What it costs: $279
What it is: One of the latest “smart” thermostats, which claims to save users an average of $127 per year.
How it works: The Lyric competes with the Nest and other high-tech thermostats but has a unique feature: It taps into your phone’s GPS to keep tabs on your location. That allows you to set up your system to, for instance, begin heating the house when it senses that you’re on your way home from the office. The thermostat also factors in humidity when setting the temperature, displays the day’s weather forecast for easy planning, and alerts you if it senses an HVAC system failure.
GE Link Light Bulb
What it costs: $15
What it is: A super-long-lasting light bulb that can be linked to an affordable home-automation system.
How it works: The Link has impressive stats: It uses 80% less energy than a typical bulb and lasts up to 22 years. However, to get the most from your Link bulbs, you must connect them to the $50 Wink hub, a Wi-Fi-enabled device that lets you control the lights (as well as compatible items such as locks and blinds) remotely. Use the hub to schedule when the Links should dim, brighten, and turn on and off.
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
What it costs: $60
What it is: This switch instantly turns any plug into an app-controlled outlet.
How it works: The WeMo uses your home Wi-Fi network to communicate with
a free iOS or Android smartphone app. Say you plug in a lamp. Using your phone, the WeMo allows you to turn the light on and off, monitor how long it’s been on, and see how much energy the bulb is using. You can also use the app to program your device so that, for example, your space heater turns on every day before you wake up, and off when you leave for work.
Doug Aamoth covers tech news, reviews, and how-tos for Time. To see more of his work, go to time.com/tech.