These are the best smart home upgrades you can buy for $50 or less

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Building out your dream smart home doesn't mean you have to drop hundreds of dollars on smart home stuff. There are some quality smar...

Building out your dream smart home doesn't mean you have to drop hundreds of dollars on smart home stuff. There are some quality smart home products that are available for under $50 that let you upgrade your smart home one room at a time. We've rounded up the best value for smart speakers, smart bulbs, smart plugs and more so that you can kick back and enjoy your fancy new smart home.

OK, Google!

Google Home Mini

Staff Favorite

Google Assistant is probably baked into the phone you use every day, so it makes sense to stick with Google for your home smart speakers. The Google Home Mini is a colorful and compact smart speaker that lets you connect and control smart home products through the Google Home app, and while Amazon's smart home ecosystem is a bit broader than Google's, you'll get better integration with Chromecast, YouTube, and other Google products and services you may rely on.

$49 at B&H

Add more Alexa

Echo Dot (3rd Gen)

Amazon's entry-level smart speaker makes the list because it's as functional as the Amazon Echo while small enough to blend into any room you set it in, letting you extend Alexa voice control through more of your home. Amazon is currently offering Echo Dot bundles with a TP-Link smart plug or two Sengled smart bulbs for an extra $15 to $20 — a great deal that shows off how much utility the Echo Dot can provide.

From $50 at Amazon

Add Alexa to your TV

Fire TV Stick

Amazon's Fire TV Stick is an affordable way to turn any TV into a smart TV. The remote is designed to navigate apps, control media, or trigger Alexa with the built-in microphone. Add your favorite streaming services and have Alexa at your fingertips whether or not you own other Amazon Echo products. 
The Fire TV Stick 4K is also available if you own a 4K TV.

$40 at Amazon

Great standalone smart bulb

LIFX A19 Wi-Fi Smart LED Multicolor Light Bulb

One multicolor bulb can make all the difference in adding some personality to a room in your home. LIFX is great because their smart bulbs do not require a hub to connect with Alexa or Google Assistant. Simply plug it into any lamp or light socket in your house and you're off to the races.

$47 at Amazon

Futuristic AF

Nexlux LED Strip Lights

Used strategically, a single LED strip can make any room in your home instantly more futuristic and stylish. Each strip is sold with a Wi-Fi controller and power adapter that gives you full control over color customization, scheduling, and more.

From $30 at Amazon

Smart control for outdoor lights

TP-Link Kasa Smart Light Switch

This TP-Link smart switch lets you add smart controls to the lights in your home without replacing each bulb with a pricy smart bulb. You can schedule and set everything up in the Kasa app and it works with either Google Assistant or Alexa for voice control and grouped commands.

$33 at Amazon

Works with the Alexa app

Amazon Smart Plug

Amazon's Smart Plug does not require you to own an Echo speaker to use voice commands — it connects directly to the Alexa app and lets you control lamps, fans, or appliances and set schedules from your phone. It's a great option if you're sticking with the Amazon Alexa ecosystem or buying for someone who already owns an Amazon Echo speaker.

$25 at Amazon

Great bundle

Aukey Wi-Fi Smart Plug 4-pack

Aukey's Wi-Fi Smart Plugs are very easy to set up with the Aukey app and work well with Alexa and Google Assistant. It's a great upgrade for any lamp or small appliance that you want to control with your voice. It's a simple smart plug that doesn't block the second outlet at all.

$50 at Amazon

Monitor your home remotely

Wyze Cam Pan 1080p Wi-Fi Indoor Smart Home Camera w/ 32GB MicroSD

The Wyze Cam Pan is a genius little camera that offers surprising quality and functionality for a low price. You get 1080p streaming video on the Wyze Cam app that can be set up with motion and sound alerts to your phone, or you can plug in a microSD for continuous recording or capturing cool time lapses. It's a full-featured wired camera that connects to your Wi-Fi network and can be set up virtually anywhere.

$38 at Amazon

Despite coming out in 2017, the Google Home Mini is still one of our favorite smart home gadgets on the market. It's super affordable, looks great in all of its available colors, and the Google Assistant is getting smarter day after day. Whether you're just getting started with smart home tech or need another speaker/assistant in your home, you can't go wrong with it.



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