Start here.

If you are just jumping into the smart home/home automation game, don’t go any farther. Start here.

People always ask me, “If I am going to start a smart home, what are the first things that I should buy? See below, in order, for where I would start with a smart home. The first two may surprise you…

1 Nest Thermostat

The first item I recommend everyone gets is a Nest thermostat.

It’s pretty easy to install.

You can use it with your smart phone.

Best of all – it saves you money.

It’s also not expensive. It’s the perfect place to start your smart home.

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2 Rachio Smart Irrigation System

This item may surprise you. It’s one of my favorite gadgets I own. Not only does it help save you money – it keeps your lawn looking awesome.

This item retails for around $200 but most utility companies offer a steep discount on your service (usually a $100 credit) when you install. It helps them save money, too.

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3 Philips Hue System

The Philips Hue system is just fun. The LED light bulbs allow you to change your lights to almost any color.  I love setting the mood (for things like football games, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc.).

Unlike the first two items on the Smart Home Start list, these will cost you money (not save it – unless you count the fact they are LED and can save you over the old-fashioned type of lights).

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4 Amazon Echo

Are you surprised there isn’t a smart home hub on here yet? The Amazon Echo is advanced enough it can do most home automation for you.

This is a great, multi-use gadget. Use it for everything from getting the news, to kitchen timers to music to controlling the lights.

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5 Wink Hub 2

Finally! A Smart Hub! What took you so long? It turns out that the items above can work together pretty well without needing a hub.

It turns out this is one of the most un-reliable parts of the system, but also needed if you want to do more advanced stuff. The Wink Hub is my choice for a smart hub. It’s easy to use, fast and fairly reliable.

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