Black Friday deals: Best smart home tech discounts

Upgrade your home with these deals on speakers, thermostats, light bulbs, security cameras, and more.

SLIDEFEATURED PRODUCTS
  • IRobot iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot

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    on Amazon
  • Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source WiFi Wireless Router...

    $148.99 MSRP $249.99
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    on Amazon
  • Google Home

    $99.00 MSRP $129.00
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    on Best Buy
  • Philips Hue White & Color LED Ambiance Starter Kit

    $120.00 MSRP $200.00
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    on Best Buy
  • Ring Video Doorbell

    $125.00 MSRP $200.00
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    on Best Buy
  • Maximus Smart Security Light

    $150.00 MSRP $200.00
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    on Best Buy
thinkstockphotos 492765344
Credit: Thinkstock
Deck the halls with tech

A home is the ultimate money pit, but sprucing up your home with tech products doesn’t have to break the bank. The deals this year span many popular products—including a few of our favorites—and run the range of smart tech categories: doorbells, security cameras, light bulbs, security lights, thermostats, vacuums, and more. We even spotted a couple of decent router deals.

Most of the discounts aren’t quite as exciting as the markdowns in other product categories, but the ones we’ve picked are all solid and very welcome. For reference, we’ve included previous price info.

iRobot Roomba 980
Credit: Amazon
  • IRobot iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot

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    on Amazon
VARIOUS RETAILERS: iRobot Roomba 980, $800

Sale started: November 17

It’s not the cheapest robot vacuum, but if you must have a top-of-the-line product, the Roomba 980 is iRobot’s Cadillac model. It can run for up to two hours on hard floors, has more power than previous models, and most importantly, is smarter in terms of getting in and out of small spaces.

The discount of $100 is set to last until December 3rd at the iRobot store. You can also snag it from a number of retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Target, to name a few.

ecobee3 smart home thermostat
Credit: Amazon
  • Ecobee 3

    $184.85 MSRP $249.00
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    on Amazon
  • Nest Labs Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd Generation,...

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    on Amazon
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Ecobee3 Wi-Fi Thermostat, $199

Sale started: November 18

The Ecobee3 isn’t as well-known as the Nest Learning Thermostat, but we think it’s a better choice for the smart home. While the Nest relies on a single motion sensor to determine if you’re home or away, you can use multiple with the Ecobee3 (it comes with one remote sensor). That means it won’t shut off your HVAC system if you’re not moving, and it can take into account the temperature of multiple rooms. You don’t have to wait for the Ecobee3 to learn your home/away routine, either—you can program a schedule. It’s on sale for $50 off MSRP at Amazon, Best Buy, Ecobee’s online store, and Home Depot.

The Nest thermostat is still a good option, though. It’s earned accolades for its ease of installation, its elegant design, and its ability to adapt to your comings and goings. It also integrates well with other smart-home devices that range from Nest’s own smoke/carbon-monoxide detectors and home security cameras to smart entry locks, automatic window shades, smart light bulbs, and even ceiling fans. You can grab one for $50 off MSRP during Black Friday sales at multiple retailers that include Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, and Walmart. (Note that Kohl’s sale doesn’t start until Thursday.)

linksys wrt1900acs
Credit: Amazon
  • Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source WiFi Wireless...

    $148.99 MSRP $249.99
    View
    on Amazon
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 Wi-Fi router

    $120.00 MSRP $200.00
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    on Best Buy
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Linksys WRT1900ACS Open-source 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi router, $144

Sale started: November 21

Update, 11/25: The Linksys WRT1900ACS is even cheaper right now on Amazon—it's at an all-time low of $120 until 11:59pm today.

At first glance, the Linksys WRT1900ACS offers only the expected standards of the day, like 802.11ac Wi-Fi and independent wireless networks on the 2.4- and 5.0GHz frequency bands—but its distinguishing feature is that you can flash it with open-source firmware (OpenWRT) to unlock features that aren't exposed in the stock version. That’s a boon for the slightly geekier (and possibly more paranoid) people out there, because while comparable routers can be found for cheaper, they typically don’t support third-party firmware. And right now you can snag it at one of its lowest prices from either Amazon or Newegg.

You'll also find some great deals on Netgear's Nighthawk R7000, and there's open-source firmware for that router, too (Tomato). Like the WRT1900ACS, the R7000 is a well-regarded, fully featured, dual-band 802.11ac router that performed well in our review. Best Buy has Netgear’s Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 dual-band Wi-Fi router for $120 starting on November 24 (Thursday).

