If you somehow weren’t aware, the Black Friday deals officially started yesterday, and this weekend is a great time to build your smart home in a slightly more budget-friendly way.
For starters, the Ring Video Doorbell (Wired) is down from £49 to £34 at Amazon, while Very has knocked £35 off the Google Nest Hub (Gen 2) – from £89.99 to £54.99. Argos has the Ring Stick Up 3rd Gen Cam Battery for £64, falling in price from £89.
But don’t just start buying smart home products at random – that’s a recipe for a (very expensive) disaster. We are here to help, and this guide will show you how you can start building out the smart home basics for under £230 this Black Friday weekend.
Looking for the latest offers? Head to our live Cyber Monday deals coverage.
What’s the deal: The 4th generation Amazon Echo (2021) is down from £89.99 to £54.99, and Amazon is giving you a Philips Hue smart bulb at no extra cost.
Why we chose it: You want to start off with a solid assistant, and the larger Echo fits the bill because it has an attractive design and great sound. But there’s a real reason we didn’t just opt for the more affordable Echo Dot (4th gen).
Unlike the Echo Dot, the bigger Echo has a built-in smart home hub that lets you connect to smart devices that use another type of communication protocol known as Zigbee. Essentially this means it will be more useful when you scale up your smart home setup in the future, as it will be able to talk with more devices.
After being connected to your WiFi and the Alexa app, you should place the Echo somewhere prominent in your home – like a living room or kitchen – and ask it to find all compatible smart devices by asking it, “Alexa, discover my devices.”
What’s the deal: The Echo Show 5 (2021) is down from £74.99 to £39.99, but you can add a Ring Video Doorbell (Wired) for only £10 (bought alone, it is £34). In total, the bundle’s RRP drops from a combined £123.99 to just £49.99 – £74 off.
Why we chose it: Video doorbells are extremely useful devices – letting you check who is outside your home via your smartphone or using the bundled Echo Show 5, which has a 5-inch touch screen display and is also powered using Alexa. Keeping these main smart devices to Alexa means they will communicate seamlessly.
The bundle deal with Amazon's Ring Doorbell is great because it gives you the best of all worlds while keeping the price down. If the Echo (used as a smart hub) is in your living room, you can set the Echo Show in your kitchen – or vice versa. It’s great for playing music, reading along to recipes or watching YouTube videos – far more than a doorbell feed alone.
What’s the deal: An £11 saving on two smart sockets, down from £24.99 to £13.99. This will be a great next step when setting up your first-ever smart home.
Why we chose it: It’s the next step – turning items around your home “smart” with minimal effort. Smart plugs are the easiest way of adding voice or phone control to lamps or TVs. You insert them into your wall socket, then plug the appliance into it. These do not require a hub to work – just connect to your home’s WiFi and pair with the Tapo app – and that lets you control the power remotely.
For voice control, the sockets are compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so they will be able to pair with either the Echo Show 5 or Echo 4.
Buy TP-Link Tapo P100 Smart Socket Twin Pack for £13.99 at Very
What’s the deal: 40% off a pair of TP-Link Tapo smart bulbs (B22), now down from £19.99 to £11.99. Other types of smart bulb connections are also available.
Why we chose it: This is a type of connection that’s common in UK homes, and it’s one of the best ways to instantly make your property feel smart. These connect to your WiFi and the Tapo app, but are fully compatible with both Alexa and Google – so they will fit nicely with the other smart home products listed above.
From the Tapo app (which you can also use to control your sockets), you can control the dim or schedule your bulb to turn on or off at a specific time of day. They don’t need a hub to work, and once paired with an Echo 4 or Echo Show 5, you can simply ask Alexa to switch your lights on or off. It’s a sure-fire way to impress guests.
Buy TP-Link Tapo Smart Bulbs for £11.99 at Amazon
What’s the deal: You can save 17% off this Philips Hue Intelligent Indoor Motion Sensor, down from £34.99 to £28.93 at Amazon for Black Friday. The Philips Hue Bridge – needed for the Hue products – is down from £49.99 to £47.38.
Why we chose it: Philips Hue products are some of the most premium smart home items you can find – and they require the Bridge to work. It connects to your WiFi router and operates as the “brain” that lets you control Hue products via the Hue smartphone app. It’s based on ZigBee, so it’s fully compatible with the Echo. You can add up to 50 Philips Hue lights, so this is a good investment for the future.
While some people may install some voice-powered smart bulbs and call it a day, adding this smart motion sensor into the mix really takes things to the next level. This Philips Hue sensor is small, wireless and battery-powered, so it can be stuck anywhere in your home. Never want to manual flick a light switch again? This is the product for you. It requires the Bridge and app to work, but when paired you can trigger a smart light to turn on simply by walking into a room. Andthat’s cool.
What’s the deal: A £21 saving on the Lenovo smart clock – a nice little bedside smart assistant – that’s now down from £39.99 to just £18.99 at Currys.
Why we chose it: This is more of an optional extra for our smart home setup. You could, after all, repurpose the Echo Show 5 to sit beside your bed. But we like the concept of the Lenovo smart clock series. Sure, it displays the time on the LED display, but it also comes with a Google Assistant built-in so you can ask it to play music, weather updates or the news with a quick “Hey Google” command.
There’s also a built-in night light, and it can directly control compatible smart home devices. This is the only product that won’t work with Alexa, though, and requires a separate app, Google Home, to set up and monitor any of the connected products. For basic bedside smart functions, however, we like the design and ease of use.
Buy Lenovo Smart Clock Essential for 18.99 at Currys
Right, let's add up those prices.
Of course, that’s far from the only smart home products in the Black Friday sales. Here’s some other great deals available now:
A smart home is essentially a lot of internet-connected devices that talk with each other either wirelessly or via an ethernet cable into your WiFi router. The aim is to simplify how you live with automation, commonly using voice commands but also by using small motion sensors or setting up “routines” to automate functions.
There are various communication protocols that devices use, the most common of which are Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave and Thread. Think of these as being similar to different human languages – they don’t always directly understand each other. It will nearly always say on the product’s box which protocol it is using.
These are critical to a basic smart home setup. Amazon, Google and Apple all make devices powered by their own software assistants: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. Some will have touch screen displays, some lack a display altogether. Remember, not all smart products will work with all three, so always check compatibility.
For more information, read our guides:
There are no real right and wrong answers here, but you do generally want to have a think about what ecosystem you want to be in before you buy any products. The Google products won’t always talk with Alexa products, and vice versa. If you have a lot of Apple gear, check out the HomePod and HomePod Mini, but for most, it will come down to either Amazon or Google products – at least when you’re first starting out.
Looking for the latest offers? Head to our live Cyber Monday deals coverage.