It’s about that time of year when those festive lights and Christmas trees are set to go up. As your decorations are being pulled out of storage, you may be wondering if there is any way to add some “smarts” or automation to your Christmas lighting routine. Well, you will be happy to know there are a few great options out there that will make your Christmas light show as smart as your home.
The answer is yes, you can automate some of your Christmas lights. And it’s a really good idea too! Having the ability to remotely turn off lights or use Alexa makes everything so much easier.
Let’s talk about some of the options out right now. Some with automation built in and other ways to update your existing lights to make them smart.
Christmas String Lights
These might be the top smart lights on the market right now. They come with a companion app and offer all sorts of control over how your tree lights up. You will have a seemingly endless number of colors to choose from as well as lighting patterns and you do it all from your phone.
Before we get into the specs of the lights and how they work, check this video out of the Twinkly LED lights in action.
As you can see, the lights are pretty legit. The fact that you can control the pattern of lights on your tree from your phone is fun and convenient. The Twinkly LED lights can be used inside and outside. They are rated IP44 water resistant.
The lights come in a handful of different lengths and bulbs. The 56 light is more suited for the small tabletop Christmas trees while the 175 and 225 lights are more suitable for your regular sized tree.
Here is a list of the string length and bulbs offered by Twinkly:
|Number of Lights||LED Type||Length|
|56 lights||RGB||18.4 feet|
|105 lights||RGB||34.4 feet|
|175 lights||RGB||57.4 feet|
|225 lights||RGB||73.8 feet|
|Special Edition 175||RBW||57.4 feet|
|Special Edition 225||RBW||73.8 feet|
These lights connect to your phone through wifi. They are compatible with Alex, Google, Homekit and IFTTT. Set up is a breeze. You can use guide lights that match up to the edge of your tree or take a picture of the tree through the app to visually calibrate the location of the LED bulbs.
Here is a quick video of the set up process:
After you have the lights up and calibrated, you will have access to the numerous light patterns. You can adjust the colors and speed of the lighting pattern. You can also save newly created patterns to reuse later.
Twinkly also comes with a timer that will turn the lights off at a preset time.
The lights are great but the only downfall is price. They do get a bit expensive for the longer string lights.
These are the generic version of the Twinkly LED lights. They offer what seems to be a lot of the same features and functionality of the Twinkly LED’s. The reason I decided to bring these up is the fact that the Twinkly lights are at a much higher price point. These lights at the time of writing were right around $30. It’s hard to beat that price for some smart lights.
They do have one shortcoming. There is not the ability to create your custom light patterns but instead, you can control the colors. You can also set them to music similar to the Twinkly lights.
All in all, they are a great value and do give you remote control and timers. We have all spent $30 bucks on lunch before, why not try out some smart string lights.
These are very similar to the Zerproc lights, just a bit more expensive. That extra cost is from the fact that these have twice as many LED bulbs. The PEULED lights are very similar to the Zerproc lights listed above.
- Wireless control with the companion app.
- 20 different lighting functions that include flashing, speed, strobe and music mode.
- Can be used indoor and outdoor
These are missing the custom light patterns that the Twinkly LED lights have but, all in all, they are a good budget smart light. At the time of writing, these lights had a four-star rating on Amazon so we think it is safe to recommend them.
These lights may not fall into the smart category but they are way to cool not to be on this list. They are not specifically Christmas lights either, these can be used year round.
These cafe lights are controlled by a remote that allows you to switch the colors of the bulbs. You can select two colors or from a variety of different preset color combinations.
The bulbs are LEDs but wrapped in a vintage bulb that looks great in so many applications, from patios to walkways. The bulbs are also impact resistant meaning they will not break if accidentally dropped or blown to the ground. They are good for indoor and outdoor use and can withstand all seasons. Set them up once and leave them year round.
You can also link them up to 750 feet and control them from one remote. I’ve seen these set up in outdoor restaurants and they look great. Installation is pretty simple but these lights will require a little work on your part. They have a bit more weight than your traditional string lights and will require more support. This video shows the installation process:
Again, these are not specifically Christmas lights but they can be used around Christmas time to add to your holiday decorations. They are not exactly smart either, but you can plug them into an indoor or outdoor smart plug to add some smarts to the lights.
As I said above, these were just to cool not to throw on this list. After watching that video, I am sure you agree.
Remember those Twinkly LED lights we have been talking about a lot? Well, this is the Twinkly tree. This is an artificial Christmas tree outfitted with 330 LED lights. Instead of having to string them up yourself, why not get the tree that has them on already?
