Light Up Your Holiday Party with Smart Home Technology
Banish “Bah Humbug” with these tips to brighten up everyone’s holiday.
Smart Neighbor helps you connect your home’s music and lights for a festive atmosphere that can change tempo with your pre-set playlist or streaming media cued to each audience, from preschoolers in pajamas to familiar friends in party frocks.
If you want to start simply, try the battery-powered Philips HUE Go, a personal wireless lighting system contained in one beautifully modern orb that displays any of the 16 million different shades you control from your phone or with Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant.
For a bit more sophistication, set the tone for a perfect party inside by syncing your Christmas tree lights and room lighting with your music. The Philips White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit can help introduce the right atmosphere, while the Sengled Pulse 15 combines Bluetooth speakers with a dimmable LED bulb. If you already have lights and music but just need to connect them with other products in your home, add a Samsung SmartThings Hub.
Program your exterior and entryway lights to brighten when your guests arrive and change their hues to match your holiday music. Watch this video about the Hue Disco app to see how adding it to your Smart device can coordinate lights to react to volume and custom music style settings, such as reggae or 80’s music.
As the night winds down, switch your music to a slower pace and dim the lights to subtly cue your friends that it’s nearly time to find their scarves and coats and wrap up the evening.
SET UP SECURITY
Exterior monitor systems, such as the Netatmo Outdoor Camera or the Sengled Snap Outdoor LED Floodlight with Camera attached to apps on your phone to help your guests feel safe and secure entering and exiting your home, and provide an extra layer of security if you’re worried about late-night mischief makers near your yard or parking area. Position security system sensors in key areas, such as driveways, gates, and front and back doors so your Smartphone will receive an update each time a new guest (or uninvited interloper) arrives.
Inside, Smart alarms for smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide can make sure you ensure every person’s safety. Fireplace flues, flash-fried appetizers, and hardworking heaters can be monitored from a phone in your pocket so you can focus on your guests’ good time without fearing you’ll need a fire extinguisher.
|Place two YETI coolers side by side and ice one down with eggnog and cold drinks while another keeps stacked trays of favorite finger foods wonderfully warm and dry.|
PLAN PARTY ZONES
If your guests are mostly adults but a handful of children can’t hang with the big kids, try setting up different zones in your home. A bright, warm kitchen with plenty of snacks and drinks can welcome everyone, especially if you keep energy-efficient countertop cookers with cords away from little hands and provide a refreshment area that lets guests help themselves. Place two YETI coolers side by side and ice one down with eggnog and cold drinks while another keeps stacked trays of favorite finger foods wonderfully warm and dry.
Set up a guest room with a Smart TV where tweens and teens too embarrassed to join their parents on the dance floor can watch a preset playlist of PG holiday movies or play video games you choose as appropriate for all ages. Worried about their lack of supervision? Without your WiFi password, little visiting geniuses won’t be able to override your parental restrictions. If you want an extra layer of supervision, try an audio/video monitor that lets you check in on the younger set with a quick hello.
TIME IT RIGHT
When the last guest leaves, it’s time for cleanup. Drain the YETI cooler if you like, or trust their incredible insulation to keep your drinks cold for another day. Delegate dirty floors to a robotic vacuum cleaner, readjust thermostat settings from your phone if needed, and set timers for your dishwasher to get party plates sparkling clean at off-peak hours, when energy rates are lowest, and to start a pot of coffee when it’s time to rise. You’ll wake up to a clean house, hot coffee, a job well done, and a Smart Neighbor home that’s ready for the holidays.