Black Friday 2019: The Best Smart Home Deals

A Nanoleaf panel set in the shape of a musical note hanging on a wall in a music studio.
Nanoleaf

Black Friday is coming, and with it, some of the very best deals you’ll see all year. If you’ve been thinking about starting or expanding your smart home, we’ve rounded up some great discounts for you!

We focused our deals on three common smart home categories: voice assistants, home security, and smart lights. We also only included devices that will truly offer a discount on Black Friday.

We’ve linked to the products now, but keep in mind, the deals don’t start until Black Friday.

Voice Assistants to Control Your Smart Home

If you’re new to smart home devices, you might be intimidated by standards, like Z-Wave, ZigBee, and hubs from companies, like Hubitat and Insteon. The good news is Google and Amazon are working on killing the smart home hub. Your first purchase for your smart home should be a smart speaker or display.

From lights to locks, more smart home devices now work via Wi-Fi and use Google Assistant or Alexa as a hub. Luckily, there’s no shortage of smart speaker and display deals this Black Friday.

Alexa Everywhere: Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Three-Pack for $65

A white Amazon Echo with blue ring.
Amazon

The Echo Dot is an Amazon Echo with the large speaker lopped off. They don’t sound amazing, but that’s not the point. Echo Dots are an inexpensive way to put smart speakers around your home, so Alexa will hear you no matter which room you’re in. Amazon’s three-pack deal is the perfect starter kit.

This Black Friday, you can pick up three Echo Dots for just under $65, instead of the usual $105.

Alexa Everywhere

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Sandstone

Echo Dots are a great way to spread smart speakers around your home without spending a fortune. This deal makes that even easier---you get three Dots for under $65.

Google Assistant Everywhere: Google Nest Mini for $30

A white Google Nest Mini with four white LEDs.
Google

The Google Nest Mini follows the same concept as the Echo Dot—it’s a smaller version of the Google Home at a reduced price. If you prefer Google Assistant over Alexa, this is the way to go! The Nest Mini normally sets you back about $50, so the $30 Black Friday price is notable.

Best Buy is selling the original Google Home Mini for $20, but we think the Nest Mini is worth the extra $10. It sounds better, responds more quickly (thanks to improved processors), and you can mount it to a wall without any additional hardware.

Best Smart Display: Google Nest Hub for $80

A white Google Nest Hub displaying a photo of a person walking on the beach.
Google

In our review of the Google Nest Hub (formerly, Google Home Hub), we named it Product of the Year. One year later, it’s still the best smart display you can buy, even with all the new competition out there.

The Google Nest Hub is more affordable than ever this Black Friday; you can pick one up for the stupidly cheap price of $80, which is a discount of $50!

Best Premium Smart Display: Google Nest Hub Max for $200

A Nest Hub Max with a picture of a mother and two children.
Google

How do you make the best smart display better? Go bigger, of course! The Nest Hub Max really is a bigger Nest Hub, but with a few more tricks up its sleeve.

This hub has a camera that recognizes you and provides personalized notifications. That’s why we called this the proactive smart display for your Kitchen. It’s noticeably more expensive than the original Nest Hub, so the $30 discount on Black Friday is most welcome!

Best Small Display: Lenovo Smart Clock for $40

A Lenovo Smart Clock displaying the time over a blue background.
Michael Crider

On the other hand, if you want something smaller, the Lenovo Smart Clock is nearly perfect. It’s tiny, features Google Assistant, and you can even change the clock face. Just like on the Nest Hubs, you can display Google Photos, but the screen is so small, you might be better off showing the weather.

We thought the Lenovo Clock was great for $80, but you can pick it up for $40 on Black Friday, so it’s it a no-brainer.

Add Some Cameras for All Those Holiday Packages

As the holidays approach, you’ll likely have more packages left on your doorstep. A video doorbell or security cameras enable you to keep an eye on them until you get home. Some doorbells, like the Nest Hello, even notify you when a package is delivered.

That’s why we can’t live without a video doorbell, but other cameras are a good idea, too—especially if you want to watch other areas of your home.

For Amazon Homes: Ring Video Doorbell Pro for $180

A Ring Video Doorbell Pro with a blue light around the doorbell button.
Amazon

If you prefer Alexa integration, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro is a solid option. It’s smaller than other Ring doorbells because it’s powered by your home’s wiring instead of batteries. You can also customize it with a variety of faceplates.

This Black Friday, Amazon is knocking $70 off the regular price, which brings this doorbell down to $180!

For Amazon Homes

Ring Video Doorbell Pro, with HD Video, Motion Activated Alerts, Easy Installation (existing doorbell wiring required)

The Ring Video Doorbell Pro sends 1080p video wherever you need it. You can tell the delivery person where to leave the package, or spot solicitors and ignore them. But make sure your home's doorbell wiring works.

For Google Homes: Nest Hello Video Doorbell for $150

A Nest Hello next to an open door with people conversing in the background.
Josh Hendrickson

Google isn’t skimping on its video doorbell discounts, either. On the Nest Hello, which features 2K resolution HDR video, Google’s lopping $80 off the usual price, for an affordable $150. If you subscribe to Nest Aware, you get extra features, like package detection and face aware, which identifies frequent visitors.

It’s the only video doorbell that offers 24/7 recording (most only record when triggered by an event, like movement). However, you do need working doorbell wiring to power the Nest Hello.

