Skip to main content

How your smart home can enhance your holiday party

How many times have you hosted a party for friends or family and stressed in the last hour to get everything perfect? Finally, it’s your time to have the cool house on the block and show your guests a wonderful time. And smart home devices can help.

With a simple “Hey Siri, let’s party!” your lights turn on, the music plays sweet melodies, and the blow-up Santa in the yard waves at the neighbors. With the abundance of smart home accessories available today, a daunting task such as hosting a Christmas party can be made simple and, better yet, automated. Let see what some of the best devices are to help and how you can use them to make your holidays easier.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Smart speakers and holiday music

You may be one of those people who immediately turn on Christmas music as soon as Halloween is over. If you are, you can use an Echo Dot or Homepod Mini strategically placed around the house to hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” at all times. Better yet, many of today’s speakers recognize different voices. So while you’re listening to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” in the living room, I can rock out to “Christmas in Harlem” in the office while I write this article.

Smart lights for festive colors

Smart lighting is one of the first smart home accessories that people gravitate to besides voice-assistant hubs. Whether these are Hue or LIFX or one of the other brands available, smart lights are a simple way to enjoy your home during any holiday. Whether through Google Assistant or Alexa, or using the first-party app, you can set up your smart home so that the lights rotate through a variety of colors all by themselves.

A Wemo Indoor smart plug on a table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Smart plugs for automation

Some of the less expensive accessories for smart homes include smart plugs. These turn “dumb” accessories like traditional Christmas lights into smart products and are essential for automation and routines. You can also buy weather-resistant. outdoor-specific smart plugs with for all of your outdoor decorations. There are many ways to set up smart plugs, but I recommend using them in automation.

They can be used to control your house lights and outdoor-specific decorations like lawn displays. They can automatically turn on when the sun sets without you having to remember to do it and without using unnecessary electricity. You can use the same principle indoors for lighting your Christmas tree. Some good brands to look at include Meross, Wemo, and TP-Link.

Smart doorbells with holiday tones

Smart Doorbells, like the ones from Ring or Arlo, are essential for having extra security around your home, especially during the holiday season when you’re expecting higher than regular traffic and deliveries. Yet, some of these doorbells have additional fun features. For example, with Ring, you can change the “Chimetone” to something more festive to get your guests in the holiday mood before they step foot inside.

Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen on table.
John Velasco / Digital Trends

Smart display as a base station

One of the best things about a Nest Hub or Echo Show is that they have a display that shows you various information. For example, when someone rings your doorbell, you’re able to see and communicate with them through the smart display. For the Apple community, you can do this with an iPad or an Apple TV. Not only can you see who’s at the door, but you’ll be able to view all your home cameras and control any automation you have set up.

You’re also able to get the perfect music and movie suggestions to keep the mood light and festive just by asking each assistant. Some of the smart displays also have unique voice detection, so each guest gets a personalized answer to their query.

Smart protection

This suggestion may not be as fun as others, but we want all of our readers must stay safe through this holiday season and beyond. There are often candles and lots of cooking during this season. The top three days of the year for fire incidents are Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day, so it’s good to make sure you have your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms ready to go. Check out the Nest Protect if you’re in the ecosystem, and if you have other Nest products, some devices can even shut off your HVAC to slow the spread of fires and smoke.

There are also plenty of smart window alarms and water leak protectors that you’ll want to check into this season. Some of the all-in-one home security options, such as those from Abode, SimpliSafe, and Vivint, will include these accessories.

The ecobee 3 Lite mounted to a wall.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Smart thermostats to stay toasty

Lastly, while it may be cold outside, you can keep it warm in your home for your guests and family. Some of the best thermostats, including ones from Nest and Ecobee, allow you to use your voice or smartphone app to change the temperature without touching the thermostat.

Using these methods and devices will ensure that you’ll have a great setup for any holiday party this season. Not only will you be able to control these devices and set them up on timers, but you can also set up sequences where when one thing happens, it will trigger a series of events to follow. No longer will you have to set up and change each accessory individually.

The best thing about having all these devices is that you can use and retrofit them for any holiday happening throughout the year. Remember, though, that you don’t have to go out and buy everything on this list. One or two devices will exponentially boost your home’s ability to help out this holiday season.

Editors' Recommendations

Keyan Riddick
Keyan Riddick is a freelance writer based in the mountains on North Carolina. When he isn't writing you can find him behind…
Ecobee takes on Ring, Arlo with its first smart doorbell camera
The Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera install near a door.

Ecobee, known for its lineup of popular smart thermostats, is officially jumping into the world of video doorbells with the aptly named Smart Doorbell Camera. Featuring an impressive 175-degree vertical field of view, premium materials, and the ability to sync with the rest of the Ecobee home security catalog, it's a well-equipped device that's taking aim at big names such as Ring and Arlo.

The big selling point of the Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera is its 175-degree field of view, which allows it to capture packages left at your doorstep without cutting off your view of tall guests ringing your doorbell. It also boasts enhanced ability in lowlight situations and records in 1080p.

Read more
Here’s how to throw a killer Halloween party with your smart home
spooky halloween lighting haunted house

The spooky season is almost here, and if you’re worried about throwing the perfect Halloween party, consider using your smart home to do the heavy lifting. Common smart home gadgets such as motion sensors, light bulbs, and smart plugs make it easy to pull off a horrifying Halloween party for your guests. From assisting with your playlist and movie selections to creating a chilling ambiance, here’s a look at all the ways your smart home can help you throw a killer Halloween party.
Use motion sensors to trigger spooky sounds
Have a smart home security system? Then you can probably rig up your motion sensors to play a spooky noise. It doesn't necessarily have to be a motion sensor, either -- your smart camera can trigger other devices in your smart home when it detects motion.

Just place a speaker on your porch, perhaps tucked away behind a pumpkin or a bit of straw. When a group of unsuspecting kids shows up to ask for candy, they set off the motion sensor on the camera, which triggers the speaker to play the sound of a zombie's moan or the cackle of a witch. Bonus points if you set up an animatronic hand to rise up out of the straw.

Read more
Nanoleaf reveals four new Matter devices, including two smart lamps
nanoleaf reveals matter smart lamps cono lamp

Nanoleaf has been a big proponent of Matter, with a couple of products in its Essentials lineup already supporting the interoperability standard. The company today announced it’s expanding its selection of Matter-enabled smart home gadgets with four new products -- two of which are members of the Essentials lineup, while the other two are stylish table lamps designed in collaboration with Umbra.

The Nanoleaf Essentials Matter GU10 and Recessed Downlight are the two products joining the existing Essentials catalog. Both work with Matter over Thread, allowing users to access millions of colors, Schedules, and Scenes. The Downlight is of particular interest, as it features a slim design that should easily fit existing cutouts for 4-inch recessed lights.

Read more