Home Automation Holiday Hacks

People get into the holiday spirit in lots of different ways. Some plan a family vacation, some go all out with their home decorations, and others donate their time and effort with charity. At Valley Home Theater, we love to see how people use technology and home automation to get into the spirit!

From light shows to music to more elaborately set up holiday scenes, check out the different ways that home automation aficionados are showing off their spirit.

Using Google Home to turn on Christmas Tree lights

Anybody can flip a switch to turn their tree lights on, but automation geeks know there is a more festive way to light up your house. In fact, Google even has a support page called Turn on your Christmas tree lights with Google Home.

Basically, with a Google Home, a smart plug, some tree lights, and a custom nickname like Christmas Tree configured in your Google Home settings, you can simply say, “Hey Google, turn on the Christmas Tree” and impress your guests!

Or, you can go all-out with a more elaborate implementation with Raspberry Pi, like this guy:

Use Amazon Alexa to get in the holiday spirit

Not to be left out, Alexa is also capable of providing a myriad of holiday actions.
For instance, in addition to being able to turn on your Christmas lights and play music, did you know that Alexa can also read Christmas poems to you? And if her robotic voice doesn’t do the trick, you can always ask her to use a more official version, like Peter, Paul, and Mary’s rendition of “The Night Before Christmas.”

Or, if you tire of poems and music, you can enable the free Christmas Sounds app to hear some owls, reindeer hooves, and ambient caroling.

Lastly, you can enable the Norad Santa Tracker and listen to Alexa answer your child’s question of “Alexa, where is Santa?” in real time!

Using Control4 to set holiday scenes

We use Control4 in many of our home automation installs, and it has the incredible capability to provide custom situations using the electronics in your home.

For example, this article from a few years ago details how one family uses a “wake-up” scene specifically designed for Christmas day only! They integrated their tree, their bedroom lights, and their fireplace into one, cohesive experience—impressive!

This example where they set a scene to make their house look more active—even though they’re away on vacation! In addition to the scene, this family also uses Control4 to secure their premises with one touch and keep tabs on their property with video surveillance.

Whether you’re using home automation or not this winter, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season, from everybody here at Valley Home Theater! If you have any nifty examples of your own home automation hacks for the holidays, we’d love to see examples in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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