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How to create a festive smart home for the holidays

A child sitting on a woman's lap in a living room surrounded by a laptop, string lights and a Christmas tree

Are you a self-proclaimed Grinch? Then you may want to skip to another article. This one’s for the techies that love the holidays. Recently, we showed you how to use smart home technology to up the Halloween spookiness. This time, we’re changing gears from scary to merry. Here’s how your smart devices can help set the seasonal mood to create the perfect festive smart home for the holidays.

Smart home holiday lighting

The great thing about getting the most out of your smart home for the holidays is that lighting is such a big part of the festive season. Coincidentally, smart lights are some of the most versatile and effective smart devices out there. 

Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is holiday string lights. Is your goal is simple efficiency so you can turn all of your string lights on at once, either on a schedule or with a voice command? Well, the good news is you don’t have to run out and buy 10 sets of smart lights. If you’re happy with the lights you’ve got, just get yourself some smart outlets to plug them into. We like these outlets from Kasa because they’re outdoor safe, allowing you to make those roof lights smart as well.

If you do want smart lights with more functionality, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than a set from Twinkly. String lights, curtain lights, icicle lights and even pre-lit Christmas trees are controlled by an advanced app. Far beyond setting schedules and changing colors, you can design patterns down to the individual light and even use 3D mapping to create visible designs. 

Another nice thing about smart lights is that you can get seasonal with your home lighting.  Incorporate a smart lighting system like Phillips Hue, and you’ll be able to make any room or outdoor area an oasis of holiday colors. Set routines, timers and custom light scenes while controlling everything through your app, voice or Bluetooth. Of course, this makes it a great buy for those who love all holidays, as you can change your smart home holiday lighting to suit the occasion. 

Holiday smart home sounds

Thankfully, we’re not talking in person right now so there’s no risk of hearing our horrible rendition of any holiday songs. However, if you’d like to hear the proper, non-painful versions whenever you desire, your smart home can help. A simple command of “Play holiday music” to your smart speaker or hub will result in a slew of festive classics (once you’ve linked to your favorite music streaming service). 

With a little more effort, you can conjure some of that elusive holiday magic. Some strategically placed sensors will allow you to create a routine that automatically starts playing seasonal music whenever someone enters the room. You should be able to set this up with Google or Alexa routines, but for this and other nifty tricks, consider checking out SmartThings. The Samsung-owned company sells its own devices, but its app and protocols work with thousands of devices from hundreds of brands.

Season’s (front door) greetings

If your goal is to thaw the most cold-hearted of Grinches when they visit your house, it’s best to start early. By that, we mean before Grumpy Gus even gets in the door. You know those life-sized dancing snowmen, laughing Santas and rowdy reindeer? Those outdoor-safe smart outlets can allow you to turn them on remotely whenever you like. Or even better, incorporate sensors to turn them on and off as folks walk to your door. Bah humbug that, Gus.

Got a smart doorbell or in the market for one? In addition to letting you see and talk to visitors, most smart doorbells will allow for a bunch of different ring sounds. Many will offer recognizable holiday tunes or allow you to add your own. If you’ve got a Scrooge living in your home, however, setting your door chime to “Jingle Bells” so they hear it multiple times a day may not be the best idea for familial harmony. You’re going to throw us under the bus with the old “Hey, Ting told me to do it,” aren’t you? It’s okay, we’ll take the heat. Consider it our gift to you.

Power your holiday smart home with Ting Internet

With everybody at home for the holidays, there’ll be more streaming, downloading, gaming and video calls than ever. Ting’s gigabit fiber internet provides a huge amount of bandwidth for the whole family to use and blazing fast speeds for ultra-high-definition streaming and lag-free gaming. Meanwhile, fiber’s reliability means you can count on your smart devices staying connected and won’t have to worry about dropouts and service interruptions. Ready to upgrade and future-proof your internet? See if Ting Internet is available in your town and neighborhood!