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10 Smart Home Gifts for Dad

Written by | Updated June 10, 2020

Turn your dad into more of a cyber-dad by surprising him with a high-tech Father’s Day gift: a new smart home device. Whether he spends his time adventuring, grilling, or chilling in a rumpus room, there are plenty of smart devices to enhance his favorite hobbies or simplify his daily routines.

1. Amazon Echo Dot with clock: Best for multitaskers

Amazon Echo Dot with clock

Amazon Echo Dot with clock

The Amazon Echo Dot with clock (around $60) combines Alexa voice controls with a handy clock, making it an excellent option for Dad’s nightstand, home office, or garage workbench. It’s especially useful because he can play music or ask Alexa for the info to help with his latest projects. Dad can even take it a step further by linking Alexa to his favorite smart home devices for easy hands-free control.

We especially like that it’s convenient to set timers, which are a huge help during school projects with the kids. The voice controls mean he doesn’t have to touch the Echo Dot with messy hands when setting reminders to continue working after the glue sets.

Whatever Dad uses his Echo Dot for is up to him, but it will definitely up his multitasking game.

To help Dad learn more about Amazon’s Alexa, send him over to our ultimate guide to Amazon Alexa and the Echo family.

Google Nest Mini is a solid alternative

We understand that not every dad is a fan of Alexa, so we recommend checking out the Google Nest Mini (around $49) as a possible alternative. While it doesn't have a built-in clock, it can do essentially everything else Alexa can do.

2. Garmin Forerunner 45: Best for fitness junkies

Garmin Forerunner 45

Garmin Forerunner 45

Whether it’s a morning run or a competitive game of flag football, your dad is sure to appreciate the Garmin Forerunner 45 smartwatch (about $200). This rugged smartwatch comes with a suite of sensors to help him get the most from his exercise routine.

The best feature of this smartwatch is its built-in GPS, which tracks detailed information about runs—perfect for Dad’s fitness milestones. There’s also a coaching feature and the option to track other kinds of exercises like yoga and treadmill running. When he’s not exercising, Dad can use it like a regular smartwatch to get notifications and control music.

At rest or on the go, the Garmin Forerunner 45 is a stylish tech gift for practically every fitness-junkie dad.

For hikers

If you have an outdoorsy dad, think about getting him the Garmin fēnix 5 Plus (about $470). This beast of a GPS smartwatch has full-color topographic maps to show him the way while off the beaten path. It also uses wireless payment technology for when he comes back to town.

3. Traeger Pro 575 pellet grill: Best for grillers

Traeger Pro 575

Traeger Pro 575 pellet grill

The Traeger Pro 575 pellet grill (around $799) offers a level of control that Dad can use for any kind of grilling. Not only can he set the perfect temperature using the built-in control panel, but there’s also a Wi-Fi connection and mobile app. These allow him to look after the grill while prepping side dishes or find the best recipe for a given type of meat.

Because this grill is so flexible, Dad can cook delicious burgers and steaks in minutes or spend a few hours for roasts and ribs. Traeger sells over a dozen varieties of wood pellets—like mesquite and hickory—so Dad can share his favorite wood-fired flavor with the whole family.

Smart grilling without an app

Check out the ThermoPro TP20 (about $60) for a wireless grill thermometer that tracks food temperatures on Dad's existing grill (or even the oven in the kitchen). This cool gadget doesn't have a smartphone app, but the wireless monitor works just as well to achieve the perfect level of doneness.

4. Atomi Smart Coffee Maker: Best for coffee lovers

Atomi Smart Coffee Maker

Atomi Smart WiFi Coffee Maker

The Atomi Smart Coffee Maker (around $90) simplifies making coffee so Papa can wake up to a steamy cup of joe before heading out to work. If he works from home, it’s a great way to get a boost partway through the day.

We like Atomi because it works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls, giving dad the flexibility to ask for a coffee whenever he needs it. This simple Wi-Fi coffee maker holds up to 12 cups of coffee so Dad can keep coming back for more.

It’s true that Dad sometimes needs to wash the filter, add water to the tank, and put in more ground coffee, but that means he can prep the night before for a few more minutes of sleep the next day.

Smart coffee without an app

If Dad's a coffee connoisseur, he might want something more complicated, like a refreshing glass of iced coffee or a creamy cappuccino. In this case, we recommend the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System (around $200). Its quick settings make it easy to craft the perfect cup of coffee or tea.

5. Rachio 3: Best for gardeners

Rachio 3

Rachio 3

Whether Dad wants a lush green lawn, a productive vegetable garden, or both, the Rachio 3 (about $229) smart sprinkler controller can help him cultivate his hot peppers while saving water. It connects an existing sprinkler system to the internet to promote smart water usage.

Your dad can customize schedules, track weather, and control the sprinklers using the Rachio mobile app. If it rains, Dad can delay or skip a watering cycle to save on his water bill. The Rachio 3 also helps prevent frozen pipes and situations where the sprinklers water the driveway more than the lawn by tracking other weather conditions like snow and wind.

