The Best Smart Home Gadgets You Want but Don't Need

collage of Nanoleaf light panels, Tonal training system and Mirror gymSuzanne Humphries

Forget phones, televisions and computers. We’re all about the technology that we don’t need to buy. It is true. We live for expensive, feature-rich gadgets that aren’t afraid of being ridiculously extra. From surround lighting for your home entertainment center to a mirror that doubles as a home gym, these products are a lot of fun and totally unnecessary for most people.

If you have a little extra dough, any of these amazing gadgets would make a nice upgrade for your home. And they’ll do more than make your life easier, they’ll also make you more enjoyable. So go ahead, pick a few and indulge yourself.

A remarkably smart thermostat: Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation, mounted on gray wall Google

Smart thermostats have a lot to offer and can help you save energy and money. They even have nice extras like monitoring the HVAC system. The third generation Nest Learning Thermostat has it all, plus it continually learns and adapts to your usage patterns, ultimately allowing it to perform exactly how and when you want it to.

The Learning Thermostat is so effective that Google says it saves users an average of 10-12% on heating bills, 15% on air conditioning bills, and it will. pay for himself in two years. It actively monitors your HVAC system, making sure it is always functioning properly, and it will alert you whenever potential issues are detected and when it’s time to replace your air filter.

It only takes about a week of using the Learning Thermostat to know your preferences, and it can easily adjust as your needs (or seasons) change. This means that he will learn to automatically turn the heat up in the morning and turn it down an hour before bed. It’ll also learn when you’re away from home, then set to an eco temperature so you never waste energy in an empty house. You can adjust the temperature and other settings on the thermostat or through the ios and Android mobile app. Plus, since it’s a Nest product, it works perfectly with the Google Assistant.

A remarkably smart thermostat

Train like a genius: mirror, peloton and tone on tone

That’s right, home gym equipment can be smart too. While the machines (and their subscription-based digital classes) are expensive, they allow you to enjoy home workouts while still enjoying the benefits (and community energy) of studio classes. Plus, they’re much cooler than the classic equipment you’ll find in a gym.

For all types of training: Mirror

Mirror leaning against a wall next to dumbbellsMirror

Mirror it’s super cool. It barely takes up space and just looks like a sleek wall mirror, so it’s perfect for smaller studios. But when you turn it on, you’ll instantly be able to see not only your reflection, but also a screen where your workout instructor and other metrics will appear.

It comes with a wall mount and stand, along with a heart rate monitor and resistance bands, but you’ll need to pay $ 39 per month to access Mirror’s live and on-demand workouts. The subscription, however, covers up to six household members and offers over 50 different kinds of workouts, from boxing to yoga. Workouts last 5 to 60 minutes and cover all skill levels, with new classes added every week. It can also customize the workouts in case of injury.

MIrror is great for tracking your workout stats, like workout times and heart rate, and notes your improvement if you use the same workout more than once. It also allows you to earn points for things like staying in your target heart rate zone, adding a gamified aspect to your workouts. You can even enjoy virtual one-on-one sessions with a personal trainer using the front camera (and don’t worry, it comes with a privacy cap).

For cycling enthusiasts: Peloton Bike

Peloton bike at homePlatoon

If you prefer your cardio sessions as a spin-class, you will love the Peloton bike (from $ 1,895). With its large HD screen, motivating instructors, and community-centric focus, a Peloton is a great choice for all social spinners. It is also suitable for those who want to focus on fitness goals seriously, as it offers tons of workout routines and challenges to choose from. The bike even has music playlists curated by an instructor so you can keep yourself entertained while you workout. You can access courses and other resources with the Peloton membership of $ 39 per month.

The Peloton bike has an adjustable seat, handlebars and screen, so you can easily set it up in a way that suits you. You can also connect Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as a smartwatch or heart rate monitor, to it. And don’t worry, the 22-inch touchscreen is sweat resistant, so you can interact with it even if you’re sweaty. You can also opt for the Bike +, which offers a slightly larger 24-inch 360-degree rotating touchscreen, additional speakers, auto-tracking resistance, and Apple GymKit integration.

There are four bike packages to choose from, starting with the Bike Basics package for $ 1,895, which includes delivery and assembly. The Bike Essentials package ($ 2,045) includes spin shoes and weights in addition to the bike; the Bike Works package ($ 2,145) includes sneakers, weights, headphones, bike mat and heart rate monitor in addition to the bike; and the Bike Family Package ($ 2,345) which includes the entire Bike Works package, plus a bottle of water and a second pair of cycling shoes.

