Looking to give your dad some smarthome gifts for Father’s Day? Whether your dad’s a tech-savvy smarthome fanatic or totally new to the experience, he’ll love these nifty smart gadgets.
Let’s have a moment of honesty here; buying a smarthome device for your dad might be an ambitious idea. Smarthome devices are easy to use, but some dads are stuck with an “I’m tech-illiterate” mindset that prevents them from jumping into the smarthome world. That’s why we recommend buying your dad a Google Home Mini or an Echo Dot if he doesn’t already have one. These devices make smarthome use as easy as possible, and they eliminate a lot of the “tech-illiterate” excuses that your dad might come up with.
While the Google Home Mini and the Echo Dot are great for playing music or looking up trivia, they work best when paired with other smarthome devices, like smart bulbs or smart plugs. That’s why we’ve taken the time to round up some of the best smarthome products that your dad might actually use.
The Easy Gift: The Google Nest Hub ($100)
The Google Nest Hub is one of our favorite smarthome products, and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about how it makes a perfect gift for parents. It can be used as a Google Assistant (so you don’t have to buy your dad a smart speaker), but it can also be used as a digital photo frame, a clock, a music player, a recipe book, and a tiny Netflix machine.
There are some great alternatives to the Google Nest Hub, like the Echo Show, the Lenovo Smart Display, and the Facebook Portal. These smart displays have their own perks, but in terms of affordability and ease of use, the Google Nest Hub blows the competition out of the water.
For Designer-Minded Dads: The Philips Hue Starter Kit ($150)
Whether your dad is new to smart homes or obsessed with the IoT, he’s sure to love a Philips Hue Starter Kit. Philips Hue bulbs are incredibly easy to use, and they can be scheduled around routines or integrated into a robust smarthome environment. And of course, they work with both Google Assistant and Alexa.
This kit comes with four colored bulbs and a Philips Hue hub, so your dad can quickly transform any room of the house into a futuristic Trekkian light show. If your dad isn’t really into using voice commands and apps to control his lights, consider grabbing him a Philips Hue dimmer switch too.
For Couch Potatoes and Media Lovers: The Logitech Harmony Elite Remote ($250)
Is dad a couch potato or into his movie collection like some people are into classic cars? Consider grabbing him a Logitech Harmony remote for Father’s Day. It’s basically a TV remote and an Alexa smart assistant wrapped up into a neat package. It can be used to control up to 15 smart devices at a time (including a TV, of course), and it has a neat built-in display for creating routines and video playlists.
For Holiday Decorators: The eufy Smart Plug ($23)
If your dad uses a lot of bulky mechanical outlet timers for holiday lights, then he’ll love the eufy smart plug. Like outlet timers, smart plugs can be programmed to turn on or off at certain times of the day. But smart plugs are a bit unique. They can be controlled remotely with voice commands and phone apps, and they can pair with other smart devices for super simple home automation. It also has neat features that most dads will dig: like you can use it to monitor electrical usage on a per-device basis.
In some situations, a smart plug is also a good alternative to a smart bulb. If your dad uses a lot of floor lamps or table lamps, then the eufy smart plug can be used to set the lamps on a timer or control them using voice commands. Just keep in mind that a smart plug isn’t an alternative to a colored smart bulb and can’t be used as a dimmer. Need more smart plug options? We’ve got you covered.
For Porch-Watchers: A Video Doorbell ($200+)
Does your dad like to know what’s going on outside his home? Well, with a smart video doorbell, he can keep track of his front porch without staring through a window all day.
There are two big names in the world of video doorbells, Ring and Nest, and they work in essentially the same way. Both brands can be used to watch a live feed of the front porch (which is nice if dad has a smart display) or to watch recordings of invasive dog-walkers and mail carriers. They can also alert your dad when someone’s at the door phone notifications or a smart speaker.
The big difference between these products is smart-assistant compatibility. The Nest Hello Video Doorbell works best with Google Assistant, and the Amazon-owned Ring Video Doorbell Pro works best with Alexa. If you’re buying ol’ dad multiple smarthome items or plan to buy him more over time, be sure to stick with the same ecosystem.
It’s also good to keep in mind that these doorbells won’t work without pre-existing doorbell wiring, so make sure that your dad’s doorbell is working before you buy him one of these smart devices. (Or, you could buy dad the battery-powered Ring Video Doorbell 2).