Looking for a way to make Christmas even more magical?
Smart technology adds extra sparkle to the festive season. From a helping hand with party food prep to a spectacular Christmas Eve light show that puts a twinkle in your wee ones eyes, smart tech is here to make your holiday merry and bright.
Christmas is a busy time of year. Automating seasonal tasks takes the chaos out of Christmas and makes the festivities run smoother.
At a loss for where to begin? John isn’t just our tech guru — he’s also Smart Living’s resident Christmas Elf!
Here are his ideas on how to have an easier, merrier Christmas with smart technology.
Is it Christmas without twinkly lights?
Festive lighting is part of the seasonal magic of winter. With smart lighting you can go one step further. Create multi-coloured seasonal displays to enchant children and wow guests. Or simply snuggle by the fire and enjoy the cosy ambiance with a mince pie or two.
Easily adjust the tone and brightness of your lights to suit your mood and the time of day. There’s nothing better than the soft sparkle of Christmas lights to banish winter blues.
Another great advantage of smart lights is that they enable elderly or disabled relatives to enjoy Christmas sparkle without the worry of assembling or taking down decorations. They can simply switch lights on and off at the push of a button or by voice command.
The humble Christmas tree is a festive staple, but perhaps it’s time for a high-tech makeover.
The faff involved each year with cable spaghetti and dead batteries is a Christmas tradition best left in the past. Save time crawling under the tree to switch the lights on and off with smart plugs.
A simple, “Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree lights,” and you’re good to go.
To make life even easier you could buy a smart Christmas tree. Simply take the tree out of the box, plug in, and sync to your phone. Twinkle lights, icy white lights, multicoloured lights — you can choose any colour, brightness, or speed depending on your mood at the press of a button.
Another pro — smart lights last up to 15 times longer than traditional lights. No more rushing to the shops before they close on Christmas Eve for batteries. And more time to sit back and soak in the festive ambiance.
Caught in a Martha May Whovier battle to outdo your neighbour’s outdoor Christmas display? Smart lighting gives your home the wow-factor.
Wall lights can create beams of coloured light to highlight decorations, while cascading smart fairy lights transform your outdoor space into Santa’s grotto. How about light-up reindeer controlled by an app? Too much ain’t enough when it comes to Christmas!
Set your outdoor lights on a timer or use motion sensors so your lights only come on when you want them to. It’ll save you money on your electricity bill and keep the Grinch who lives across the road happy.
Smart plugs and switches aren’t just good for your wallet, they make your home safer, too. It’s typical that when you’re in a rush to leave the house you forget to turn the tree lights off, or wonder if your teenager’s left her straighteners plugged in after the mad dash to get party-ready.
Both are easy mistakes, but they could potentially cause a fire. Smart plugs help prevent a crisis as Christmas by allowing you to remotely check and turn off any hazardous appliances.
Your partner may not thank you for blasting Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody” in every room of the house, but just know that it’s possible.
Smart technology lets you sync up all of your Alexas or Suris to play the same playlist simultaneously. Simply set up the devices in the rooms you want to hear Christmas music and let the festive cheer take over. Portable speakers can also help you create ambiance throughout your home, whether it’s soothing Christmas carols or Mariah Carrey. Like lights, music sets the mood and it’s super-easy with smart technology.
Make merry throughout your home by synching your favourite festive playlist to your Christmas lights.
There’s an entire range of smart Christmas lights on the market to help you create a cosy but classy atmosphere.
Next step: synching the playlist. Simply open your Control4 app on your phone and follow the on-screen instructions. Now your lights can flash and glow in time to ‘Last Christmas’.
It’s a quick, easy way to impress party guests or a bit of silly fun when you’re dancing with the dog in your matching Christmas jumpers.
Amp up the Christmas Eve anticipation by following Santa’s journey as a family. Just ask Alexa “What’s Santa up to?” to find out where he is or if he’s feeding the reindeer while enjoying a quick pitstop.
The smart Santa tracker is also a great way to get excitable kids to bed on time. After all, Santa won’t visit unless everyone is tucked up fast asleep.
Christmas dinner is easily the most pressure-filled moment of the festivities.
It begins early with organising your shopping list and trying not to forget anything. Then there’s making turkey with all the trimmings for a hungry table of expectant guests. It’s a daunting prospect, especially if you’re cooking Christmas dinner for the first time.
Luckily, your smart home hub can be a virtual helper in the kitchen this Christmas. Multi-task efficiently and keep ahead by asking Alexa or Google Home to add essential ingredients to your shopping list. Bread sauce, anyone?