No sprinkler system, no problem

Dad doesn't need a sprinkler system to use a smart sprinkler controller like the B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer (around $80). This small gadget hooks directly to an ordinary faucet and garden hose for easy app control of less sophisticated sprinklers.

6. Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance: Best for gamers

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance

Most rumpus rooms are an expression of personality and the things that make gamer dads (and other dads too) happy. We think the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance kit (around $179) fits that goal. This colorful smart lighting works with tons of smart home platforms, including voice assistants from Amazon and Google.

If Dad’s having a game night with the kids or catching up on his favorite books, he can adjust the Philips Hue lights to fit his needs. In many houses, the rumpus room and family room are probably the same room, so Dad can also set up Hue bulbs in a lamp by his favorite easy chair or project nook to create a peaceful environment to pursue his hobbies.

A cheaper smart light alternative

Philips Hue is one of the more expensive smart lighting brands, but there are plenty of more affordable options. We like the Govee Smart LED Strip Lights (about $30) because Dad can make some creative light setups to fit his tastes.

7. Tile Pro: Best for Organizers

Tile Pro

Tile Pro

Give Pop the power to always know where his keys are with the Tile Pro ($35). This small smart device attaches to a keychain and makes a loud noise when he pushes a button in the Tile app. Now he won’t have to check the couch cushions unless there’s a chime coming from within.

Tile makes a variety of versions like the Tile Sticker (about $40 for 2-pack) that’s great for tracking remotes and the Tile Slim (about $30), which slips inside a wallet. Best of all, each Tile device has a button that can help Dad find his phone.

Smart displays

If Dad likes visual reminders for his to-do list, consider getting him a smart display like the Amazon Echo Show 5 (around $90) or the Google Nest Hub (about $129). Smart displays show calendar notifications and reminders on screens, making them easier to use than audio-only smart speakers.

8. Wyze Cam Pan: Best for protectors

Wyze Cam Pan

Wyze Cam Pan

A security camera like the Wyze Cam Pan (around $38) can be a surprisingly thoughtful gift for dads who want to check in with the kids while running errands or at work. This small camera saves video to a microSD card and online cloud storage so Dad can watch over the family from his phone.

It works in daytime and nighttime conditions to see what’s happening whether or not there’s light in a room. The camera also has two-way audio, so Dad can speak with the kids when they get home. We like that this camera has pan-and-tilt motors that allow your techie dad to reorient the camera lens for a better view, especially if he’s trying to catch the dog on the couch.

Check out our Wyze Cam Pan review for more information.

Step up the security

Security cameras are great for finding burglars, and a home security system like Ring Alarm (starting around $199) can help call the police during a break-in. This system has rock-bottom monitoring fees and is easy to set up. If Dad doesn't want to pay a monthly fee, he can use it without a subscription and call the police himself.

9. Bouncie: Best for car enthusiasts

Bouncie GPS tracker

Bouncie

Some dads are road warriors that love to take road trips or just make their commutes a little easier. For these dads, we suggest something like Bouncie (about $67). This vehicle tracker allows Dad to track mileage, fuel efficiency, maintenance needs, and GPS location. It works with most cars made since 1996 by plugging into a standard diagnostic port.

We think Dad will appreciate getting so much information about his ride, especially when he lends it to his teen driver with the expectation of smart driving habits. Bouncie uses a mobile data connection ($8 a month) to send updates to the mobile app every 15 seconds, so your dad always has the latest info.

Read our Bouncie review to learn more.

Smart dashcam

The Rove R2-4K Dash Cam (about $110) doesn't require a monthly fee and has the bonus of recording 4K video of your dad's trips in case of an accident, which can help him prove fault in an insurance claim. It has a mobile app, built-in GPS tracking, and a parking mode that records a quick clip when someone bumps the car in a parking lot.

10. Amazon Echo Studio: Best for party animals

amazon-echo-studio

Amazon Echo Studio

Whether your dad’s into thrash metal, cowboy pop, or any other kind of music, he’ll want a smart speaker to keep up with the beat. That’s why we recommend the Amazon Echo Studio (around $200). While the speaker itself is much larger than a normal Echo, it still packs all of the same voice controls and impressive smart home compatibility.

Even when Dad’s not listening to music or hosting dance parties for the fam, the built-in smart home hub works with hundreds of Zigbee devices. One of our favorite features is pairing the Echo Studio with a Fire TV device for immersive audio during movies.

Stream like a dream

If you're looking for a specific Fire TV device for Dad, we think the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (around $50) is a great place to start. It works with Alexa voice controls, so Dad doesn't need a remote control, and it supports a vast selection of streaming platforms.

Final word

Dads aren’t easy to buy gifts for because each dad is so different. We think smart home gadgets are a great option he’ll have a lot of fun with. While Father’s Day, Christmas, and birthdays are good times to give gifts, don’t hold back if you want to celebrate your dad with the perfect gift any other time of year.

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†Google, Google Home, Google Assistant, and other related marks are trademarks of Google LLC.

Written by John Carlsen

John is a technology journalist with over seven years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech. Before joining SafeWise in 2020, John was an editor for Top Ten Reviews specializing in home security and the smart home. Learn more

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