Working from home, managing homework, and cooking instead of going out have all proven that the smart home can help us get things done.
The pressure to be productive at home can be overwhelming, but the same devices that help you get the most out of your workday can help you draw a clear line between work and play.
Here are five ways your smart home can help you relax and log out.
Smart home lighting is an ever-expanding category with artistic and colorful panel options from Nanoleaf, bactericidal lamps from Lifx and much more.
However, there aren’t many other bulbs that can give you as much functionality for your dollar as the Wyze Bulb. At just $ 8, it’s affordable and packed with useful features. It doesn’t change color, but you can dim it and adjust the color temperature, perfect for a warm cozy evening glow.
The Wyze Bulb works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa without the need for a hub. While almost any combination of smart speakers and smart bulbs can help adjust the mood in your home, before you buy, make sure it’s compatible with your smart speaker.
Ah, the sounds of gentle ocean surf. Smart speakers are great for setting timers, hearing the weather forecast and learning fun facts, but they can also serve as a relaxing sound machine.
The $ 100 HomePod Mini is the best-sounding small smart speaker in our opinion, and Apple has a collection of ambient sounds that include rain, forest, ocean, white noise, night, fireplace, or stream sounds. Just say, “Hey Siri, play forest sounds.”
If you want to try new calming techniques, but aren’t sure where to start, Alexa is here to help. Amazon Echoes have guided meditation built in, so you can ask “Alexa, open Guided Meditation” to get started. Those meditations change every day, so you won’t get stuck in a rut doing the same routine every day.
The 4th Gen Echo costs $ 100 and has a great volume to fill your room. It also includes a built-in smart home hub to pair with your choice of dozens of smart bulbs for the ultimate zen experience. In his review, our Amazon expert David Priest called the new Echo “one of the most progressive smart speakers released in years.”
Tyler Lizenby / CNET
Relaxation is not just a night out. Starting your morning routine gently can set the mood for a great day. Most smart displays (and a whole category of interesting alarm clock lights) offer sunrise alarms with soft lighting to help you wake up slowly.
The Nest Hub offers what Google calls ‘Sunrise Alarm’. This feature gradually increases the brightness of your screen for 30 minutes before the desired alarm time. You can also customize alarms for different days and choose alarm tones. The Nest Hub costs $ 90 (but can be found for less) and has no camera, so you shouldn’t feel weird using it as a bedside device.
Yes, I said it. Smart essential oil diffusers are a thing. With this model from Asakuki, you can turn on the diffuser via Alexa or Google Assistant. There are numerous settings for color, light brightness, fog intensity and schedules in the TuyaSmart app.
We’ve named the Asakuki on our list of best aromatherapy essential oil diffusers. With an impressive 700 milliliter water tank and a run time of up to 15 hours on the low mist setting, you can soak up relaxing scents during the working day and beyond.