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The best holiday smart lights for 2020

Buying holiday lights for your home is an investment, so don’t go with lights that only offer up one color choice. The best smart holiday lights can be changed to a wide array of colors, blinking patterns, and can be synced to music. You can control them using an app or voice commands using Alexa, Google Assistant, or IFTTT devices, and you can even put these types of lights on a schedule.

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Love the idea of keeping your tree up year-round? With smart lights, you can change the light colors to fit the upcoming holiday or season. After the holidays, you could change your lights to pink and red for Valentine’s Day, pastel colors for Easter, red, white, and blue for Independence Day, orange and purple for Halloween … you get the idea.

Here are our picks for the best holiday smart lights on the market.

Best pick: Twinkly Smart Decorations Custom LED String Lights

Twinkly’s lights are on their second generation and have a lot of great features. The lights have an almost endless combination of effects, animations, and color ranges to give you a fully customizable experience. Twinkly smart lights also have a built-in microphone, so it can sense music and sync with the beat.

Since they’re rated for indoor and outdoor use, you can do one of those snazzy musical light show extravaganzas that’s popular on YouTube. Setup is easy, too. They connect using Bluetooth and from there you can control the lights with the app or any Alexa-enabled device. Through Alexa, you can turn the lights on or off, set the brightness, or change colors. If you want a super easy setup, you can also get Christmas trees prelit with Twinkly lights.

Most versatile: Nexlux LED Strip Lights

Nexlux

Nexlux LED Strip Lights are our pick for the most versatile because there are so many ways to control them. They can work with an app, Echo, Google Assistant, or IFTTT, and they also come with a wireless remote.

Like Twinkly, these LED strip lights also have thousands of color, animation, and theme choices for a customized look. They can sync with music too. Unlike Twinkly, Nexlux lights can be trimmed to the length you need them and still be waterproof — and they are far more affordable if you’re willing to put in a little DIY work. The only real drawback with these lights is that they have smaller bulbs and may not be as bright as you’d like.

Best smart icicle lights: Novolink LED Icicle String Light Set

The Novolink LED Icicle String Light Set can be used with Alexa, Google Assistant, or the Novolink Wi-Fi D-Lights app. Though they aren’t as customizable as some of the other lights listed, you can change their blink speed and color. They also have six preset flashing light patterns you can choose from, and holiday presets for Halloween and Christmas.

Best for fast installation: ILC LED Smart Floodlights

If you want to set the mood outside, but you don’t want to string hundreds of lights, there is a fast alternative. Festive floodlights make it look like you went through some effort, but with just a few minutes of work.

One of the best is the ILC Floodlights. Put it on the ground, plug it in, and then project festive colored lights on the outside of your home. You can control the lights using an app and they feature music syncing abilities and a wide range of colors.

Best large bulb smart lights: XMCOSY+ Large String Lights

If you want a little more wattage on your cottage, these XMCOSY+ string lights are a pretty awesome pick. They’re IP65 water-resistant, so you can keep them outdoors without worrying about the weather.

The string set can be controlled with Alexa or the XMCOSY+  app. Through these methods, you can dim the lights, choose a color from the color wheel, or choose from one of eight built-in scenes. These easy to install lights are 49 feet long, and they’re a great pick for year-round use on a patio or pergola.

Best for year-round: Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Outdoor Lightstrip

While the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Outdoor Lightstrip isn’t specifically for the holidays, this list wouldn’t be complete without it. The Hue Lightstrip is the perfect choice if you want lights that can take you from Christmas, to spring parties, to summer cookouts, to fall marshmallow roasting on the deck.

Durable and meant for year-round outdoor use, these lights feature 16 million colors and “all shades” of white light. Plus, they are compatible with Alexa devices, Google Assistant, and HomeKit. You can also use the Philips Hue app to control them if you connect the lights with the Hue Bridge.

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