Welcome to our gallery focusing on another facet of the incredible world of smart home devices: smart remote controls.
These devices are the actual hands-on component of a smart home ecosystem, the way you go about controlling it.
With a suite of smart home devices and appliances installed in your home, the final step is setting them in motion. Here’s where remote controls come in.
Anyone who’s had to deal with a complicated home entertainment system knows that a good remote is worth its weight in gold. The same proves true for smart home technology, even more so.
We looked high and low for the best ways to control our smart home devices, and came back with a lot of great products. Some of these are actually remotes, just like you use for your television. Others take the form of communication hubs, letting you do the actual controlling with your smartphone.
Beyond that, we even have a couple examples of truly outside-the-box thinking, one of which is an open source program you can use to connect and control a range of components across virtually any brand in existence.
What ties all of these products together is their ability to give you the reigns to your newly updated smart home environment. Without direct programming and control, they’re just fancy, shiny boxes.
With these remotes, they come to life in a coordinated dance that makes your home more efficient, secure, and comfortable. Read on to see the best of what’s out there when it comes to controlling your smart home devices.
See more fantastic smart home products, check out our smart home technology ultimate guide!
1. The Inteset INT-422 4-in-1
This top-selling universal remote comes already programmed right off the shelf, ready for Apple TV, Xbox One, Media Center, or Roku. The innovative Inteset INT-422 four-in-one universal remote control is definitely worth considering.
While streaming video is this remote’s distinguishing strength, included features like volume and channel lock give users an additional layer of security from misuse by kids or anyone who should change your favorite settings. That’s something few such devices have ever included and it’s a beef that many people have wanted a solution to for quite some time.
With regards to connecting directly to the TV itself, the Inteset features a global database of codes for interfacing with all the top TV manufacturers by totally replacing their default remote controls. This means that you can do away with almost any other remote control that is currently cluttering up your living space.
Users particularly enjoy the fact that it is so easy and intuitive to program a wide variety of orders with just one button. Inteset takes its one of a kind list of capabilities up to the next level with high-level programming that permits you to program as many as 32 command lines into a single button. That means you can turn on/off all of your compatible gadgets, change inputs, or change to a preferred channel.
2. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate
The Logitech Harmony Ultimate One remote control is a clear standout champion among universal remotes that work with up to 15 different infrared-controlled entertainment devices. While the Harmony Elite is compatible with over 225,000 gadgets made by approximately 5,000 brands, the most outstanding feature is the touchscreen that streamlines your access to encompass a wide range of devices. By selecting a specific prompt, (like “watch TV”) the 2.4-inch screen and the Harmony Ultimate takes care of the rest- leaving you with nothing left but to sit back and enjoy.
The fully upgradeable Harmony Hub can include both infrared and Bluetooth abilities for cutting edge options like controlling smart gadgets. The downloadable phone app opens the Hub’s list of built-in capabilities and gives you the ability to choose from over the 50 of your favorite channels from the remote’s in-built touchscreen. While the app and programming software are reliable, you may find loading the MacOS to be a little faster.
3. The Logitech Harmony Companion
Able to control a grand total of eight devices, the Logitech Harmony Companion universal remote is a favorite among buyers who wish to add the ability to monitor smart devices throughout the home. It remains simple and easy to use without the addition of a touchscreen or distracting back-lit buttons.
But the Harmony Companion comes with Amazon Alexa compatibility for a whole new list of added features. In addition to Alexa comparability, the Harmony Companion works very well with other smart devices like the Philip’s Hue lighting system or Nest’s thermostat with machine learning capabilities.
The Harmony Hub, which comes included, gives the user even more control over the compatible devices, including those which might be hidden between drawers, beneath couch cushions, in the kid’s room, or wherever they may be. After going through a simple setup procedure on your home computer, the Harmony Companion will be ready to work with more than 270,000+ existing devices.
4. The GE 33709 Universal Remote Control
Available in a wide range of colors, the unique GE 33709 4-device universal remote is so affordable that you may just decide to purchase it as a spare remote to have around the house for added convenience. It can control as many as four audio and video devices, such as a TV, a Blu-ray disk player, a DVD player, in addition to media streaming players soundbars, and more.
The comprehensive code library means that it is compatible with all of the products made by all of the major television manufacturers like Samsung, Zenith, Sony, and Sharp- just to name a few. Powered by a set of AAA batteries, the GE 33709 will operate flawlessly for several months before it needs a battery replacement.
What’s more, the addition of features like primary volume control enables the GE to control the volume on every device that it’s connected to. One final highlight we should mention is the multicolored A, B, C, and D buttons that allow you easy access to your favorite pieces of compatible hardware. It does a lot of things, and it does a few of those things better than most competing devices.
5. The Logitech Harmony 350
The everything-in-one Logitech Harmony 350 is the ideal universal remote with its unprecedentedly broad range of compatibility, including coding support for more than 225,000 devices made by more than 5,000 manufactures, and new device compatibilities are always being added. Connecting the remote could not be easier.
