The Google Home has been around since 2016, and it’s grown to support hundreds of products and services connected to it, from music streaming to smart lighting and everything in between.
Connected smart bulbs are the easiest and most fun way to start building out your smart home network. There are multiple brands like Philips Hue and Sengled that offer complete collections of smart lighting solutions that are connected by a hub and work well with Google Assistant. We’ve rounded up the best bundles and options for starting out, but you’ll want to dig a bit deeper and see what other lighting options are available that might work in your home. Brands like Philips Hue offer really great customization options for grouping bulbs and light strips, while we’ve also highlighted some great standalone products worth considering.
Light your home with color
Philips Hue Color Smart Bulb Starter Kit (4-pack w/ Hub)
Philips is the leading manufacturers of connected lighting solutions for good reason. Philips Hue products are easy to set up and work like magic with custom voice controls using Google Home. A good starting point is the 4-pack of multi-color bulbs that come with the necessary Philips Hue Bridge for connecting all your bulbs. Once you get the Bridge set up it acts as a hub for connecting up to 50 Philips Hue products that include multicolor bulbs, LED light strips, lamps and more, so you can fill out your whole home with connected lights.
No hub required
LIFX Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb (4-pack)
LIFX now offers its third generation of fully functional smart bulbs which are available in A19 and BR30 bulb styles for indoor and outdoor usage. Each bulb offers up to 1100 lumens of brightness, with the ability to customize your spaces with 16 million colors and 1000 shades of warm to cool whites. No additional hardware is required to get things set up with Google Assistant as each bulb connects directly to your Wi-Fi network. The four-pack starter kit gets the price per bulb down to under $40.
Budget bulbs that require a hub
Sengled Element Classic Smart LED bulbs (2-pack w/Hub)
Sengled offers the best value for budget-conscious consumers looking to invest in smart bulbs — but you’re still going to need a dedicated hub. The good news is that once you have that hub you’re able to add up to 64 bulbs to your network, and Sengled has the best prices for buying bulbs in bulk.
Smart bulbs from China
Xiaomi Yeelight Smart LED Bulbs
Xiaomi also has smart bulb offerings for lighting your home. These bulbs only require a solid Wi-Fi connection and no hub, so you’re able to add bulbs as needed. There are no bundles available but you’re able to mix and match with the white bulbs and the multicolor bulbs which are $5 more.
Best Wi-Fi bulbs on a budget
TP-Link Kasa LED Bulbs (3-pack)
For those of you fine with standard white, dimmable smart bulbs and don’t want to spend a fortune, TP-Link’s Kasa bulbs are a good pick that offers the added benefit of no hub — just a solid connection to your home’s Wi-Fi network is required. The starter kit which includes three bulbs is a good starting point and connects easily with the Google Home app.
Anker’s smart home brand
Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb (2-pack)
Last but not least, Eufy also offers a selection of smart bulbs that include soft white bulbs, tunable white bulbs that are capable of mimicking daylight, and a multi-color bulb that can groove along with your music. All bulbs include built-in Wi-Fi to get around needing a hub. A good starting point is the two-pack of soft white bulbs, which you can snag for just $33.
Stylish lighting accent
Aurora consists of modular panels that you can connect together into whatever shape your heart desires. Russell Holly dove in with a full review but in short these are futuristic triangle panels of light which you can arrange into fantastic shapes and then control via your smartphone. Nanoleaf Aurora is now compatible with Google Assistant meaning you’ll be able to control these rad lights with your voice.
Replace your switches instead
Deako Smart Switches
Deako offers smart switches and dimmers for upgrading your home’s lighting to something that can be controlled via a smartphone app or using Google Assistant. Each switch or dimmer is touch activated with three scenes that you can customize in the Deako app. The Deako switches are extremely customizable and should work with nearly any home setup.
Add some color to your home
Glovee DreamColor LED Light Strips
LED strips offer a cool way to liven up any home theater or desk space with customizable color light shows. We’ll recommend the DreamColor style because they’re super customizable with music-sync modes and DIY scene settings available along with voice control compatibility with Google Assistant. These are available in two lengths, and MINGER also offers cheaper LED strip options if you’ve got big plans.
Home automation is a very broad category that includes things like Wi-Fi connected plugs, thermostats, security sensors, and much more. We’ve highlighted a couple bigger systems like Vivint and Hive that are sizable investments but are worth it if you appreciate the features included. All of these products work with Google Assistant for voice controls.
Control your house with your voice
Nest is one of the best known manufacturers of smart home automation products, which include self-learning, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors and security cameras. With Google Home and a Nest thermostat, you’ll be able to effortlessly control the temperature of your home using only your voice. Nest also works well with other smart products, such as lights, doorbells, and smart locks.
