O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, how lovely are your smart controlled branches…
Brad and I started adding smart home technology to our house a few years ago, and each year it seems like we add a few more pieces (especially around the holidays). We have already replaced a couple outlets for smart outlets this year, for the sole purpose of controlling our Christmas lights and other décor. Smart home is more than just lights and outlets, so continue reading for some traditional and unique ways to use smart home technology during the holidays.
One of the best aspects of adding smart home technology around the holidays is the ability to power on and off devices that may be difficult to reach. The plug on our Christmas tree is close to 4″ long, that is a lot of length coming straight out of the outlet when said outlet is behind the entertainment center.
Since Brad relocated our TV cable box and Blue-Ray player to the closet behind the TV, we were able to add a smart outlet adapter to one of the ports of the power strip and plug the tree into a hidden extension cord. We can easily turn the tree on and off through our phones whenever we want.
The long plug can be seen in the picture below from our tree last year, we knew that Emmett would not simply leave it alone if we plugged it in the same way this year (plus, I only have plastic ornaments on the tree this year).
Outlets with built-in smart technology take one step out of outdoor light set-up. By having a smart outlet, the light timer can be skipped and all of the scheduling can be created within the smart home app. Our smart outlet is right under the eves so the lights can simply be plugged into the smart outlet without any extension cord needed. We have our lights automatically turn on at 4:45PM and off at 10:15PM. Smart outlets generally have one controlled outlet and one “normal” outlet, so you can still use the outlet as needed too.
A fun way to add some holiday cheer to the home exterior is through color changing lightbulbs. At our previous home we had a great time playing with smart home lighting, We currently have Edison bulbs in our outdoor lights, but I have been temped to swap out the bulbs for the holidays.
Back in 2015, we had “the flood” right after Christmas. Since then, we have been cognizant of how quickly water can damage the home. The following year, one of my friends gifted us some water sensors so we could put them at common leak locations and we would get an alert at the first sign of trouble. While the flood led to us getting a fake tree, a water sensor at the base of the tree would be a great location incase water were to leak from the tree stand.
Adding a motion sensor into the mix can be used to trigger various other smart devices. Put on on the porch to turn on the lights, or trigger a camera. Or have extra holiday fun with this and have motion trigger a speaker that plays a selection of holiday melodies.
While a door sensor might normally be used for ensuring that a freezer door stays shut to protect the contents, or remembering to close the back porch behind you, it could also be used to make sure that your secret hiding spot for presents stays secret. Fortunately, Emmett still has no idea that he will soon be surrounded by fun presents, but I’m sure we’re only a couple years away from needing to find secret hiding spots.
What are your favorite ways to incorporate smart home technology into your holidays?