What to expect for your smart home: Amazon Prime Day 2020

It’s safe to say that we’re expecting Prime Day to be filled with deals on smart home gadgets that work both inside and outside. In fact, it will likely be the biggest category of tech seeing discounts; that goes for Amazon-made devices, like a Ring or Blink camera, but also for third-party devices from Arlo, Kasa, Belkin, Wemo and iRobot.

In order to take advantage of the deals, you’ll need an Amazon Prime subscription. If you’re new to Prime, you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial, and if not, Amazon Prime is $12.99 a month or $119 for the year. Not only do you get access to these deals, but you get free two-day shipping on select items, and Prime Video and Prime Music access are just some of the standout features.

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re a Prime member, savings galore on smart home products await. The deals and discounts have already begun, though you can anticipate a ton more when Prime Day officially kicks off on October 13 at midnight PT. Let’s break down what to expect.

As usual for Prime Day, Amazon-made devices are seeing major discounts. Currently, the previous 3rd-Generation Echo Dot, which we found provided a balanced (albeit not so loud) audio experience, is just $39.99 from $49.99. That’s a good deal, but we’re expecting it to drop even lower when the sale starts. Meanwhile, the Echo Dot Kids Edition, which can grow with your child to eventually become a fully enabled Alexa smart speaker, is $34.99 from $69.99 in blue or rainbow colorways.

But really, any Echo is a great way to start a smart home or expand your current setup. The Echo Dot and the Echo Flex are probably the easiest (and least expensive) ways to bring Alexa into your home. You’ll just need a power adapter and a surface to place the Echo Dot upon, or just an outlet to plug the Echo Flex into. Both give you full access to Alexa and allow you to listen to music, ask questions, check the weather, hear what’s going on in the news and control other devices.

The Echo Show 5 pairs Alexa with a 5.5-inch display and more robust sound over the Echo Dot, and now, it’s on sale for $44.99 from $89.99. We expect the previous-gen Echo Show and current Echo Show 8 to join in on the savings during Prime Day.

A smart speaker designed for music, the Echo Studio is not only the loudest but delivers seriously impressive sound. It normally retails for $199.99, though we’re hoping for a Prime Day discount. Or opt for an Alexa-enabled smart speaker that’s not made by Amazon, like a Sonos One, Sonos Move or Bose Home Speaker, many of which support Google and Apple AirPlay 2 as well. Here’s a breakdown of speakers we’re hoping to see on sale during Prime Day.

We’d be remiss not to mention arguably the simplest smart home product: a connected wall plug. Smart plugs can be turned on and off from anywhere, and in some cases, they allow you to monitor your energy usage.

Amazon’s own smart plug works only with the Alexa ecosystem, but Wemo’s plugs work with Alexa, Google and even Apple’s HomeKit platform. Last year, Amazon’s Smart Plug dropped to just $5 from $24.99, and the Wemo models — the Smart Plug ($24.99) and the Mini Smart Plug ($34.99) — will also likely be on sale.

There’s never been a shortage of Alexa-controllable devices, and we’re expecting many of them to see steep discounts.

Amazon is teasing up to 33% off iRobot devices. The entry-level iRobot Roomba E5 is just $299.99 from $379.99 and fully supports Alexa voice commands. That means you can ask Alexa to start vacuuming while you hang out on the couch. And if you’re willing to spend a bit more, the iRobot Roomba i7+, which should be about $200 off its usual $799 price, will empty itself into its base.

The myQ Smart Garage Hub by Chamberlain is a retrofit device for existing garage doors that adds in smart controls via a companion app. Plus, you can link myQ with Alexa for voice commands. We’re expecting deeper discounts on Prime Day, though it’s already on sale for $36.99 from $39.98.

Smart thermostats are one of the most useful additions to a home, and chances are you can handle the install by yourself. Choose from top brands like Nest, Ecobee and Honeywell, all of which should have models on sale for Prime Day.

Finally, the connected or smart lighting category has exploded recently with bulbs, strips and even fixtures. We’re expecting discounts on Vocolinc, Ring, Philips Hue, Lutron and Sylvania across various lighting gadgets. Here are a few top devices to watch.

  • Ring A19 Smart LED Bulb ($14.99; amazon.com)
  • Philips Hue White and Color 2-Pack A19 ($89.99; amazon.com)
  • Lutron Caseta Smart Start Kit ($99.95; amazon.com)

In the realm of cameras and alarm systems, many top choices integrate directly with Alexa, Google and Apple HomeKit. Amazon’s Ring or Blink are no-brainer picks when it comes to monitoring your home, and you can already start saving on several models.

Right now, Blink’s Indoor Mini Camera is $24.95 from Amazon. It’s a no-frills HD camera that can be placed on any surface with the included stand or mounted to a wall. It supports a live view and can even monitor for motion to record.

Ring’s Indoor Camera takes up a bit more space, but offers slightly better video quality — both recorded and live streaming. Its normal price is $59.99, and we expect that to drop in both the black and white colors. Ring also makes a bunch of doorbell models that replace your classic ringer. Many of them can run either on electrical power or via the included battery pack. Here are a few others to monitor:

Arlo’s line of smart cameras is also seeing steep discounts, with more expected on October 13 and 14. A two-pack of the Arlo Pro 3 cameras with a hub is $100 off at $399.99. These cameras stream and record in full 2K resolution with HDR for excellent picture quality and run on batteries that can last around three months and are fully weatherproof. Meanwhile, the Pro 3 Floodlight Cam, which encases the Pro 3 with a bright LED light around it, is currently $30.99 off at $219.99.