Simply sync it to your computer and download all of the commands for the many available devices and it’s ready to go. The Harmony 350 can easily replace as many as eight other remotes with TV, cable/satellite, DVR, and Blu-ray player control all in one little device. Personalizing your Harmony 350 is as easy as the initial setup, thanks to the one-touch buttons that let you jump to any of five selected favorite channels. The “watch TV” button also gives you one-touch automatic startup for your TV and cable or satellite box.
6. The Logitech Harmony 700
With its noticeably comfortable and ergonomic design, the Logitech Harmony 700 removes the need to keep multiple remote controls on your coffee table while operating as many as six different devices all at once. The 23 available programmable channel icons that let you select your favorite stations make it easy and simple to quickly find your favorite channels.
Beyond programming, the backlit controls make it easy to use in the dark. The backlight is powered by AA batteries and lasts for months before needing replacement. Altogether, the Harmony 700 works with over 225,000 devices manufactured by over 5,000 brands, and more are constantly being added. Performing updates with new brands and gadgets is easy via a connection to PC and Mac computers and, even though it doesn’t connect to smart appliances, it is easy to use, and affordable.
7. Logitech Harmony 665
The Logitech Harmony 665 features a small display screen (not a touchscreen) with an array of useful and well-placed buttons around it, giving you quick access to various activities, channels, and more. The on-screen help feature makes it easy to troubleshoot issues.
However, the Logitech Harmony 665 works using infrared only, so you won’t be able to place any of the components of your entertainment system in a concealed space, and it cannot be used to control smart-home devices.
While these are limitations to be sure, the 665 is still an affordable and easy to use addition to your existing collection of remotes- and it might give you the ability to get rid of a few others that might be cluttering up your living space- which is the whole point of remote controls.
8. The Caavo Control Center
While the Caavo remote control only works with four devices at one time, it distinguishes itself from remotes in its class by offering an integrated interface. This unified interface lets you search through content on nearly any device and many streaming services. The Caavo features massively useful voice search capability, and lists of suggested shows and movies. That’s something no other remote control has at this time. Users will need to sign up for a Caavo subscription.
9. The Logitech Harmony Companion
Bearing many similarities to the Harmony Elite, the Companion can control smart devices as well as items in your entertainment center. The important difference between this remote and its bigger brother is the Companion has no screen.
That means you’ll have to assign physical buttons to enable different modes. Many people find screens distracting, making this a good choice if you share this aversion to points of light in your darkened entertainment area. It comes with Harmony Hub, enabling you to only hide components. Harmony hub also gives you the ability to use Alexa to control your TV and other devices.
10. The GE Universal Remote
This affordable remote control gives you the ability to control as many as four different devices at once. It is compatible with thousands of different devices. The GE Universal Remote features a button set that is big and chunky- making it easier to use in the dark.
It is also extremely easy to set up as it comes with the ability to automatically recognize nearly all of the devices with which it is compatible. Most of the major brands will work with this remote right after you take it out of the box, which is nice when you’re trying not to miss your favorite live podcast.
11. The Favormates Air Remote Mouse
This humble looking little remote is surprisingly easy to calibrate. It offers a bright back-light button set, making it easy to use in the dark. The Air Mouse centers on “TV” automatically, which makes turning the TV on and off exceedingly easy.
The Bluetooth connection is very robust, which means you won’t get stuck having to witch Bluetooth on and off hoping it will reconnect as is the case with many Bluetooth devices. The air remote capability can be a bit startling for those who have never used it before. But after an evening of use, it should become second nature.
12. The AERB 2.4 Mini Wireless
This little device packs the power of three different remote control devices into a single unit for unequaled convenience. Combining so much compatibility and control into one device means that it might take you a night or two to get used to it. But once you get the hang of it, it’s like riding a bike. The key layout is very intuitive and easy to use.
Users can navigate through Windows 8 using the familiar scroll feature. It has a very long wifi range for a device of this size and exceedingly long battery life. The AERB also comes with an attractive, long, and comprehensive warranty. Many owners struggle with the programming requirement, but once that’s taken care of you should be able to set it and forget it.
Once the air mouse capability is activated, some other features become disabled. If you’re accustomed to working with the buttons this can be frustrating, but all the same, features are available through the mousing capability. So, once again, there’s a learning curve to be overcome.
13. Logitech Harmony Home Elite Remote
This smart home remote allows you to use either your smartphone, with an included free app, or the remote itself for one-touch control of the entire home entertainment system and your smart home ecosystem. You’ll be able to command devices like the Philips Hue lights or Nest learning thermostat with an easy to use remote. When paired with the Harmony hub, you’ll be able to control devices that are hidden away in cabinets or behind walls, even including game consoles.
14. Logitech Harmony Home Hub
Here’s the central hub that gives you smartphone control of your home entertainment and automation devices. Hubs like this are designed to be the center of your smart home ecosystem, tying the disparate elements together into a coherent system. Using the free Harmony app for your smartphone or tablet, or the Harmony remote mentioned above, you’ll be able to swipe or tap to control everything from your tv, to game consoles, to lighting, thermostat, blinds, and much more. If you can connect it to a smart home device, it can be controlled.
