Interested in setting up a smart home but don’t have the budget? There’s a common misconception that smart home automation is a pricey affair, when in fact, you can buy a range of smart home gadgets for less than what you’d spend on a mid-range smartphone. While most of these devices can be controlled via an app on your phone, many also come with support for Alexa and Google Home, letting you operate them using simple voice commands. Interested in finding out more? Here are some of the best voice-activated smart home products priced below Rs 4,000.
Syska LED Table Lamp (Rs 3,394)
Unlike Philips Hue, which requires a separate hub to function, Syska’s smart lights work directly over Wi-Fi. While the company’s SmartLight Bulb has been around for a while, the brand recently launched an LED table lamp. The sleek lamp comes with a flexible body and touch controls. It comes with Alexa integration as well, so you can control it using voice commands if you have an Echo speaker. The lamp offers a choice between Reading and Night mood settings, and lets you switch between white, warm white and yellow temperatures. You can also increase or decrease the brightness, choosing between three levels.
Apart from Syska’s smart lights, you can also check out TP-Link’s smart light bulbs that are similarly priced, and work with Alexa, Google Home and IFTTT.
TP-Link HS200 Smart Wi-Fi light switch (Rs 2,399)
TP-Link’s smart light switch is easily installed as a traditional switch, and lets you control ceiling fans, lights and other fixtures. However, do note that each switch can control only a single fixture. The device works with Alexa and Google Home, letting you assign a name to each switch and turn them on or off on command. You can also group other TP-Link smart devices together and control them with a single voice command. Apart from voice control, TP-Link’s Kasa app lets you control the switch from your phone, turning it on or off remotely, according to schedules, or changing sunrise and sunset times. You can also enable an ‘Away’ mode to turn your lights on or off at intervals to give the appearance that someone’s home.
D-Link DSP-W215 WiFi Smart Plug (Rs 2,599)
An easy way to control devices that require external power, D-Link’s Wi-Fi smart plug is an affordable option. You can connect any home appliance to it (such as a table lamp), and control it using the mydlinkHome app available on both iOS and Android. You can use the app to remotely turn on or off appliances, schedule on/off times and monitor energy usage. The switch has an inbuilt thermal sensor which automatically turns off overheating devices. The Wi-Fi- enabled plug can be set up easily using a WPS switch. It works with both Alexa and Google Home as well.
TP-Link also has a smart plug on offer, which offers similar features for a slightly cheaper price. While the TP-Link plug fits into the standard Indian socket, you’ll need to fit an adapter inside if you want to attach 3-pin devices. Another smart plug to consider is Oakter, which comes with its own hub and has separate plugs for low-power and high-power devices, the latter letting you control your geyser, A/Cs, water pumps and more.
Smarteefi Smart Power Strip (Rs 2,999)
Buying multiple smart plugs might not be affordable for everyone, and in this case, the Smarteefi smart power strip is a great option. The power strip offers three Wi-Fi enabled plugs, and lets you control each socket independently. It works with Google Home and Alexa, and can also be controlled via the companion Android/iOS app or a web browser. You can set daily or weekly schedules, useful if you want to turn on devices in advance, or switch on a light to give the impression that someone’s home. The app also provides notifications when devices connected to the power strip are manually switched on or off.
Orvibo Magic Cube (Rs 3,300)
A handy little device, the Orvibo Magic Cube is an IR remote that connects to multiple home appliances like your A/C, TV, set-top box, sound system and more. It allows you to connect practically any device that functions with an IR remote, and lets you control them all using the companion app, Google Home or Alexa. From the app, you can even set timers to turn on appliances like the A/C on before you get home.
The smart home market in India is still in its nascent stages, and we expect many more devices to be available in the future. For now though, these are some of the best affordable options out there. While you can control each of these individually via a smartphone app, having the option to use simple voice commands is an added plus. For this purpose, it makes sense to invest in the Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker, which currently retails for just Rs 3,199.
(Prices are mentioned as per online listings available at the time of publishing, and are subject to change)