Baking is a fun festive activity you can do with family and friends, but it can be messy. Up to your elbows in flour? Ask your smart home hub to remind you of the next step in the recipe. You can also check measurements or convert from cups to ounces if you’re using an online recipe.
Being able to check the next step in a recipe hands-free could be the difference between a rock-solid gingerbread house and structural disaster. Another great feature is the ability to save recipes you enjoyed this year for next Christmas.
Make Christmas Eve more magical with a movie night in your home cinema. Whether you’re a Die Hard fan or want to relive the festive silliness of Elf for the hundredth time, a smart sound system and pin-sharp picture adds to the ambiance.
Watch our home cinema tips and sound system advice ahead of the big day to stop technical issues spoiling the family fun.
Sadly, opportunistic thieves don’t take a break at Christmas.
Video doorbells help you keep an eye on parcels left on the porch if you’re not at home. Watching footage live via an app on your phone means you’ll see events in real-time. Speaker features also let you talk to strangers approaching your house to let them know you’ve caught them on camera.
On a less gloomy note, video doorbells are a convenient way to communicate with delivery people when you’re not at home.
Christmas is about more than presents, but when you spend hard-earned cash on thoughtful gifts the last thing you want is a thief making off with your loved ones’ presents.
Travelling to visit friends and family for Christmas? Smart security cameras, video doorbells, and window locks will give you peace of mind. Break-ins rise by as much as 50% at Christmas time.
The good news? Smart security offers 24-hour surveillance and can actually deter thieves from breaking into your home in the first place.
If you’re jetting off for some winter sun, smart security allows you to switch off and enjoy your holiday without worrying about what’s happening at home.
How do you host a Christmas party guests actually look forward to?
Half the battle is creating a fun, festive ambiance. That means sparkling lights and a killer playlist. With smart technology you can create a memorable party in your own living room. Think uninterrupted Christmas songs, mood lighting, and a tree that sparkles brighter than Rudolf’s rose.
Preparation is key and your home assistant will ensure you don’t forget the essentials. Simply schedule reminders to pick up party hats and crackers and you’re all set.
Now that you’ve whipped up some festive spirit it’ll be hard to hear the doorbell. Rather than leave guests standing in the cold, invest in a smart doorbell. They send an alert straight to your phone to let you know someone’s at the door. You can also let them in at the push of a button so you don’t need to tear yourself away from the Christmas cocktails.
Speaking of doorbells, did you know you can give guests an interactive, festive experience before they even cross the threshold?
We’re thinking more Charlie Brown than ‘Christmas Carol’, but to each their own. Whether you pick Jingle Bells or a message from Santa himself, give guests a laugh when they drop off presents with a custom Christmas doorbell.
(For the record, you can also buy smart Christmas wreaths).
Your smart home hub is the nerve-centre of Christmas operations.
Control all your devices from one place to avoid adding tech confusion to the Christmas chaos. Your hub can help with reminders to take the mince pies out of the oven, find a festive film to watch, or tell you a cracker-worthy joke. Not to mention alerting you to everyday tasks that sometimes get forgotten during busy holidays, like emptying the bins.
Don’t forget the real tree!
Unlike smart Christmas trees, real trees need occasional watering to stop them from dropping needles. Smart watering devices can be programmed to give your tree a good drink at timed intervals.
There’s no sadder sight than a saggy Christmas tree but watering the tree is a job that’s easily forgotten (not to mention looking after your other houseplants). Let smart tech tick the to-do off for you while you prepare the house for guests or wrap presents.
Smart thermostats will keep you comfortable this Christmas. Whether it’s making sure the house is cosy on the morning of the big day or cooling down during a lively Christmas party, smart thermostats help you maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the festivities.
Setting an average temperature or only using the heating when you need to is also a great way to save energy and money at an expensive time of year.
Maybe John’s ideas have added smart home automation to your Christmas wishlist. If so, we’d love to help.
Our expert installers won’t exactly come down the chimney, but they can quickly and neatly cable in your smart tech so you can enjoy your best Christmas yet.
Call us for:
- A brighter Christmas: smart lighting that makes putting up the decorations and saving energy this winter a breeze
- An easier Christmas: home automations that help you to prepare for Christmas dinner and festive parties with handy reminders and the scheduling of daily tasks
- A merrier Christmas: awe-inspiring home entertainment and festive ambiance to make the season magical
Our team is based in Scotland with decades of smart living experience and we’re passionate about making our customer’s lives better with technology.
Simply give us a (jingle) bell to get started.
Fancy reading more smart tips? Our blog is full of ideas on how smart technology can save you time and money. If you really want to fall down the rabbit hole of smart home automation subscribe our YouTube channel — that way you won’t miss a thing.