For strength training workouts: tonal

Sound training system with benchTonal

For anyone looking for stylish workout gear to build strength, stick with Tonal ($ 2,995). Just like Mirror, Tonal is wall mounted and won’t take up much space in your home. He built electromagnetic arms that offer up to 200 pounds of resistance. You can also choose to shell out over an additional $ 495 to get the Tonal Accessory Set, which includes a bench, mat, foam roller, and removable rope.

Tonal offers full body strengthening workouts as well as intelligent personal training. It also learns from your workouts and automatically adapts to your body. It will accurately measure reps, sets, range of motion, power, time under tension, and volume, so it can track your gains over time. You can browse hundreds of instructor-led programs and find programs that are right for your body and your fitness goals that will give you an effective and efficient workout.

Tonal’s monthly subscription to workout videos costs $ 49 per month, which is more than Mirror and Peloton, but still likely less than many in-person gym subscriptions. The subscription gives you access to unlimited home accounts, on-demand workouts, data metrics and progress tracking, workout logs, personalized suggestions, tonal music stations, and more.

Brilliant lighting: Nanoleaf and Philips

Lights don’t have to be boring or silly. In fact, they’re so much better when they’re exciting and smart, and match the media you’re reading on your TV. In fact, with these amazing options, you’ll start to think of lights the way we do: as art and as technology.

For modular lighting: Nanoleaf color panels

Yellow-green Nanoleaf color panels mounted in an X shape on a wall in a home officeNanoleaf

the Nanoleaf color panels (starting at $ 119.99) are available in three flavors: Shapes, Canvas and Light Panels. With so much to choose from, you have unlimited customization options for your living room, home office, bedroom, or home gym. Whichever color panel you choose, you’ll have access to over 16 million stunning colors including adjustable white, which is ideal for functional lighting, for example, on the ceiling in a dark kitchen.

The lights can also dance to music in real time using the Rhythmic Scenes feature or reflect what’s playing on your TV screen for a more immersive gaming or movie watching experience. The Canvas and Shapes options support touch experiences, which allow you to interact with panels. You can even control them with gestures or play interactive games with them.

Each of the three types of panels include physical controls, but you can also control them with the Nanoleaf app for ios and Android devices. Nanoleaf color panels add a unique focal point to any room in your home and can make any activity a little more fun.

For immersion in the entertainment center: Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip

Philips Hue Play Gradient Lightstrip reflecting colors on the wall behind the TV, with a couple sitting on a sofa in the foreground watching themPhilips

You’ve heard of surround sound. Now with the Philips Hue Play gradient light strip ($ 219), Prepare Your Senses for Surround Lighting! The fun light strip attaches to the back of your TV and projects the same colors on your TV screen on the wall behind, making it an incredibly immersive viewing experience. The strip can be attached to 55-75 inch televisions that are wall mounted or upright with their included bracket.

Colors blend seamlessly with those displayed on your TV, whether you’re gaming or watching a TV show or movie. Each of the colors also blend naturally, creating a unique effect that doesn’t look garish or strange. One note though: you will need to purchase the Philips Hue Play HDMI sync box, Philips Hue Bridge (unless you already have one with existing Hue lights), and use the ios or Android mobile app to keep things running smoothly.

That faucet is a genius: Delta VoiceIQ

Delta VoiceIQ faucet with running water in the kitchenDelta

A smart faucet might seem overkill at first, but if you think about it, the concept is super handy! With a Delta VoiceIQ faucet, you can use voice commands to turn the tap on or off, to heat water, to dispense a measure of water (like 2 cups), or to fill a custom container (like your coffee maker or dog bowl). the smart faucet is the perfect thing to have when you need water but your hands are full or dirty.

Let a robot do your dirty work: iRobot Roomba i7

iRobot Roomba i7 and mobile application on white backgroundI robot

Let’s be honest: vacuuming sucks. And that’s my full statement on why it’s worth the cost to upgrade to a robot vacuum, like the iRobot Roomba i7. This adorable little guy uses Smart Mapping technology to build a floor plan of your home so he can navigate efficiently while cleaning. You can also tell it to avoid certain rooms and set it on a schedule to regularly clean your floors. It will even start to learn your personal cleaning schedule and preferences and run automatically.

The Roomba i7 can easily handle crumbs, pet hair, and other messes. It can run for up to an hour on a single charge and will return to its base for a recharge if you’ve set it up to run longer than that. You can also buy the IRobot own base, allowing the vacuum to automatically empty up to 30 times before you need to intervene. The Roomba i7 is a great robot vacuum suitable for beginners, and is ideal for those who don’t want to jump in for a high-end model packed with premium features.

Let a robot do your dirty work

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