Biophilia, landscape lighting, 8K video, 5G/other cellular, and water-related systems to be featured as CE Pro Top 5 Home-Tech Trends for 2020.

CE Pro Names Top 5 Home Tech Trends for 2020

Blossoming in the smart-home channel in 2020: new cellular, biophilia, water tech, landscape lighting, 8K

After much discussion with smart-home pros and others in the home-tech channel, the editors of CE Pro have selected the Top 5 Home Technology Trends for 2020: Biophilia, landscape lighting, 8K, 5G/ other cellular, and water-related systems.

To be featured in the January print issue of CE Pro, these are the products, technologies, initiatives, and themes that should blossom in the new year, impacting the residential integration sector for better or worse.

The Top 5 list features trends that are already on the radar – and possibly have been for years – but haven’t necessarily broken through as “the next big thing” for the home-technology channel.

We believe 2020 will be the breakthrough year for the following themes:


The term biophilia was virtually unknown in the home-tech community until February 2019, when it was presented during a CEDIA Talk at ISE 2019. Since then, the industry has embraced the concept of bringing the outdoors in, simulating elements of nature for health and wellness. While circadian lighting is the most familiar concept in tech-based biophilic design, the smart-home industry is working hard to incorporate other key elements including indoor air quality, pure water, circadian climate, artificial skylights, and audio/visual representations of nature.

Top 5 Home-Tech Trends for 2020 will be featured in the January 2020 State of the Industry print issue of CE Pro.

Landscape Lighting

Home-technology integrators for years have been incorporating landscape lighting into their outdoor installations, primarily as a complement to outdoor audio. This year, however, the category sky-rocketed with a wide range of new vendors entering the channel with products that integrate into popular home-automation systems. The category in 2020 will bring the channel one step closer to owning the outdoors.

8K Video

In hindsight, 8K probably should have made the last CE Pro Top 5 list, as the new video format really started gaining traction this year. But we weren’t sure the stars would align in 2019, so we held out for a year. 2020 will definitely be “the big one” for 8K, with products, content, infrastructure and consumer awareness driving the category.

5G, Other Cellular Events

For the past few years, the industry has recommended 5G for the CE Pro Top 5 list, but the new cellular format wasn’t going to impact our industry anytime soon. Come 2020, home-tech pros will begin to feel the impact of 5G. New IoT M2M solutions will hit the market; cell-boosting products will be launched; and networking schemes will change.

In addition to 5G, other cellular happenings will affect our industry in 2020, including the 3G sunset – a huge challenge/opportunity for the alarm industry – and the growing popularity of small-cell networks.

Water, Water

This one crept up on us pretty quickly, with CEDIA Expo being the big aha moment. More water-related companies are wooing the smart-home channel, and more plumbing-centric categories became popular this year, including leak detection and water shut-off, water purification, water conservation and management, smart showers, live plant walls, residential spas and steam rooms, and more. We predict 2020 will be the year smart-home pros get serious about plumbing.

Top 5 Trends: Previous Years

2019 [read excerpt]

  • Wellness
  • Low-voltage lighting
  • Architectural design
  • Accelerated cord cutting
  • Labor crisis and new workforce paradigms

2018 [read]

  • Mass-market smart-home services
  • Chief security officer for the home
  • Tunable white lighting
  • Multi-dwelling (MDU) market
  • Video projection systems

2017 [read]

  • Voice control integration
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality
  • Device discovery and data collection
  • New models in tech deployment
  • Fiber in the home

2016  [read]

  • Audio and Video Analytics
  • DC Power Distribution
  • 4K Ecosystem
  • The Front Door
  • User Empowerment in Home Automation

2015  [read]

  • Production home building
  • Immersive home entertainment
  • Engaging home automation
  • The aware home
  • Cloud-based networking

2014  [read]

  • High-Resolution Audio
  • Mass-Market Home Automation
  • Cloud Video Surveillance
  • More Sensor Opportunities
  • Automated Door Locks

2013  [read]

  • Enterprise-Grade Home Networks
  • Headphones
  • Wireless Audio
  • Motorized Shades
  • 4K Ultra HD TV

2012  [read]

  • Self-contained security/automation
  • LED lighting
  • Computer audio
  • Voice, gesture, alternative controls
  • The cloud