Let’s be real—figuring out where to even start with smart devices can be overwhelming (and expensive!). It’s easy to think you need to go all-in and kit out your house Back to the Future style.

But when it comes to smart products, there are more than enough affordable options to get you going. It might mean beefing up your home security or making life (and your stuff) a whole lot more connected. Here are five smart devices under $100 to bring your home into the 21st century.

1. Entry-Level Smart Speakers
Unlike the kids, a smart speaker does exactly what you tell it to. Plus, it makes your life a whole lot easier by answering questions, playing tunes, and connecting with your other devices. Now that’s what we call a double win. Speakers with top-notch audio can cost a pretty penny, but budget options do the trick to get you started. In New Zealand, you’ve got two main contenders for entry-level smart speakers—the Amazon Echo Dot or the Google Nest Mini. Both sit under the $100 mark and offer the essentials you’d need from a digital assistant.

2. Savvy Smart Bulbs
Like house plants, it’s hard to buy just one smart bulb. You might start by upgrading a few lights and before you know it, the whole house is ready for a party at any given moment. Kick things off by switching out your regular lights for connected LED options—brands like Philips Hue and TP-Link will run you about $30 a bulb. But that’s just the beginning. You can up the creativity with voice-controlled rainbow lights, LED strips, or the trendy sunrise alarm clock.


3. Upgrade Your Devices With Smart Plugs
Ever forget to turn your TV off? Felt the pang of thinking you’ve left the iron on? This one's for you. Smart plugs are one of the easiest ways to gain a bit more control over your existing devices. They’re voice-activated, customisable, and controlled remotely. The power is quite literally in your hands. TP-Link, Lenovo, and Cygnett all offer options for Kiwis that range between $30–$50.

4. Deck Out Your Security
Smart home security kits typically consist of alarms, cameras, and sensors. These can easily cost upwards of a few hundred dollars once you’ve added all the trimmings. But, you can get started with individual items for under $100 in the areas you’d like to tackle first. The main thing to decide on is which brand will support all your security needs, as you’ll need to buy items from this range to keep everything connected.

5. Smart Devices For Pets
It doesn’t stop at making your life easier, there’s even a few devices around to look after your furry friends. If you’re a new dog owner, a pet monitoring camera might be just the thing to put your mind at ease when leaving the house. These usually have two-way audio, so you can check in on your best friend when needed. Or, keep them hydrated with a pet water fountain that offers fresh, filtered water at the ready—only the best for your dog or cat!


The information provided in this article is of a general nature and not intended to be a substitute for personalised, professional advice. Mercury recommends that you always seek appropriate advice from a qualified professional to suit your individual circumstances. Links to external, non-Mercury websites are provided as a reference only, and do not imply a partnership or endorsement of their content.