Different products can cause chaos when they don’t communicate. So choose a platform that uses a networking hub or an app (or both) to marry disparate devices and give your house a centralized brain from the get go.
For The Keyboard Banger: Belkin WeMo
Most WeMo devices can connect to an app right out of the box, no tinkering required. But simplicity brings limitations–there are only 14 products to choose from. Products $30-199
For The Weekend Webmaster: Wink
Wink uses a hub and a smartphone app to connect unrelated brands and devices, bringing more gadgets–think locks and self-closing blinds–into the fold. Hub $50
For The GeniusBar Nerd: SmartThings
With 150 third-party products, this hub-and-app system accommodates plenty of gadgets. Users can also design their own interactions. The trade-off is a trickier setup. Hub $99