Hue lights

Give the gift of home automation this holiday season with any of these excellent options that will switch your home into smart mode.

Need some gift ideas for that special someone who's all about automating their home? Whether it's a smart thermostat, light switches, or smart bulbs, this comprehensive guide highlights some great products to consider that are user-friendly and fun to use. If you're interested in checking out some of our top picks that expand beyond home automation, check out our extensive 2015 Holiday Gift Guide.

Philips Hue Starter Kit

Philips starter kit

Looking to give your your home some custom lighting to kick off the new year? The Philips Hue Starter Kit is a great way to break the ice. This kit includes three 800-lumen hue lightbulbs and a Hue bridge to set up unique lighting in your home, allowing you to adjust colors, timers, alerts, and more straight from your phone. Using Wi-Fi you're able to create mood-setting color schemes or an automatic schedule while you're out and about. The Philips Hue Starter kit is compatible with your HomeKit, Amazon Echo, and Wink setups as well in case you've already started automating your pad.

$200 at Amazon $200 at Best Buy

Download: Control your Philips Hue Lights with Huetro. Use the colorwheel to choose a specific color, scheduling, geofencing and more. It's also completely free!

Download Huetro for Hue from Windows Store (Free)

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Thermostat

Start saving money and gain control of how you heat and cool your home like never before. The 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat features a thinner design than previous models with a larger display that's easy to read even at a distance. The Farsight feature lights up when it recognizes you're nearby so you can get a quick glimpse at the temperature. Using the Nest app on your device you can adjust the temperature whether you're home or away, or you can let it automatically find an energy efficient setting that's ideal while the house is empty. You can even view your energy history through the app for a closer look at how you're saving on that bill.

$249 at Amazon

Download: Cozy lets you control your Nest Learning Thermostat or Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide devices straight from your Windows 10 device. Live tiles let you see the status of your Nest device and Cortana integration let you change the temperature with a quick voice command.

Download Cozy from Windows Store (Free/In-app purchase)

Samsung SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit

Smartthings

Looking for a complete kit that provides the basics to get you started automating you home? Samsung's SmartThings Kit includes a hub, 2 multipurpose sensors, 1 motion sensor, and a single outlet you can control appliances, lights, and more through Samsung's SmartThings app. Set your lights to kick on when the sensor detect movement in your home or receive alerts straight to your device when doors and windows are opened. It's not just convenient, it's also great for security. Of course, the SmartThings Hub is capable of controlling hundreds of compatible devices to customize your smart home, too — just in case you want to pick some some extra accessories to expand your control.

$249 at Amazon

Download: The SmartThings Windows app allows you to receive important notifications about what's happening in your home, secure and lock your doors, control energy use, and trigger things in your home to perform different actions when people come and go.

Download SmartThings Mobile from Windows Store (Free)

Nest Protect

Nest Protect

Just because your home is automated doesn't mean you shouldn't have safety measures in place. That's where the Nest Protect comes into play. Whether you opt for the wired or battery-powered version this smart-home accessory is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that send alerts straight to your smartphone. It utilizes a split-spectrum sensor that quickly detects fires and can identify where the danger is coming from. If you've simply burned dinner in the oven and the alarm goes off on your phone, you can silence it immediately.

$99 at Amazon

Download: Cozy lets you control your Nest Learning Thermostat or Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide devices straight from your Windows 10 device. Live tiles let you see the status of your Nest device and Cortana integration let you change the temperature with a quick voice command.

Download Cozy from Windows Store (Free/In-app purchase)

ecobee3 Smarter Wi-Fi Thermostat

Ecobee3

An excellent alternative to Nest is the ecobee3. This Wi-Fi Thermostat is sold with 1 remote sensor or a 3 sensor bundle, allowing you not to only measure the temperature and occupancy of the room or hallway your thermostat is in, but also in every room with a sensor. As such, you get more granular control and better comfort and energy efficiency in your house. With the new HomeKit-enabled version of the ecobee3 hardware, you get full support for Siri control, including the ability to trigger actions, as well as Android compatibility.

From $249 at Amazon

Download: Ecobee Remote is a third-party app that lets you manage your Ecobee3 thermostat. It supports alerts, scheduling, and more. It's free for 10 days, it requires updating to the full version afterwards to modify values in your thermostat.

Download Ecobee Remote from Windows Store (Free)

Insteon Hub

Insteon Hub

Stay connected to your home and easily manage light switches, outlets, light bulbs, thermostats and more with the Insteon Hub. Compatible with the Insteon and Nest thermostats, you can even create schedules for specific devices or scenes to fit your needs.

$80 at Amazon

Download: Insteon for Hub lets you control INSTEON light bulbs, wall switches, outlets and thermostats. Receive email or text alerts from motion and water leak sensors while you're away.

Download Insteon for Hub (Free)