Expensive Smart Home Technology and Cheaper Alternatives


One thing that scares consumers away from getting into the smart home game is that they think it is going to drain their wallets, bank accounts, and savings. While this is probably close to true if you are shooting for top-of-the-line, fully integrated systems and devices, it isn’t necessarily true if you’re just looking for a few devices for your home. There are options available for all budget levels, and you can pick and which categories you want to splurge on and which you want to save on. For example, if you’re really interested in saving money on your energy bills, you may want to splurge on your smart thermostat and lights, but save on your smart locks and doorbells. If you’re most concerned about home security, you may want to flip that around and splurge on your smart locks and doorbells. No matter your preference, you can build your smart home to work for you. Here are a few expensive devices from the most popular smart home categories, and their less expensive alternatives.

Video Doorbells

Ring – $$$
Ring is very popular right now, and it has a video doorbell product that will work whether or not you have hardwired doorbell already. The price point is $200, but shouldn’t cost you anything additional for setup or for use. Ring works you’re your smartphone, and offers 720p video, night vision, motion detection, and 2-way audio.

Lerway – $
The Lerway digital door viewer doorbell has a unit you set up on the outside of your door, with a camera lens and a button. When the button is pressed, an image will show up on the display that you set up inside your home. It doesn’t work through a smartphone app. It’s only around $50, so it’s a great starter video doorbell for those that don’t get many visitors.

Smart Locks

August – $$$
August is the most popular brand for smart locks, and it has a lot of features that make it worth the $199 price tag. This device is keyless, keeps tracks of all visitors that you “invite” with a virtual key, and allows you to remove access to anyone at anytime. If you want an August lock that works with Apple HomeKit, you’re looking at shelling out about $230.

Schlage – $$
The lesser known Schlage touchscreen deadbolt will save you about $50 off your smart lock. It uses access codes to allow those who live in the home, and visitors, to gain access.


Nest and Ecobee – $$$
Nest and ecobee are big names in the smart thermostat space, and they run around $250 each. They both offer easy installation, and they are both energy-savers. Both units learn and adapt to your household, and offer programming and smartphone controls.

Sensi – $
Sensi is also a connect thermostat, just has more limitations than the Nest and ecobee devices. It runs only about $100, and uses an app for controls, and also works with the Amazon Echo to allow voice control of the unit.

This is just a short list, obviously, as smart home technology is a big space with a lot of players. Use the comments section to add your own take on expensive smart home tech and the cheap alternatives

Photo by: Bit Boy

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Julie is totally technology driven. She is an early adapter, getting the newest devices first and loves seeing how they work. She is the first one called when her friends need help setting up networks, new computer systems, printers and cool home automation devices. She loves being the token "dork" in her group of friends.