In case you missed the video above, here is another of the tree and lights in action. The lights really are mesmerizing!
This tree is controlled by the same app and can be synced with your home assistant. Easily draw your light patterns on your phone or choose from preset light shows on the app.
The only downfall with this tree is the price. At the time of writing, this tree was listed for around $400 on Amazon. This tree is a solid 7 feet too. Not too big and not too small. They offer a few other sizes as well. There is a 5-foot tree and a 6-foot tree. I am 6’5″ and trees that are shorter than me are not allowed.
The good thing is this tree will last a while You will have it around for many, many Christmas’s. I literally just bought a new Christmas tree last year or I would be getting this one today!
Other Lighting Alternatives
These aren’t exactly Christmas specific but they are extremely useful around Christmas time. They are extremely versatile and will add to any Christmas decor around the house. These can be used year round too! You might buy them to add some flair to your holiday decor but keep them around after. There are so many great ways to use these around the house. Check out this article here on a few we outlined in another post.
This video shows how a living room can be outfitted with the Philips light strips. It could be as easy as showing off your favorite Christmas colors in your everyday setup.
You can also line your fireplace or add them to the bottom of your tree for some added ambient lights. The best part, you can control them with your favorite voice assistant.
Again, these are not specifically made for the holidays but they sure can be used to decorate for the holidays.
Have you ever driven down a nicer neighborhood and seen the houses with the front-illuminated? Well, these are the lights that make that happen. You can light pathways, trees or anything else you like.
What makes the Philips Hue Lily lights good for Christmas is the fact that you have over 16 million colors to choose from. Out of all of those color combinations, you are sure to find at least a couple that will add to your exterior holiday decor.
Yes, they work for Christmas, but that’s not exactly what they were designed for. All that means is you will be able to utilize the lights all year round.
They are compatible with all of your favorite voice assistants and can be set on a timer for easy schedule setting. The only downfall with these are the price. They can get a bit pricey. But when you look at what you are getting, the price is pretty justified.
If you are looking for that added wow factor for your home, Christmas time or not, these will get the job done!
These lights are “smart” because of how easy it is to set up. Instead of lining your roof with string lights, you can plug this laser light in and shine the lights all over your home. So less work, in this case, equals smart.
It does not have a remote, but you can plug it into a smart plug and add smarts to it.
Here is the promotional video they made for the laser lights. It’s a little cringe-worthy but you will get the point.
You have the option of sparkling or still and a few color options: green or red. they claim they will cover up to 3200 square feet but you should count on a slightly lower number. They are still a great option for those of us out there who may not have the time or energy to string up lights every year.
This is another device that would probably not be considered smart by most readers, but it is cool. It comes with a remote though so we will just pretend that is enough to qualify it. Plus, it is really easy to set up. So we like it!
If you want to add some real smart functionality, simply plug it into your outdoor smart plug. It works!
This LED light projector has a range of about 30 feet and will shine different animations anywhere you choose. Most use it to project Santa Clause or something similar on the front or side of their house.
This one in particular comes with 16 films with different animation such as Santa, Snowflakes, Christmas tree, an elk and presents. There are also other slides for other holidays making this a solid investment for multiple occasions.
It has timer presets of 2, 4 and 6 hours so it won’t be on all night saving you a bit of money. It is also weatherproof so you won’t have to worry about it shorting out in the snow.
Installation is as simple as sticking it in the ground. It is a lot less than you might think too. At the time of writing it was about $20 bucks. You can check the price on Amazon here.
Turning Old Christmas Lights Smart With Smart Plugs
With smart plugs, you can turn just about anything smart. If you can plug it in, you will always have an option of automating that device. That includes your Christmas decorations.
Indoor Smart Plugs
This will help you control any indoor lights you may have set up. I’m looking at you Christmas tree awkwardly positioned making the outlet almost impossible to reach.
Plug your tree lights into a Wemo smart plug, or any other smart plug you may have laying around, and control those lights with your voice or through an app.
We like the Wemo plug as it comes with energy monitoring. Know exactly how much energy your lights are consuming and manage it accordingly.
After the holidays, I’m sure you can find somewhere else this smart plug can add some value around the house.
Outdoor Smart Plugs
If you have string lights outside of your home, you should have them connected to an outdoor smart plug! It just makes life so much easier for you.
With the Kasa outdoor smart plug, you get two receptacles that you can control individually. You will be able to control it with your voice and through an app. This plug works well too. At the time of writing, it had 5 stars on Amazon. Check for yourself.
And that’s that folks. Hopefully one of the devices listed above helps make your holidays a little happier, and at the very least, a bit more convenient.