Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Connected Home

It’s hard to buy a gift for gadget lovers, but these connected home gifts allow iPhone and Android users to control their home’s temperature, lighting, locks, garage doors and more with a smartphone or tablet.

Connected home gifts don’t need expensive professional installations and time consuming wiring anymore. With a little gadget know-how and a WiFi network, these great gifts can bring home automation, convenience and energy savings to the holidays and all year long.

Because these home control gadgets are designed to install easily, most will work in a home or an apartment, even the Nest Learning Thermostat is a good deal for renters who can handle a simple installation.

Many home gadgets allow the owner to control it with an Android smartphone or tablet, iPhone or iPad, but a few only work with the iPhone and iPad, so be sure to double check the recipient’s gadgets before gifting.

If the gift recipient owns a smartphone and uses WiFi at home, most of these gifts will fit right into their lives. These connected home gadgets start at $50, so there’s something in every price range.

Nest Learning Thermostat

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Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat is a WiFi connected thermostat that learns when to heat and cool a home automatically, using sensors to detect when the home is empty, and offers iPhone and Android apps to control the temperature.

This is a great gift for new home owners and friends or family that are always cold in the morning. After a few weeks, the Nest knows when to start the heater to get the house warm in the morning, after keeping it just the right temperature overnight.

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When users need to set the temperature, open the iPhone or Android app and change the temp from work, the car or even in bed. Users can even lock out family members to keep the temp at an energy saving level. The apps and website show energy usage and help homeowners save. With easy installation, the Nest is also a good gift for apartment dwellers.

Installing the Nest Learning Thermostat is simple, and it works with many home heating systems. Check compatibility with heating and cooling systems.

The Nest Learning Thermostat is available from Amazon for $249 and is in stores at Best Buy and Lowes.

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