Having a Smart Home is Perfect and Just in Time for the Holidays

Having a Smart Home is Perfect and Just in Time for the Holidays

Tech the halls with boughs of LED holiday lights, surveillance cameras, soundbars, automated window treatments and many more. 

Families are singing a different tune these days with smart home automation transforming their holiday season and for many, their lifestyle. 

Two years after the pandemic, with some locked down from their homes, technology has connected more families together. This runs counter to the default view that digital technology ruins family life, according to a study by the London School of Economics and Political Science. Its report, Parenting for a Digital Future, claims that digital activities such as watching movies, playing games and keeping in touch via calls and messaging apps can bring families together.

Together, families are forming tighter bonds. Apart, they’re Zooming in for calls with loved ones from afar. Technology has also helped families adapt their habits to reflect an increasingly digital environment -- and much more than that. 

Smart home technology benefits you in many ways -- for safety, energy saving, efficiency, convenience and of course, entertainment, with friends and family.

Starting with safety, home automation can prevent fires from happening during the busy holidays, which is a serious concern as data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported about 100 holiday tree fires and 1,100 candle fires, resulting in 10 deaths, 150 injuries and nearly $50 million in property damage each from 2014 to 2016.

Another safety issue concerns package theft. It has been reported that at least 36% of homeowners have been victims, but a recent study shows that the number may be much higher. 

To make your season bright, here are some of the key benefits of having a smart home:

  • Outdoor surveillance cameras can deter crime and allow you to monitor your yard
  • Indoor cameras can help you keep track of your holiday tree and other activities inside your home, especially with kids running around your home
  • LED holiday tree lights consume less energy and are also less likely to overheat and cause a fire
  • Smart thermostats allow you to turn off your HVAC unit from your phone traveling throughout the rest of your home
  • Smart smoke detectors can alert you to a fire if fire rages, automated sprinkler systems can stop it from spreading
  • Video doorbell cameras prevent package theft 
  • Outdoor smart plugs can turn your holiday lights on and off on a set schedule to make it look like you’re home even when you aren’t; it’s called mockupancy
  • Use your big TV to have a virtual call with loved ones from a distance

Hippo and Control4 can make you a list -- and you can check them twice. Here are some more home automation ideas that you should consider during the holidays:

Surveillance ideas

  • Having the automatic locks on your front door can help keep your home secure, especially if you have forgetful family members. Consider built-in alerts which will notify you if the front door is left open for longer than five minutes
  • Motion-sensor lights and outdoor cameras can light up your porch or yard whenever someone walks by or steals your packages
  • Video doorbells allow you to know exactly when you receive a package and monitor it until you can get home. Plus, you can talk to anyone who comes to your door
  • Automate your bedroom touch screen to see who’s at the door when the bell rings from your front door or gate intercom
  • Access security video feed remotely from your smartphone, from anywhere in the world. If there’s a security breach, program every light in the house to illuminate to 100%. You can also have the front door automatically locked, the motorized shades open, and every TV display showing every part of your house with surveillance cameras
  • And yes, your smartphone can be involved, too. Receive a text when your security cameras detect motion
  • You need to be a welcoming host. Create temporary access codes for guests, which they can punch into your home’s smart locks, notifying you of their arrival

To elaborate on the many benefits of smart home technologies, the kitchen has to be mentioned here. Since the holidays mean more time spent in the kitchen area (as if you’re not spending most of your time there already), it’s good to keep the following products in mind for safety

  • Gas and carbon monoxide detectors to warn you of a gas leak 
  • Smart appliances can alert you when a fridge door is left open 

 Inside your home, you can also carry out any of the home automation ideas below and integrate them easily to work for you on your mobile devices like your smartphone or tablet computer:

Control your smart lightings from your phone

Smart lighting ideas

  • Consider having one button that turns on all lighting for a given room or floor. Double tap the same button to turn everything in the room off. Motion sensors in critical areas can signal the automation system to switch off lights when a room has been vacant for some time.
  • Have lights flash in your garage when someone rings the doorbell. When the garage door opens after dark, the outdoor lights leading up to your door and just inside the house automatically turn on
  • Having an outdoor party? Landscape lighting can turn on automatically at sunset and off again at midnight

Entertaining ideas

  • Create an instant party ambiance with the press of a button with lighting that illuminates key decorative elements and a customized playlist that starts up automatically
  • Stream holiday music to every room in your home. Tap a button on a keypad to activate a music zone. If you tap the music, it can change the LED to an assigned color for each family member (with their favorite playlist/settings)
  • Get notified when guests arrive by broadcasting a chime through your audio speakers 
Home theater ideas

Home theater ideas

  • Parties mean your remote control could get misplaced. Have a remote finder – triple-tap a light switch, and your remote will start beeping
  • Imagine how you can automatically lock your home’s front and rear doors when a movie begins. When you press play, dim the lights gradually over 7 seconds
  • With the press of a button, have a TV descend on a motorized lift from the ceiling, a surround-sound system activates, the shades close, and the lights dim. With remote control in hand, you play the movie

Climate control ideas

  • With an automated treatment, program shades and drapes to open and close automatically based on the position of the sun and home occupancy
  • Set a “wakeup” scene that opens the curtains, gradually raises lighting over five minutes and sets the temperature to your preferred level
Save energy in your smart home

Energy-saving automation ideas                       

  • Implement an energy management system that continually monitors the current energy production of your home’s solar panels
  • Measure your entire home’s energy consumption with your home automation system
  • Automate your home’s lights to never be at full brightness
  • Set sprinklers and lawn systems to respond automatically to weather conditions


Smart home technology has renewed people’s appreciation for their homes, especially in family-oriented South Florida, where you can transform your home into the smartest home in your neighborhood -- and raise its value. 

You might as well have your kids be just as smart, too. A neat trick you can pull off is to keep your kids from spending too much time online by setting a notification on your kids’ tablet computers to turn off their TVs at night. Lights in each bedroom flash as a warning, and 10 minutes later, the TVs switch off automatically, and the internet gets disconnected. 

That should be the easiest way to convince you how smart home technology can benefit not just the adults in the room, but the kids as well. (Dennis Clemente)

Recent Articles