Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

How to deck out your pad with smart home gadgets for the holidays

The holiday season is often called the most wonderful time of the year — but if you’re hosting any parties, you probably know it as the most stressful time of the year. Getting your house prepared, ensuring guests will be entertained, and the simple act of hosting a large group of people in your home aren’t easy tasks. Thankfully, there are a handful of smart home gadgets that can help you prepare for the big day and ensure things run smoothly when your holiday party rolls around.

Here’s how to deck out your pad with smart home gadgets for the holidays and ensure your season is as stress-free as possible.

Related Videos

Create a festive ambiance with smart lights

Philips Hue Smart Dimmable LED Smart Light Recipe Kit lifestyle.

Smart lights are arguably the easiest (and cheapest) way to upgrade your home. They’re also a perfect fit for the holidays, as many of them give you access to thousands of colors that can be used to cultivate some holiday cheer. Whether you want to turn one room into a cascade of reds and greens, sync the lights to your music, or simply dim them for a sophisticated dinner, smart lights are a must-have this holiday season.

If you need something affordable, consider picking up the Wyze Bulb Color. Or, you can use the Govee Smart LED Strip Lights if you need something that’ll quickly sync with your music. You can also check out our collection of the best smart lights for the holidays.

Bring the big game to life with a soundbar

Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Plus with Ambeo Sub in front of a TV.

There are tons of big sporting events taking place this holiday season — and there’s a good chance some of your guests will want to tune in to watch some football or basketball. Your built-in TV speakers are probably fine, but if you really want to impress your friends and family, consider springing for a soundbar.

These come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price tags, and they might require a bit of tinkering to get working properly with your setup. They’re more than worth the effort, however, as they’ll turn your family room into a bonafide home theater with thumping bass and room-filling sound. Many of them can also connect to Spotify, allowing you to play some tunes when no one is watching the big screen.

Check out our best soundbar roundup for a list of great products available now.

Get an assistant with a smart speaker

The Sonos One smart speaker on a countertop.

A good smart speaker is worth its weight in gold. Not only can you ask it questions (such as checking the weather or your calendar), but it can also play music without taking up much space. This makes them a great fit for the kitchen (you can also have them set timers so you don’t forget to check food cooking in the oven while you’re entertaining guests), letting you and your family enjoy a nice meal with some jolly background music. They’re also useful as a central hub for your smart home, allowing you to control connected gadgets with your voice or directly through a smartphone app.

You can’t go wrong with the basic Echo Dot, although you’ll find plenty of other choices on our best smart speaker list.

Automate your cleaning with a robot vacuum

iRobot's Roomba J7 robot vacuum cleaning near a Christmas tree.

Who has time to vacuum during the busy holidays? Gain back a few minutes of your day with a robot vacuum, which can be quickly programmed to clean entire sections of your home without requiring any manual input. Many of the high-end robot vacuums on the market will even let you set up boundaries or “no-go” zones if there’s anything sensitive in your home you don’t want it to clean. Some can even double as a mop — while others are capable of automatically emptying their dustbin.

Better yet, robot vacuums make it easy to clean up any messes that might happen during your party. They’re also a fun novelty, and any guests that haven’t seen one before will likely be impressed by its functionality.

Our best robot vacuum list gives you plenty of options, including the premium iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550).

Upgrade your front door with a smart lock

Person using a smart lock on a front door.

Not only do most smart locks look better than their traditional counterparts, but they offer a ton of functionality that’ll serve you well during the holidays. Depending on your specific choice, this could include the ability to remotely lock or unlock the door via a smartphone app, check if your door was left open, or set up temporary passwords for guests.

A smart lock might not be necessary if you’re just hosting people for a few hours, but if you have extended family staying with you for a week, they’re worth the investment. Not only will they give your visitors a way to access your home without needing a spare key, but the ability to check in and make sure a door wasn’t left open should give you peace of mind when you’re away.

If you need some help finding the right product, be sure to check out our roundup of the best smart locks.

Save energy with smart plugs

A smart plug controlling a lamp.

Smart plugs are a great way to cut costs on your energy bills this winter, as they give you remote control of your electrical outlets. They’re a perfect fit for indoor holiday lights, as many of them can be set on a timer to turn on and off at specific times — saving you the hassle of running around unplugging everything at the end of the day. They can also help you monitor your energy use and even give you tips on how to save a few extra bucks.

Most smart plugs are surprisingly affordable, including many of the options on our best smart plugs list.

Editors' Recommendations

Apple reportedly working on a new iPad-like smart home display
Someone holding the 12.9-inch version of the iPad Pro (2022).

Apple recently announced a new HomePod with support for Matter, but it seems the company might have bigger smart home plans for the rest of 2023. According to the latest report from Bloomberg, Apple is allegedly working on an iPad-like device that could directly compete with Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s Nest Hub Max.

Details on the rumored product are scarce, but it seems the device would feature a touchscreen and function similar to an iPad. Magnets would allow it to be mounted to a wall, and HomeKit would give it access to all your smart home products. It’s unclear at this time if the device would feature a stand, allowing it to sit on your countertops like the Echo Show and Nest Hub. What is clear, however, is that Apple wants to gain a stronger foothold in the smart home market -- and this could serve as a great alternative to using the HomePod Mini as a HomeKit hub.

Read more
Save money on your utility bills with these smart home gadgets
The Google Nest Learning Thermostat in stainless steel.

Smart home gadgets can do more than respond to voice commands or automate your household -- they can also save you money. It might require a hefty initial investment, but once your smart home is up and running, it’s not uncommon to see big reductions across most of your utility bills. If you’re looking to save a few extra bucks every month, here are some easy ways to save money with smart home devices.
Upgrade to a smart thermostat

Arguably the best way to save money on your energy bills is by switching to a smart thermostat. These come in all shapes and sizes, but your best bet is to spring for a premium model that offers advanced learning capabilities -- such as the Nest Learning Thermostat. Products in this category give you the best control of your HVAC system, as they’ll actively monitor your usage and suggest ways to be more efficient.

Read more
How to set up your smart home for beginners
Vont Smart LED Light Strip installed in home.

If you’re just beginning your smart home journey, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. From smart thermostats and smart speakers to robot vacuums and light bulbs, the number of gadgets on the market is truly staggering -- and can quickly become overwhelming to newcomers.

Thankfully, piecing together a smart home is pretty simple. While you can easily sink hours into automating every aspect of your household, all that's really required for a “smart home” is a few products and their accompanying apps on your phone. If you need some guidance ingetting started, here are some tips to help set up your smart home.

Read more