Prime Day 2019
Looking for good tech deals on Prime Day? Here are some of my recommendations.
Did anyone else end up scoring some deals on Prime Day? It ended up being a pretty quiet event for me, but I did pick up a couple of items and have a few more to highlight in case anyone's still looking for last minute deals.
The only truly smart item I picked up is the ZOOZ Z-Wave Plus 4-in-1 Sensor for $30 (normally $38). I've been looking for a sensor that can track both motion and ambient light, and this is the best price I've seen for one that gets good enough reviews (I was looking at one from Xiaomi as well, but the light sensor gets mixed reviews). I want to put this sensor in the kitchen, so that the light in the kitchen can turn on anytime someone's in the kitchen and the ambient light level is low enough to necessitate additional lights. The sensor integrates fully with Home Assistant, and I'll have a full review posted once I set it up and put it through its paces.
I also picked up a Lutron Maestro Motion Sensor Switch. It normally lists for $29 and I got it for $16. It's not a fully smart product, in that it won't integrate with Home Assistant. However, I really don't need it to integrate. All I'm using it for is turning on the master bedroom closet light when motion is detected in the closet. It's all about using the right tool for the job, and not everything needs to integrate with a smart home hub.
I found some other good deals to share as well:
- Lights: In addition to discounts on some of the products I originally listed below, Philips Hue has Prime Day deals on some of their specialty light fixtures, such as this flushmount LED. While I tend to think their non-bulb products are all pretty overpriced, an extra 15% discount at least makes it worth considering. Sengled also has some of the best prices I've seen on their standard smart bulbs. Sengled has their own hub, but their bulbs can also be paired with most standard Zigbee hubs.
- Switches and Plugs: Brands like TP-Link and GE have been running some pretty good deals on light switches and smart plugs, though I haven't seen any great deals on the energy monitoring plug I was looking for.
- Vacuum Cleaners: There are a few deals on robot vacuums, such as this one and this one.
Original Post Follows:
Monday and Tuesday are Prime Day this year. (Yes, technically that's two days - apparently Jeff Bezos must think he's rich and powerful enough now that he can change the definition of a calendar day.) Last year, I had just gotten a SmartThings hub and hadn't even set it up yet, so Prime Day was the perfect opportunity to find some products to help build out my smart home ecosystem. Tech deals tend to abound on Prime Day, and here's a sampling of some items I'd recommend you watch for deals on over the next two days:
We picked up two brands of lights on Prime Day, Philips Hue and Osram Lightify. I recommend the Hue bulbs myself. Both the starter kits, with the Hue bridge and bulbs, and the individual bulbs themselves, saw good discounts for Prime Day last year. I'd recommend starting off at the Philips Hue landing page on Amazon to explore their product offerings. If you're just getting started, this four-pack bundle is your best value. It only includes the white lights, but you can always add color changing lights later on.
This TP-Link Wi-Fi smart switch is the one I use and highly recommend. While it is Wi-Fi, it has performed well for me and integrates nicely with SmartThings. GE and Honeywell also sell Z-Wave smart switches that are likely to go on sale.
The Logitech Harmony Hub is likely to go on sale for Prime Day. I own two and highly recommend them for controlling TV's, game consoles, stereo systems - basically anything that works with a remote as well as some Bluetooth or Wi-Fi devices. It also ties into Home Assistant, so that you can do things like adjusting the lighting when you start a movie.
Amazon especially likes to discount their own devices for Prime Day. The Echo family of devices have already seen pre-Prime Day discounts, if you are interesting in using Alexa for voice control of your home. Likewise, the Fire TV devices and Fire tablets should also see discounts. Devices like the Fire TV Stick interface with Home Assistant so you can fire automations when you are watching content. The Fire tablets are a decent cheap option for a wall mounted tablet to control your smart home. We are using a 10" Fire tablet for that purpose, with a tutorial on that to come in a future blog post.
If you're partial to Google, as I am, they typically have some competing deals for Google Home and Chromecast devices.
You'll likely see sales on other Amazon-affiliated products. The Ecobee thermostat and Ring smart doorbell (and other products in the Ring family) are products Amazon has a stake in. I would avoid these. Ecobee's functionality (like that of Nest and other "learning thermostats") can easily be replicated with a basic, must cheaper Z-Wave thermostat linked to Home Assistant. Home Assistant automations can drive the logic behind the thermostat settings, and can be infinitely customized. The Ring ecosystem, meanwhile, is a little bit closed off and is not likely to fully integrate with the rest of your setup.
Plugs are the main product I'm looking for this year. I've heard good things about TP-Link's Wi-Fi plugs (basic model, energy monitoring model). I personally am keeping an eye on this heavy-duty Z-Wave Plus energy monitoring plug from Zooz, as I'd like to use it to monitor our washing machine and send an alert when a load of laundry is finished.
Are there any specific deals you're looking for? Let me know in the comments!
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