Customizable your smart thermostat
The Kono Smart Thermostat is a premium product that’s been designed to better integrate with your home decor. You can control your home temperature using the big dial on the wall-mounted thermostat, or connect to your phone using the Lux Products app which lets you control things from your phone and connect to Google Assistant (or the other smart assistants) for true smart home control over your thermostat. They also offer colorful snap-on covers for $7 to help it better blend into your home decor.
A great starter kit
Samsung’s SmartThings is a very capable and customizable home automation system that features five different smart sensors for home monitoring, all linked together wirelessly via the Hub. The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit we’ve featured here comes with a Hub, two Multipurpose Sensors, a Motion Sensor and a Smart Outlet. You can configure them however you like in your home, then get instant notifications if anything is out of the normal. You can also buy additional sensors, including an Arrival Sensor and a Water Leak Sensor.
Build out your dream smart home
Wink Hub automation
Wink’s latest smart home hub, the Wink Hub 2, works with all Z-Wave and Zigbee home automation products, so If you build your home automation around a Wink Hub you can control all the Wink-compatible products — lightbulbs, switches, dimmers, outlets, thermostats and more — using Google Assistant on Google home. It’s all integrated right into the Google Home app, letting you group individual lights into specific rooms and control everything using only your voice and Google Assistant.
All-in on home automation
Vivint Home Security
Vivint offers complete home automation and security packages for folks who don’t want to piece together their automated smart home one component at a time. The system features a main control panel that moderates communication between you and all your home automation devices, including lights, security cameras, thermostats, and smart locks. The main console features a touch-screen dashboard and two-way talk to Vivint Smart Home security monitoring teams. Vivint products now integrate with Google Home allowing you full control over your smart home security and devices around your home using only your voice. If you’re interested, you’ll need to contact Vivint to inquire about pricing and set up an installation appointment.
Best smart switches and outlets
TP-Link Smart Home
TP-Link offers a line of smart plugs and switches that allow you to convert the lamps and appliances you already own into smart devices you can automate to power on or control with your voice. We’ve featured their newest smart plug, the Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini, which is compact and leaves the second outlet free. You can also
Affordable smart home products
Geeni Connected Tech
Geeni Offers intuitive solutions for your smart home automation goals. Their products range from security cameras, lighting, as well as smart plugs and power strips. Everything is controlled in the Geeni app, but now with integration with Google Assistant, you also have the option to control things with your voice, too.
A smarter way to secure your home
August Smart Locks
August offers elegant smart locks to help keep your home secure. You’re able to remotely control your front door from anywhere using the August Connect app. With Google Assistant, you’re able to ask Google to confirm whether your front door is unlocked when you’re expecting company, and lock the doors when you’re headed to bed. There are three generations of August Smart Lock, and they’re all compatible with Google Assistant — though you’ll also need an August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge ($78) to get everything connected to your Google Home.
Smart plugs and sensors
iHome has been a popular name in home speakers and alarm clocks that connect to your smartphone, so it should come as little surprise that the company has also gotten into the smart home sector. They feature a line of smart home accessories that work with Google Assistant, including the SmartMonitor (featured above), which offers 24/7 home monitoring using built-in sensors for motion, temperature, light, sound, and humidity.
Get it all in one bundle
Hive Home Automation
Hive offers a full suite of home automation products which allow you to set up smart automation for comfort and security. The products they offer include a home hub, smart thermostat, motion sensors, smart plugs, and smart bulbs. Once installed, you’re able to control your lights and plugs using Google Assistant. Hive offers their products in bundles, with the Welcome Home pack including a Hive Hub, Hive Thermostat, a Hive Smart Plugs, two Hive Smart Lights, A Window or Door Sensors, and a Motion Sensor. It’s a bit of a different model for smart home automation, but might be appealing to renters or folks not ready to fully invest in owning home automation products just yet
Monitor the cleanliness of your air
Awair Glow AIr Quality Monitor
AWAIR has developed a line of smart products that monitor the air quality in your home. Each device monitors five aspects that determine air quality — temperature, humidity, CO2, airborne chemicals, and dust — and churns out a quick report to your phone that gives you a good idea of how clean the air is in your home at a glance. The AWAIR Glow is arguably the coolest device AWAIR sells — it plugs right into an outlet and includes a pass-through smart plug that can be set up to turn on an appliance such as a dehumidifier or air filtration system at a specific time or if levels get too high. Once connected to Google Home, you’re also able to use the AWAIR Glow to control whichever device you have plugged in using just your voice.
