It’s time to deck the halls with — uh, what’s a bough? You know what, let’s skip the Victorian greenery for a new kind of green: a smart home that’s more efficient and more fun! Whether you’re trying to entertain a twelve teens a-tweeting or slow-roast three french hens for Christmas dinner, these devices can help you with recipes, rousing carols, magical lights and warding off Grinches.
Your holiday Assistant
Google Home Hub
Put the best of Google Assistant front and center with this vivid 7-inch smart display. Its compact footprint helps the Home Hub avoid crowding whatever kitchen counter or living room end table it resides on, and Home View gives you quick control of your entire Assistant-enabled smart home.
Mini magic maker
Google Home Mini
This little donut of sound, smarts, and style can blend in or stand out with just about any decor in your home when it’s not dazzling guests by controlling lights, thermostat, or entertainment. You’ll want to pair it with some larger speakers via Google Cast or Bluetooth in order to pump up the party.
Chestnuts roasting on a 4K fire
Google Chromecast Ultra
Ditch those old yule log DVDs! There are 4K Yule Logs on YouTube that come in every length and style imaginable, and whenever you get bored watching the fire, you can summon Netflix shows with your phone, tablet, computer, or just your voice via your trusty Google Home Mini.
Pump up the party!
Sony SRS-XB31 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This EXTRA BASS speaker can rock all day and all night with its 24-hour battery and RGB mood lights. IP67 dust/water resistance means it’ll be just fine near the punch bowl or the hot tub — it’s too cold for a pool party — and it even comes in a festive red!
Rocking around Alexa’s tree
Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen)
The new Echo Plus comes with a built-in Zigbee smart home hub, meaning that in addition to a bigger sound and millions of Alexa skills, your Echo Plus can control thousands of different smart home devices from hundreds of brands!
We’re home for the holidays
Ring Video Doorbell 2
Whether you’re watching out for Santa or simply seeing who’s about to arrive for your Christmas party, a video doorbell can help protect your property all year long, but it’s especially useful at this time of year. Catch porch pirates red-handed and save the holidays!
Automatic clean up
iRobot Roomba 690
There’s too much to clean during the holidays, so check off cleaning your floors forever with a Roomba! The 690 transitions between floor types easily, comes with a "Virtual Wall" to keep it away from a dangerous area like your cable-strewn office, and will alert you when it’s full.
Baby, it’s cold INside
Nest E Thermostat
No one wants to get out of bed just to turn up the heat 2-3 degrees, or wants to kick themselves for leaving the heat on while on vacation. The Nest E has most of the 3rd-gen Nest Learning Thermostat’s smarts in a snow white plastic housing that doesn’t light up when you walk by it.
Light up the holidays
Philips Hue Starter Kit
Philips Hue’s easy room and scene setup makes getting your lights perfectly configured before your holiday party a cinch, whether you’ve got 2 lights or 20. This 2 color bulb start kit can provide mood lighting to a single room and allow you to see if you want to go all-in with Hue.
Deck the halls with light
Nexlux LED Strip Lights
They’re not exactly the fairy lights you’d stick in a Christmas tree, but they’re great for stringing around the edges of a room or under countertops for easy, festive mood lighting. And once the holidays are over, these are still fun lights to use for parties or just lighting up the house in fun ways on a rainy day.
Upgrade old fairy lights
iClever Outdoor 2-Outlet Smart Plug
I’ve had it hunting down the remote for our "dumb" old Christmas lights! Time to upgrade your tree — or any other holiday decorations — with this two-outlet smart plug. And since it’s water-resistant, no worries about keeping it near a water-filled stand for a fresh-cut tree.
Alexa users, only
Amazon Smart Plug
Amazon’s branded Smart Plug will set itself up once you plug it in within range of a newer Echo device, making it great for setting up last-minute controls for a lot of lights or devices. There’s only one downside to the Amazon Smart Plugs: they only work with Alexa. Assistant users, look elsewhere!
Putting up a new Yule Log every year with Chromecast Ultra can help the old tradition from going stale, and pairing it with a Google Home Hub allows you to summon entertainment to the big screen or the small screen effortlessly, as well as control the rest of your smart home. I’m kinda stunned there aren’t many Christmas tree lights that connect to Google Assistant or Alexa — next year, I’m sure that will be fixed — but at least the iClever Indoor/Outdoor 2-Outlet Smart Plug can let us turn them on and off with Google Assistant and Alexa, because I mean it, I’m done hunting for that Houdini vanishing remote every night to turn them off!
December 12, 2018 at 04:03AM