Best Security Camera Pack: Arlo 720P HD Camera System for $180

Three Arlo cameras, mounting points, and the central hub.
Arlo

Video doorbells are fantastic, but what about the other areas of your home and yard? Arlo’s wireless cameras are a good option for expanding your security coverage.

This pack comes with three weather-resistant cameras and the necessary hub. Normally, you’d spend $250 for this package, but Walmart’s deal will set you back just $189—not bad!

Wi-Fi Mesh Systems for Faster Internet

As you add more tablets, smart TVs, voice assistants, and other Wi-Fi-powered smart home devices, you might find it all starts to bog down your network. Even on a high-speed plan, if you still use that old router you got from your provider when you first signed up, that’s probably the issue.

Wi-Fi mesh devices can help because they spread out the load to multiple access points. If you have areas in your home where the Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to reach, a Mesh system can help. It seamlessly expands your Wi-Fi coverage, and you don’t have to memorize any new passwords or choose a network.

If you live in a challenging network environment, Mesh Wi-Fi might be just what you need!

The Amazon-Friendly Option: Amazon eero Mesh Wi-Fi System for $150

Three eero Wi-Fi mesh routers sitting next to each other.
Amazon

If you plan to add a bunch of Amazon devices, like Echo Dots, to your home, you might also want to grab an eero Mesh system this Black Friday. Amazon also owns eero, so it’s already integrated setup features cut down the necessary steps to add Amazon devices to your network.

For most average-sized homes, this three-pack system provides all the coverage you need. Already affordable at its usual $250 price, Amazon is dropping the eero Mesh System to just $150 on Black Friday, which within spitting distance of high-end, non-mesh routers.

The Amazon-Friendly Option.

Introducing Amazon eero mesh WiFi system – router for whole-home coverage (3-pack)

Although less powerful than others, the eero Mesh System is easy to set up and use. It's also easy to integrate with your other Amazon devices---just plug them in, download the app, set up, and go!

Best for More Oomph: Google Nest Wi-Fi AC2200 Mesh System for $289

Three Nest WIFI access ponts in a row.
Google

If you want a little more oomph than the budget eero is capable of—and want to double down on the Google Assistant simultaneously—the Nest Wi-Fi System is the way to go. Each Nest access point acts like a Nest Mini, which means you can put those Minis you also buy on Black Friday in other rooms.

While Google is selling a discounted two-pack of the Nest Wi-Fi for Black Friday, we like Best Buy’s deal better. You get a three-pack for just $60 more. While Google claims two points should be enough for most homes, three is still going to offer you more robust coverage.

All The BackHaul: Linksys Velop Tri-Band Mesh WiFi System for $279

Three black Linksys Velop routers in a triangle formation.
Linksys

The Best mesh kits support a backhaul feature. Backhaul lets the satellite units connect with the main router unit separately from the Wi-Fi channels you use to connect your device. Mesh kits either accomplish this wirelessly on a third channel or over ethernet. The Linksys Velop system supports both.

That’s great for maximum flexibility; if you have ethernet run throughout your home, use that. It’ll be the fastest. And if you don’t, the wireless backhaul option will take over automatically, providing you speedy internet everywhere. The main downside to the Velop brand is usually cost, but Black Friday changes that by dropping the price $200 down to $279 from its usual $479.

 

Light Up Your Life

Smart lights are the most common devices people are adding to their homes. They’re incredibly convenient because you control them with voice commands or apps.

You can also put your smart lights on a schedule, which can significantly cut down your energy costs. If you’ve ever returned home to find you left the lights on all day, you’ll appreciate the ability to turn them off remotely.

Best Starter Kit: Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance LED Starter Kit for $130

The Philips Hue starter pack box, next to purple, green, and blue bulbs, the remote, and hub.
Philips

Philips Hue is perhaps the biggest name in smart lights, and with good reason. The company makes bold, beautiful lights that work reliably. The only downside is the expense—you get more, but you pay more.

This Black Friday, though, Best Buy’s got you covered. The Philips starter pack will be $130, marked down from its regular $190 price tag.

This kit has everything you need to get started, including three color bulbs, a hub, and a remote control you can also mount as a light switch.

Most Unique: Nanoleaf Panel Sets for 17-25 Percent Off

Nanoleaf Canvas panels glowing blue and silver.
Josh Hendrickson

Nanoleaf panels are unlike most other smart lights. You don’t install them in a light fixture or run them in a strip along a wall. They are triangle- or square-shaped panels you can join to form shapes.

When we reviewed Nanoleaf Canvas, we called it bold, beautiful, and expensive, and that’s a good description. Nanoleaf panels dance to music, shift colors, and light up a room well, but they do cost a lot.

However, Best Buy is promising 17-25 percent off select Nanoleaf sets this Black Friday. If you’re interested in Nanoleaf, that’s the day to bite!

Best Light Switch: Lutron Caseta Wireless for $80

A Lutron smart switch, pico remote, and smart hub next to a phone with the Lutron app loaded.
Lutron

Light bulbs and panels are great, but the better, more economical solution is to replace your dumb light switch with a smart one. Lutron is one of the few smart switches that don’t require a neutral wire, which means you can install them in nearly any home.

Whether you use the button on the switch, an app, or talk to Alexa or Google to operate your lights, everything stays in sync. This set—which includes the smart switch, a Pico remote, and a smart bridge—normally retails for $100. On Black Friday, though, Lowes will let you take one home for $80.

Lutron switches are rarely on sale, so jump on this if you’ve been waiting!

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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