Smarter iKettle and Smarter Coffee
The iKettle is a connected kettle you can control with your phone, set it to start boiling water when you wake up, or have the kettle ready for you when you arrive home after work. Alternatively, the Smarter Coffee Maker is the coffee lovers best friend. You’ll be able to load it up with your favorite coffee beans and then have coffee brewed on demand with just a few taps of your phone. With added support for Google Assistant, you’ll be able to control these devices using just your voice — and the functionality extends further than just turning on the kettle or brewing a cup of coffee. You’ll be able to set a specific temperature for the kettle or change the strength of your coffee brew using just your voice and Google Assistant.
Smart controls for automated sprinklers
If your home has an automated sprinkler system, Rachio wants to save you money on your water bill by optimizing your sprinkler system to only turn on when it needs to. They offer a Wi-Fi-connected controller for your sprinkler system which checks the local forecast and will adjust schedules based on past, present, and future weather, and will also make intelligent seasonal adjustments as needed. With the Google Assistant integration, you will be able to control your sprinkler system using only your voice to turn the water on or off, and also update your schedule as needed.
Google Assistant supports over 1,500 home automation products and there are always new products being released or upgraded to be compatible. We’ve featured our favorite smart home automation products, but you’ll want to do your own research to find the right products for your family and home
Whether you call it the living room, rec room, or “the den”, we’re now talking about the place where your main TV is set up in your home. Google Assistant can also control much of your entertainment needs, whether you want to start a dance party or use your voice to play your favorite show on Netflix. We’ve rounded up the best smart home products specifically for entertaining you and your family.
Makes 4K streaming easy
The Chromecast Ultra is Google’s best streaming dongle to date, offering support for 4K streaming where available. All the most popular streaming services are supported including Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, and because it’s made by Google you can be sure that it works well with your Google Home speakers and app on your phone. It’s also designed to work with Google’s Stadia gaming service if that’s something on your radar.
Make every TV a smart TV
Chromecast (3rd Generation)
Not all TVs support 4K, but you still might like to have a Chromecast plugged in the back. Fortunately, the 3rd generation looks just like the Chromecast Ultra and works just as well without the 4K functionality (or support for Google’s forthcoming Stadia game streaming service)
Control it all from the couch
Logitech Harmony Remote and Hub
Logitech continues to dominate the smart remote sector with its Harmony Elite remote and hub package, which is designed to work with all your gaming consoles, stream top boxes and smart home products allowing you to connect and control more devices than ever from the couch. You’ll find dedicated buttons for controlling smart lights and outlets built right into the controller, and you can also control things with the Harmony Elite mobile app.
Affordable smart TVs
TCL 40-Inch 1080p Smart LED Roku TV
TCL makes some really affordable TVs, and their latest lineup is built on Roku’s streaming platform, but it also includes on-screen Google Assistant functionality. That means you’re able to use the remote to ask questions and get the information displayed on screen, call up your favorite shows and movies, and control other devices around your home. TCL’s Roku TVs are available from 32 up to 49 inches with options that include an HDMI cable or a wall mount.
OK Google, play it on the big tv
VIZIO V-Series 50″ 4K HDR Smart TV
VIZIO offers great value with it’s 4K smart TVs, with the 50-inch model somehow costing less than the 43-inch model. The V-Series includes Chromecast functionality built right in, letting you cast your favorite content from popular streaming apps on your phone, and everything can also be controlled using just your voice and your Google Home speakers.
A premium 4K TV
SKYWORTH OLED Series 65″ 4K HDR Android Smart Home TV
This 65-inch smart TV from SKYWORTH is built on Android TV so that means that Google Assistant is built right in. If you can’t tell from the price, this is a premium 4K TV with a 120Hz refresh rate on the OLED screen. There’s also healthy eye protection that cuts out harmful blue light to avoid eye strain.
The OG Google speaker
The original Google Home speaker is still a reliably great smart speaker that looks and sounds great. I use mine in my kitchen for accessing music and news while I cook or for weather updates when I’m getting ready to leave the house. With Google Assistant baked into so many products these days, it’s good to remember where the hardware started.
Bring Google Assistant in every room
Google Home Mini
Google’s been giving these little puppies away like candy lately, with free Google Home Mini’s bundled with smart bulbs, plugs, and even premium Spotify subscriptions for some lucky Canadians. They’ve come down in price to the point where it’s pretty affordable to add one to ever major room in your house.
Google assistant with a screen
Google Nest Hub Max
The Google Nest Hub Max is the rebranding of the Google Home Hub, the first small-screen device with Google Assistant baked right in. As the name suggests, this is designed to be a hub of information in your home and can also work as a
Fill your room with sound
Sonos was one of the first brands in the smart speaker space so it was only a matter of time before it became compatible with Google Assistant. That means you’ll be able to control your Sonos speakers with just your voice. We’ll highlight the Sonos Play:1 because they’re the most affordable spot to start building out your Sonos network, and you’ll want to check out two-room set that comes with a $30 Amazon gift card.