Nest Cam
Credit: Nest Labs
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Nest Cam, $150

Sale started: November 22

Before Black Friday, you could find the Nest Cam for about $177 on Amazon, but $150 for our second-favorite best indoor security camera is pretty good overall. As the successor to the popular Dropcam Pro, the Nest Cam offers improved video resolution, better sound and motion detection, and it can see better in the dark than the original model. It also offers features that you won’t find in our favorite indoor security camera, including two-way audio, noise detection, and a stand that doesn’t need to be fastened to a surface.

This particular deal is fairly widespread—in addition to Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy, which have gone live with their deals already, other retailers like Target and Kohl’s will offer it at $150 starting Thursday. (Buying from Kohls even nets $45 in promotional store credit, if rolling that toward a later purchase is your sort of thing.)

google home beauty
Credit: Jon Phillips
  • Google Home

    $99.00 MSRP $129.00
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    on Best Buy
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Google Home, $99

Sale started: November 22

Google might be a little later than Amazon to the smart-speaker party, but the Google Home allows anyone already firmly entrenched in the Google ecosystem to take advantage of all the data tied to an existing account. It’s a great experience, too, despite the software having some rough edges in this freshly launched first version. The fact it’s already on sale is surprising—you can get it for $30 off this weekend from Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and the Google Store.

Amazon Echo
Credit: Michael Brown
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Amazon Echo, $140

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Amazon’s versatile digital assistant for the home gets a $40 discount for the holidays, bringing it much closer to its arch-rival’s Google Home. Google’s product has a much better speaker, but the Echo has been on the market a whole lot longer and is far ahead in terms of integration with other smart-home products and services, ranging from smart light bulbs to entire smart-home systems.

You can pick up an Echo for $140 at Sears (the deal went live early), or you can wait until Thursday and purchase one at Best Buy or Staples. The Echo Dot is a better value for smart-home enthusiasts, though, especially those who’ve invested in other multi-room audio systems. It’s been discounted for the holidays, too.

amazon echo dot 100683196 primary.idge
VARIOUS RETAILERS: Amazon Echo Dot, $40

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

We’ve never been impressed with the Amazon Echo or the Echo Tap as speakers, so we were happy to see Amazon slice that feature and introduce a less-expensive model. The Echo Dot is exactly what we were hoping to see. It has all the same smart-home capabilities of its pricier siblings, you can connect powered speakers (Bluetooth or hardwired) if you really want it to play music, and it's priced at just $50.

Black Friday deals at Amazon, Best Buy, and Staples bring that price down to $40. Even without the discount, the Echo Dot is affordable enough to deploy in multiple rooms in your home, so you can control your smart devices no matter where you are inside your home.

Philips Hue Color and Ambiance Starter Kit
Credit: Philips
  • Philips Hue White & Color LED Ambiance Starter Kit

    $120.00 MSRP $200.00
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    on Best Buy
BEST BUY: Philips Hue White & Color LED Ambiance Smart Bulb starter kit (2nd gen), $120

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

Philips makes a top-shelf smart LED light bulb. This second-generation model is rated at 800 lumens of brightness and 25,000-hour lifespan. You'll get three of them plus the Philips bridge that links the bulbs to your Wi-Fi network in this kit. It’s been possible to find it for under MSRP for about $170 on Amazon, but nothing as cheap as this Black Friday deal. An additional $50 off is a nice discount.

ring video doorbell
Credit: Jon Phillips
  • Ring Video Doorbell

    $125.00 MSRP $200.00
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    on Best Buy
BEST BUY: Ring Video Doorbell, $125

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

This gadget’s video peephole lets you see visitors at your front door whether you're inside the house or 100 miles away, and it’s pretty popular despite some of our initial quibbles with it. (The experience was largely influenced by how strong its connection to your Wi-Fi network is, and the app was slow to respond.) If you’ve been clamoring to try it, Best Buy is the lone retailer offering it at a discount, and it’s a good one: $75 off the normal price of $200.

Kuna
Credit: Kuna
  • Maximus Smart Security Light

    $150.00 MSRP $200.00
    View
    on Best Buy
BEST BUY: Maximus Smart Security Light, $150

Sale starts: November 24 (Thursday)

The Maximus Smart Security Light (also known as the Kuna Smart Home Security Light) normally goes for $180 on Best Buy, but this Black Friday deal saves you an additional $30. If you’ve been curious about this porch-light replacement, $150 isn’t a bad price for all the features you get: a built-in video camera, a motion detector, a Wi-Fi adapter, and a two-way intercom.

Just remember that you will need to pay for a subscription to get the most out of it: If you don’t pay for service, the 720p video clips that get uploaded to the cloud are only available for viewing for two hours (and you can only download three clips per month). You can read more about it in our review.