15. OnQ / Legrand Home Systems Remote
This handsome and stealthily styled remote supports all On-Q products with IR control, plus up to 7 additional IR modes can be used, all while looking like nothing more than a sturdy universal remote control. With built-in memory, device codes will never be lost when you replace the batteries. With a learning function, this remote can add features and functions unique to your specific devices, becoming more useful as you use it.
16. VeraEdge Home Controller
The VeraEdge is designed to become the “brain” of your wireless smart home system, unifying control over many major brands, including Nest, Schlage, Yale, Kwikset, Philips Hue, and beyond. You’ll be able to control all smart appliances and devices in your home with one-touch programmed settings, like Home, Away, Night, and Vacation mode. This device allows you total control of up to 220 devices with wireless technology via an easy to use app on your smartphone or tablet.
17. Samsung SmartThings Hub
This sleek and stylish device from Samsung allows you to super easily control and monitor your home from virtually anywhere on Earth. You’ll be able to have peace of mind about home security for a fraction of the price of a traditional system, when you’ve got this hub integrated with your smart home devices. From locks, to lights, to outlets, thermostats, and beyond, they can all be controlled with the free accompanying SmartThings app for your smartphone or tablet.
18. Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Home Controller
The VeraLite is a flexible and powerful smart home controller, designed to let you conveniently control your entire smart home ecosystem from anywhere in the world, so long as you’ve got your smartphone and an internet connection. You’ll be able to monitor energy use, saving money on utility bills. With universal compatibility and a customizable programming, it can fit in with devices from a range of manufacturers. This means it’s the perfect addition to your home if you’ve already started on the smart home technology wave.
The NuBryte, from Lucis, is your ticket to advanced and complete home lighting control and security monitoring. The unique feature of this smart home device is its open design API, making it possible to integrate other sensors from various brands over a wireless connection. It allows you to use your phone to control lighting, thermostat and more, as well as monitor your security either via sensors or in real-time with a look at any smart home cameras you have installed.
20. D-Link Staples Connect Hub
Similar to other sleek smart home hubs, this devices is controlled via your smartphone, tablet, or computer wirelessly over the internet on your home network.Accompanied by an easy to use and free app, you’ll be able to command devices from a range of brands, through a variety of channels, using wifi for Z-Wave, ZigBee, Zonoff, Lutron, Bluetooth, and more. Even better, it still functions if the internet connection is lost, right over your local home network.
Unlike other smart home control solutions on our list, OpenHAB is actually software, not a device. This software is designed for the total integration of different home automation devices into a single solution, allowing you to set broad automation rules that can control everything in your home in concert. It is completely brand-neutral, letting you communicate and control devices from any company and integrate competing elements together. Best of all, is that this software is free.
22. Nest Learning Thermostat
As we’ve mentioned before, the Nest learning thermostat is a uniquely adaptive device that will gradually make your home environment a better, more efficient, and comfortable place. The device learns from you and your habits, programming itself and adapting to the way you live. When you’re away, it knows, and will not heat or cool the empty home. The device comes with a remote control for manual command, but learns over time to program itself.
23. Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo is a smart home hub that’s designed around your voice. Once it’s plugged in, you operate it entirely hands-free. Not only can it play your music via built-in apps or Bluetooth streaming; the Echo can control other smart devices around the home, from lighting and switches to heaters or anything else you can plug in.
24. Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge
Like many other smart home control hubs, the Caseta lets you control lighting, shades, thermostat, and much more from your smartphone or tablet using the free Lutron app. Even cooler, you can control the smart home ecosystem using an Apple Watch. This device works with Caseta wireless dimmers and Serena remote controlled shades, allowing you to schedule the lighting conditions in your home by time, season, and even your personal location. This means the lights at home can be automatically turned on as you approach home.
Here’s a look at the app as it appears running on a smartphone. The sleek design, allows for simple, direct control of your smart home environment at a touch.
The cool factor of Apple Watch compatibility can’t be understated. Imagine tapping on your watch, and seeing the lights throughout your home come on.
25. Nexia Home Intelligence Z-Wave Bridge
Here’s another smart and handsomely designed smart home control hub, crafted to let you manage your smart home devices and appliances through an online Nexia subscription. The device connects to your existing wifi router to allow you full control of the home through a securely encrypted internet connection. Z-Wave products automatically connect with the bridge, and can be connected at over 200 at a time, meaning the system can grow with your smart home ecosystem.
26. Wink Connected Home Hub
This hub is designed to be a simple one-size-fits-all solution to get your smart home started, and it’s compatible with a range of technology including Z-wave, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, & Lutron ClearConnect so that all your smart products can be controlled via the simple Wink app. This could be your perfect foot in the door to the world of smart homes.
Related Galleries You May Enjoy: