The smart thermostat is not new but it's still the best. There are other good options on the market but in my experience, nothing tops the simplicity and smarts of the Nest. The Nest essentially programs itself after using it for a few weeks. It's also designed to be more efficient and save you money on your energy bill. You can also control the thermostat from your phone. It even turns down the energy usage when it notices that you're not home.
I've been using a Nest (Gen 1) for years and I still love it. It takes the thought out of programming your thermostat and helps save energy and money. It's a great option for Dad!
If you take the same concept of the Nest and apply it to a sprinkler controller, you get the Rachio! The newest (Gen 2) model is better than before and makes programming and managing your home sprinkler system easier than you could imagine. There are manual controls on the new box but most of the programming will be done through the Rachio app. Setup your zones, enter environmental information and Rachio does the rest. It'll skip and adjust your schedule based on recent and predicted weather. It's not a rain gauge, it's better! I've had it skip a morning schedule because the Rachio knew it was going to rain in the afternoon. Pretty cool!
Best part, Rachio is based right here in Denver. They buy parts from overseas but assemble the product in Colorado. $200 isn't a bad price but many local utilities will give you up to a 50% rebate so make sure you check!
If Dad is obsessed with having the perfect green lawn, Rachio is a great gift!
If you want to make your home smart, first step, your home needs a brain! The Wink hub is that brain. It connects to a ton of smart devices (Z-wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth) and controls everything for you. The Wink app because the command center on your home. You can create schedules, connect one device to another and be the master of your domain! For example, you can tell the Wink app to turn on an outdoor light when it detects motion on your outdoor Nest cam. This is just scratching the surface. With dozens of smart devices connected you can truly automate your home with a Wink hub.
There are plenty of other hub options but I like Wink because it's compatible with so many protocols.
If Dad has shown any interest in a smart home, this is the first step! The Wink Bright is a good deal. It includes the Wink hub and 2 smart light bulbs for $119.
The iPad is more affordable than ever! Maybe Dad has an old tablet or has wanted one but never actually pulled the trigger. There is no better time! The Apple iPad is more affordable than ever. The newest full size iPad starts at $329. This is the lowest price we have ever seen a "new" iPad. Sure, they made some changes to cut costs but most people won't notice and the processing power is current gen technology. If Dad wants a tablet, this is your best bet for under $350.