Best Holiday Smart Home Solutions – Forbes Advisor
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year to break out the smart home solutions to get your home ready for the holiday season with a little tinsel and tech. From an Alexa enabled Christmas tree and ways to track Santa’s arrival, to smart holiday lights that give your home the most amazing light display on the block, there really is no place like your smart home for the holidays. With that, here are some festive ways to use your smart home devices this holiday season.
1. Tech Tannenbaum
Gone are the days of plugging and unplugging your tree lights every single night, because there are plenty of smart home tree lighting options to try this year. Ditch the regular lights and upgrade to smart string lights that are powered by Alexa or an app on your phone. You’ll be able to create a schedule for the lights or simply tell Alexa to turn the lights on or off.
If you’re ready for a smart tree, you’re going to love how easy it is to set up. Just take it out of the box, hang a few decorations, and use your phone or Alexa to turn on a light show. Whatever holiday mood you are in, your smart lights, or smart tree, can reflect with twinkle lights, multicolor, white lights, or lights that sync up to music. Your tree can be unique and different for each of the 12 days of Christmas.
2. Christmas Carols in Every Room
Fill your halls and every room with the sweet sounds of holiday music by syncing all of your Amazon Alexa or Google Homes to play the same songs simultaneously. Just move the devices into the rooms that you want music played in, and let your favorite holiday tunes play on repeat throughout the night. If you need music in one room of your home, use a Bluetooth portable speaker that can easily be hidden to softly play Christmas music while your guests enjoy the festivities.
3. Here Comes Santa Claus
Since Santa can’t visit your home until everyone is sound asleep in their beds, kids can track Santa as he moves across the globe with the Norad Tracker on Amazon Alexa or Santa Tracker on Google Home. Each tracker lets kids hear and see exactly where Santa is and learn a few fun facts about the locations. Both are fun activities to help the whole family get excited, and to get little ones to bed before Santa reaches your town.
4. Holiday Light Show
If your outdoor lights are inspired by Clark Griswold or you’re taking a more minimal approach, there are plenty of smart home options to make your lights merry and bright. Smart plugs allow you to set timers for your outdoor lights and give you the control to turn on different light displays or inflatables at different times.
They also give you a lot more flexibility, creativity, and eliminate having to plug and unplug everything that needs powered up. Many smart plugs either connect to an app on your phone or to your Amazon Alexa or Google Home, so with a quick press of a button or a voice command, every night the light show is easy to power on or off.
5. Setting the Holiday Mood
Whether you’re using smart bulbs inside or outside, these lights allow you to get into the holiday spirit with just the touch of a button. When it’s time to gather around the fireplace and sip hot chocolate, you can coordinate your smart bulbs to match your Christmas tree or give a red and green glow.
Changing your light bulb colors is an easy way to spread the holiday cheer through your entire home. When you use smart bulbs outside, you can coordinate the lights to sync up to music to give all your neighbors a Christmas light show they won’t forget.
6. Choose a Festive Doorbell Sound
When guests arrive for holiday celebrations, they can be greeted at your front door with a fun Christmas tune, a Hanukkah song or other holiday sounds. If you have a Ring Doorbell or a Nest Doorbell, changing the usual chime to something more festive is really easy.
Here’s how to add the holiday music to your Ring Doorbell:
- In the Ring app, tap the three lines on the left
- Select Devices
- Pick the doorbell you want to use
- Tap the Audio Settings icon
- Under Audio Settings, tap Chime Tones
- Choose a Holiday Song
- Deck the Halls
- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
- Hark the Herald Angels Sing
- Ho Ho Ho!
- Jingle Bells
- Silent Night
- Sleigh Bells
- I Have a Little Dreidel
- Ma’oz Tzur
- Oh Hanukkah
- Hit Save Changes
- Wait for the sound to download to your doorbell
Here’s how to change the sound on your Nest Doorbell:
- Open the latest version of the Google Home or Nest app
- Select your doorbell
- Tap Settings
- Select the option to change the ringtone and choose from Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, Kwanzaa or Winter theme.
7. Holiday Baking Assistant
If you are in charge of whipping up a delicious Christmas dinner or baking dozens of cookies for the elves in your home, let your smart devices become your sous chef. The Amazon Alexa Show and Nest Hub can help you find recipes, display the directions and even read each step to you. Not only will these voice-activated devices make cooking for the holidays easier, but they will also be less messy since you won’t need to flip through recipes, screens or cookbooks when your hands are covered in flour.
8. Keeping the Tree Looking Fresh
The branches of your Christmas tree will stay lovely the entire holiday season if they stay hydrated. With a smart watering device or smart tree stand, your tree will be automatically watered whenever it is thirsty. From systems that have sensors that alert you when the tank needs a refill to a tree stand that waters the tree for you, you can take this task off your holiday to-do list.
9. Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Keep your home feeling cozy and warm during your holiday celebrations with a smart home thermostat. With the touch of a button, you can easily warm up or cool down your home for a constantly comfortable space.
10. Christmas Morning Helper
If you’ve had a late night on Christmas Eve being one of Santa’s elves, use a smart plug in your kitchen to get the coffee started and turn on a slow cooker if you’ve got a delicious Christmas breakfast ready to go. To set the mood on Christmas morning, use your smart plugs to turn the lights on, play Christmas music and light the tree. Now you can sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the chaos of Christmas day.