The goal is not just to have variegated, bright and noticeable LED lights, but above all make their automatic ignition, so you don't have to worry about turning them on and off by hand and saving on electricity, forgetting about them. Without the need for special "Smart Home" equipment, Christmas lights, those of the tree, of the crib or even curtains can be made automatic, using a timer socket or an app that allows you to program their switching on and off .
Mechanical timer to be connected to the electric socket
The cheapest and simplest option is to buy a mechanical timer that turns on the lights at a certain time of day by automatically turning them off after a few hours This type of grip is cheap and easy to use, ideal not only for Christmas lights, but also for other lamps or appliances.
On Amazon there are several socket outlets with timers, including this one with a regulator built into the socket, making it less bulky.
Then there are also the external sockets, also with timer, ideal for gardens and terraces, so that they are protected from rain and humidity.
Smart Plugs with app
To have more advanced automation it is possible to use Smart Plugs, ie programmable electrical sockets that can be controlled remotely via smartphone. You can then program the lights to turn on and off at certain times and then, more than the timers, you can also choose which days to turn it on and control the lights at different times, for example, to turn on the Christmas lights longer than on the other days of the week. Moreover with smart plugs it is also possible to make sure that the Christmas lights turn on only when we are at home and turn them off when we go out and program switching on and off via an app on the smartphone.
While in another article we saw some models of Smart Plugs to turn off appliances remotely, on Amazon there are several Smart Plugs models with prices starting from 15 Euro up to the TP-Link smart socket that works on Android apps and iPhone and the Wifi socket, which also works with Google Home and Alexa.
An Echo Dot (with Alexa) or a Nest Mini (with Google Assistant) can control different types of smart plugs from a single app and basically act like the brain for the smart home.
Program lights with Alexa or Google
The scheduling feature of Alexa and Google Assistant is called "routine". The routines are, in essence, basic programs of the type: "if a condition is satisfied, then perform an action". For example, you can say "if it is 7 pm, turn on the Christmas lights".
Routine creation for both Alexa and Google Assistant is not complicated and we have seen in different guises both how to create routines on Alexa, and also how to create new voice commands (and routines) with Google Assistant. For the Google Assistant, in fact, when you want a new program you must also create a voice command.
Automatic Christmas lights
To finish, to buy smart lights, you can search on Amazon for LED tubes and light chains that can be controlled by remote control and do not necessarily need to be attached to an electrical outlet. For example, this outdoor light tube already includes the timer function, is controlled with a remote control and runs on batteries, without wires. Good also the 16-color LED String Lights, water resistant and with remote control.
For those who want to overdo it, Twicky's Christmas tree lights cost more than 100 Euros, but offer a programmable and configurable decoration model through a smartphone app, comfortable and impressive (from an Italian startup). This special light tube allows you to program the color of each LED and the animation from the phone screen.
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