automation system, do some research first. Find out if there are any incompatibilities between the products.

Is control4 worth the money?

Yes, a control4 system is worth the money and stands out among home automation systems due to its advanced features like voice command and mobile control. Its comprehensive home automation solution allows users to control everything from setting the lighting, temperature, security, music and more inside your home. One of the many benefits of control4 is that it is flexible – both for your home and for you.

It gives you choice and multiple ways in controlling your home. What’s more, control4 technology is highly scalable, so it will be tailored to your growing needs over time. Another advantage of control4 is its flexibility. When you have a control4 system, it allows you to manage your lights, security systems, thermostats and audio and video all from one control point. That means you can be too far away to see a light turn on, but you can still ask your Alexa or Google to turn it on using voice activated system.

Conclusion

Home automation facilitates the control of electronic devices in a user’s home. The future of home automation is already here with the best home automation systems currently available. It is possible to control the lights, appliances, entertainment devices, and just about anything else has a switch, wire, or motor with an app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. There are many benefits of home automation, and the best part is that you can control all of this from your fingertips with a simple click. That’s the dream the best home automation system delivers.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart ThermostatBest OverallEmerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Kasa Smart Plug by TP-LinkBudget PickKasa Smart Plug by TP-Link
Google Nest Learning ThermostatUpgrade PickGoogle Nest Learning Thermostat