It’s no mystery why Christmas is a favorite holiday of so many people. It’s got everything: pretty trees, yummy food, lots of friends and family, and lots of chances to use some cool new Christmas gadgets!
It’s safe to say that one of the most iconic signs of Christmas is seeing your neighborhood light up at night with holiday cheer, and the lighting you use in your winter wonderland is essential to capturing the spirit of Christmas.
The Harlingen smart home builders here at Smart Home Construction have gathered up a few of the neatest high-tech ideas that you can implement in your smart home this holiday season. Below are a few smart lighting options sure to brighten the holiday.
1. Flickering Flame Bulbs/Flameless Candles
When you think of a homey, classic Christmas setting, candles are usually what come to mind. After all, the tradition of putting candles in the window for the holidays dates back to the 1890s.
Of course, candles can be messy or even a fire hazard, and they certainly don’t work outdoors. But flickering flame bulbs and flameless candles can offer a smarter alternative in areas where regular candles are lacking, and you can still capture that warm ambiance of the holiday season with bulbs that look like candles or even small torches. Some even display actual animated flames where bulbs that have flame-shaped filaments don’t, and these animated flames flicker and snap just like the real thing.
Most LED flickering flame bulbs are priced around $30. Texsens LED Flame Effect Light Bulbs are a popular choice with a four-out-of-five star rating. These bulbs use 105 internal LEDs to create their beautiful light show, and with a wattage of only 4w, they can even cut down your electricity costs. For LED candles, we recommend the Yeelight Candela Smart LED Candle which can be controlled using an Alexa-capable speaker.
2. LED String Lights and Strips
While regular, twinkling, traditional Christmas lights can be very pretty, the options are endless when it comes to what you can do with smart lights! For instance, the LED bulbs on the Light Rhapsody may look like traditional bulbs at first glance, but they are so much more. Another Alexa-controlled device, these lights can change color, change brightness, and even flicker to the beat of your music all with simple commands.
The Light Rhapsody is an indoor-only product, but Lumenplay’s app-controlled lights are a great option for outdoor spaces. Or if you’re looking for a lot of variety in length and specifications, Twinkly LED Lights come in a range of different lengths and types. Their lights also come with a specialized app and tons of programming options. You can even use LED strips for a less traditional glow.
3. Pre-Lit LED Christmas Tree
Many of us have strong memories of pulling apart spiky, prefabricated Christmas trees or helplessly pulling apart nests of Christmas lights caught in the branches. Luckily for us, technology is always moving forward to make our lives a little–or in this case, a lot–easier.
With Twinkly’s Pre-Lit Christmas Trees, you can program your tree to dazzle all of your guests with quite a light show from your smartphone, from swirling stripes to color-changing gradients with an unbelievable amount of detail control. This tree can fit any mood or theme that you need it to, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not it will match next year’s decorations: it matches anything!
If we’ve helped you design the smart home of your dreams that uses smart speakers like Alexa to its advantage, we have more options for you as well. The Mr. Christmas LED Christmas Tree may be less customizable than the Twinkly tree, but it has a lower price point to match.
4. Smart plugs
Lights might be an obvious place to bump up your holiday decorations smart capabilities, but trust us, there is so much more!
Smart gadgets are taking the world by storm, and Christmas is no different! One type of device in particular can be especially helpful for personalizing and controlling your Christmas decorations: smart plugs. Rather than going from room to room plugging things in or using extension cords–an ultimate tripping hazard–you can use smart plugs to simplify the holidays.
There are smart plug options for both indoor and outdoor settings. The indoor Wemo plug can be controlled with Alexa or Google Assistant and is actually useful all year long. This plug also comes with energy monitoring so you can keep track of exactly how much energy your lights are using and control them accordingly. The Kasa outdoor smart plug, on the other hand, can be controlled by voice or app and has a nearly five-star rating on Amazon!