A portable speaker for on the go
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Portable Stereo Speaker
On top of being a great sounding portable Bluetooth speaker that’s weatherproof with battery life of up to 12 hours, there’s a built-in button for accessing the Google Assistant from your connected phone. That means you can keep your phone in your pocket while accessing Google Assistant for changing the music, getting calendar updates, and more.
If you’r looking for more options to upgrade your home theatre setup and would like streamline things with less dongles, there’s a growling selection of Smart TVs with Chromecast built right, with 4K sets available from the following brands:
Google has sadly discontinued the Chromecast Audio, which was a really awesome way to convert your existing speaker systems into smart speakers controllable by Google Assistant. For the all-in-one smart speaker with Chromecast and/or Google Assistant built right in, there’s an abundance of options available for discerning consumers. Currently, there are over 20 brands working on all sorts of awesome Chromecast-enabled speakers, soundbars, subwoofers, and home theatre receivers:
- B&O Play
- Bang & Olufsen
- NAD Electronics
- Integra recievers
- Riva Wand Series
- Grace Digital
- Jensen Spectra Series
- JBL by Harman
Services that work with Google Home
The most popular music streaming service
Over 100 million people use Spotify for all their music streaming needs. Of those, 40 million are paid subscribers. The point here is that Spotify is massively popular and if you aren’t already using it, you probably know a bunch of people who do. With Google Home, simply say “OK Google”, followed by your favorite artist, album, song, or playlist, and your music will almost instantly start playing through the Google Home speaker. This is absolutely perfect for playing music in the kitchen when your hands are too messy to be handling a phone, or for setting the right mood for a party or intimate evening.
Music streaming for all
Pandora is a fantastic music recommendation platform which is used by over 200 million people in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. It’s a customizable internet radio streaming service that allows you to curate your own streams using algorithms that recommends new music it knows you’ll love based on your musical tastes and how you’ve rated other music. Google Home lets you throw on your favorite Pandora station using just your voice. Pandora offers an ad-supported free version, or paid options that give you more control over the music and no ads.
The successor to Google Play Music
Google has decided that YouTube Music is going to be its music streaming service moving forward, with the intention of migrating all the features users love about Google Play Music over. YouTube Music is now the default music provider for Google Home speakers right out of the box for quick-play music stations — although you’ll need to subscribe for $10 a month for more full-fledged features and no ads.
Actually, video didn’t quite kill the radio star
Believe it or not, but some people actually prefer to listen to the radio. TuneIn is absolutely the go-to app for accessing online radio, music, and talk stations. Even with the free version, you get access to over 100,000 radio stations from around the world, along with over five million podcasts as well. If you decide to upgrade to the premium subscription ($10/month), you’ll also get access to live NFL and MLB play-by-play, along with a large library of audiobooks.
So many options for music
iHeartRadio is another great option for those that prefer to listen to the radio instead of newer streaming services. iHeartRadio is a free, ad-supported radio platform that connects users with over 850 radio stations from across the United States and Canada. The service also includes thousands of podcasts if you don’t want to strictly listen to music, with premium subscriptions available that gives you unlimited song skips and offline listening.
Better than TV
YouTube is another obvious starting point for incorporating video search and playback controls with Google Home. With so much content available on YouTube and natural alignment within Google’s existing ecosystem (hello, Chromecast), it offers the best experience when using Google Assistant. There’s also the YouTube TV service, which is not widely available everywhere outside the U.S., but it’s that is also compatible with Google Assistant.
Wanna binge watch something?
Some days you just want to lounge on the couch and watch Netflix for hours. Other days you can’t even be bothered to find the remote. Fortunately, you can use Google Home to cast your favorite Netflix show or movie to your Chromecast-enabled TV. All you need to do is say something like “Play Arrested Development on Netflix”. If you have multiple Google Homes in your house, you may need to specify by adding “Play Arrested Development on Netflix on Living Room TV.”
There’s still Barry and Westworld, folks
Yeah okay, Game of Thrones is over so everyone is probably canceling their HBO NOW subscriptions. Well, if you’ve decided to keep it, the HBO NOW app is fully compatible with Google Assistant. All you need to do is ask Google Assistant to play your favorite HBO show, and it will intelligently find the show using the app. You will need an HBO NOW subscription of course, but with so much great content on HBO, why wouldn’t you have one, right?
You probably have it for Star Trek Discovery
CBS All Access
CBS All Access is another recent service that added Google Assistant support. CBS All Access features all the content from CBS’s stable of popular shows including The Big Bang Theory, Survivor, and Star Trek: Discovery. All you have to do is say “OK Google, play Star Trek: Discovery in the Living Room” and away you go. I mean, let’s be real here — it’s only fitting that you’re able to use a voice-activated computer to stream the latest Star Trek series to your Chromecast-enabled TV. Welcome to the future!