Best cheap smart home products under $50

You don't have to drop hundreds of dollars on smart home stuff to be able to do things like control your music and/or lights via a smartphone app and/or by voice. There are plenty of cheap smart home products for under $50 you can get to update your smart home little by little. As long as you choose quality brands and products that can all communicate with one another through a platform like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can make your smart home as simple or detailed as you want.

It's okay to upgrade your smart home bit by bit

All of the smart products on this list are inexpensive, yet they can make a big difference in any room of your home, allowing you to control things like lights and music from your phone or even your voice. And they include items that are compatible with two of the most popular smart home platforms, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Whether you're down with Google Assistant or Alexa, a great option is the Aukey Wi-Fi Smart Plug pack. Smart plugs let you set up and control up to four traditional devices remotely with the Aukey Home app or using voice commands with your preferred digital assistant. It's a great option if you're looking to start to automate items you already own, like a table lamp or fan, coffeemaker, or multicooker.

Speaking of lighting, another top recommendation is the LIFX A19 Mini Color Smart Bulb. This small bulb is a perfect accent piece for any room and is super easy to set up with no hub required like you might find with more complex smart bulbs. All you need is the LIFX app, and you can get the party started with a couple of taps on your phone or an Alexa or Google Assistant voice command.

Of course, at the heart of any smart home system is a versatile smart speaker you can place in a central location to play music, answer queries or check your calendar, and speak to turn lights on or off, initiate playback of your security camera on the TV, and more. The Amazon Echo Dot is an excellent, unobtrusive device that you can hide in a bookcase or in a corner on the kitchen counter and use to control any Alexa-enabled smart gear. Or, if you prefer to stick within the Google ecosystem, the Google Home Mini (new ones known as the Nest Mini) is the ideal companion to kick off your smart home without putting a massive dent in your wallet.

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.