With the end of the year fast approaching, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or even lose some of the joy of the holidays. Bring back the magic this festive season by creating your very own smart home for the holidays with these great ways to use the newest smart technologies, including UIB’s UnificationEngine® intelligent IoT messaging-powered SmartContact®.
Easy Lighting Control
Holiday lights can be a real pain to plug in — you find yourself reaching around the tree or climbing over furniture to turn your decorative lights and electric candles on and off every day. Upgrade your holiday light setup this year with affordable smart home accessories like smart plugs and light switches.
No matter which brand you choose, when you use a smart plug, you get hands-free control to turn literally anything you plug into it on and off without without having to get up. Smart plugs, like the TP-Link, have a mobile app which lets you turn the switch on and off with just a press, and plugs from Broadlink, Develo, Dio, Homematic, Innogy, myStrom, Osram, Smartwares, Sygonix, Telldus, TP-Link, and many others can be operated with SmartContact’s natural language voice and instant messaging on popular chat apps like WhatsApp and Viber.
Most smart plugs are also smart speaker-compatible so that you can say, “Hey Google, turn on the tree lights” or “Alexa, good morning” to automatically turn on the smart plugs you have connected to them for a relaxing morning routine.
Keep a Schedule
With a SmartContact in your smartphone’s contacts and with the smart plugs’ own native mobile apps, you can also set a routine or schedule. For holiday lights, for example, you can automatically have them turn on at 6 pm every evening and then automatically turn themselves off at midnight. This way you can come home to the warm glow of your lights without leaving them on all day and go to bed at night without worrying about whether you remembered to turn them off.
Cooking Voice Assistance
Picture it, you’re in the middle of baking your grandmother’s famous cookie recipe, your hands are covered in sticky (if tasty) cookie dough, and you forgot how much of a certain ingredient you need.
Voice assistants can really give you a smart home for the holidays by helping you out in the kitchen with
- Converting measurements;
- Setting timers;
- Finding recipes; and
- Looking up cooking times and temperatures.
With a voice assistant by your side in the kitchen, you can even ask to stream your favorite holiday music playlist while you finish spooning your cookies onto the baking sheet.
Movie Mood Lighting
No matter your age, everyone has a favorite holiday movie that gets played at least once, if not on a weekly basis, until the end of the holidays.
When the time comes to sit down and watch it, all you need are your favorite movie treats and Philips Hue smart bulbs to create the perfect lighting effect.
Hue, and other smart bulbs, allow you to:
- Turn lights on and off;
- Change lights’ brightness; and
- Change lights’ colors to set the mood.
This way, you can create the ultimate movie viewing atmosphere without having to get up and adjust individual lights around your house. Simply pull up the smart bulb mobile app on your phone to select a pre-programmed “movie night” setting or use SmartContact to talk or text your lights. Tell your lights the setting you want, and the mood is set for your viewing pleasure.
Holiday Delivery Tracking
During the holidays, there is a massive increase in the number of packages delivered. Whether you shop online exclusively or are waiting for gifts from family members, you are a potential target for thieves and careless postal workers who toss your fragile boxes.
With a smart home monitoring system like the Ring Doorbell, you can be alerted to any motion at your front door, so you can:
- Remotely speak to the delivery people to accept packages;
- Monitor, via recorded video, to make sure all your packages are safe; and
- Watch out for any unwelcome visitors, human or animal, coming to your front door.
Being able to see your packages being delivered will help reduce the “What if?” holiday stress if you are not home when the mail is delivered.
Using a few smart home automations can easily make your home a smart home for the holidays and are guaranteed to put you into a holiday mood by eliminating some of the stress and frustration. This way, you can get back to enjoying the magic and spend more time with your family and friends.
About the Author
When he’s not creating his own smart home for the holidays, Allen Michael is the founder and editor of Home Viable, a website focused on helping others to keep a clean home as efficiently as possible. Allen stumbled into this focus while trying to help his family to keep their home clean with less work.