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The smartest smart-home products of 2015

Improve your home's air quality or even create virtual keys for guests

Photo (c) Fantasista - Fotolia
Looking to boost your home’s IQ? Whether in the interest of saving money, time, or the environment, incorporating some eco-efficient products into your home can make a big difference on your daily life.

Sustainable home improvement store TreeHouse just released its list of top smart-home products. From thermostats that know when you're sleeping, door locks and lighting controls that you manage from your phone, and ceiling fans that sense when you're in the room, 2015 has been a year of innovation in the world of smart-home technology.

"2015 was huge because we saw products become easier to use and less expensive,” said the company’s president and co-founder, Jason Ballard. 'Smart home' no longer means building the Jetsons' house. It means adding products to your home that make it safer and healthier."

Here is TreeHouse’s list of the top seven smart-home products of the year.

  • Combination Smoke Alarms. The smoke and carbon monoxide detector combinations that hit the market this year offer features like industrial-grade smoke sensors, self-tester functions, and durability to last up to a decade. With one brand in this category, Nest Protect, you can hush the alarm straight from your phone.
  • Smart Sprinklers. Use your laptop to schedule watering times and automatically adjust for the weather. The Rachio Intelligent Sprinkler Controller boasts a 20-50% savings on watering bills.
  • Home Security. Now easier to install than ever, smart locks and video cameras allow you the ability to lock and unlock your door from your phone. Nest Cam has live streaming, night vision, and activity alerts, and with August Lock, you can create virtual keys for guests.
  • Smart Thermostats. Nest thermostats are a best-seller over at TreeHouse. Another consumer favorite is the Ecobee smart thermostat, which features the ability to monitor the temperature in multiple rooms. Both brands have been popular choices for people buying their first smart-home tool.
  • Lighting. Make it seem like you’re home when you’re not, with geofencing technology — the biggest lighting innovation since LED. Your lights can welcome you home or turn off automatically when you leave. Most brands in this category let you change the color of the lighting in your home, and some, like Philips Hue, can even keep you informed about the weather.
  • Air Quality Monitors. These smart devices monitor the air in your home and tell you how to make it better. The Foobot detects volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, temperature, and humidity.
  • Smart Fans. Big Ass Fans’ residential ceiling fan was the only product over $500 to make the list. The company’s Haiku fan knows when you enter or leave a room and even offers a ‘Whoosh’ mode that simulates a natural breeze.

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