3 Simple Ways to Automate Your Christmas Lights
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Get more control over your Christmas lights using one of these three convenient methods.
Hanging up Christmas lights is an annual tradition meant to bring brightness and joy during some of the coldest and darkest months of the year. The degree to which everyone invests in their Christmas light setup varies from house to house. Some houses go with just a few simple strands of lights, while others set up complicated systems that create fully-realized holiday light shows complete with a matching soundtrack.
Thanks to modern technology and the popularization of “smart tech,” there are now multiple simple methods to automate Christmas lights. You might not have the ability to create an entire flashy holiday light show synced to music, but you can set things up so that your lights automatically turn on and off or follow other specific routines. Here’s everything you need and the steps you can take to automate your Christmas lights this year.
Outlet timers are a trusted way to automate your Christmas lights. They’re also the easiest to set up and require the least amount of tech-savviness. All you have to do is plug them into an outlet and plug your strand of lights into the timer. You’ll then set up a schedule of when you want that strand of lights receiving power from the outlet and when you want them turned off. Modern outlet timers like this one from BN-LINK can create schedules with intervals as frequent as every 15 minutes, giving you more control over when you want your lights on and off.
Smart plugs are similar to outlet timers, but they give you even more control over the things plugged into them. Instead of running your lights off of a set mechanical schedule, smart plugs give you the ability to fully control your lights from your smartphone or other connected devices. With a smart plug you can set up detailed schedules for your lights, turn them on and off when you’re not at home, monitor energy consumption and use devices like Amazon Alexa to control your lights through voice commands.
Standard smart plugs are not made to hold up to outdoor use, especially during harsh winter months. Luckily, weather-proof smart plugs are available that work no matter how much rain, snow and sleet come their way. Plug your outdoor Christmas lights into a weather-proof smart plug like this one from GE and switch them on and off without leaving the house. You’ll also get all of the control options you would with a regular smart plug.