It’s the Christmas season, so many of us are decorating our homes with Christmas trees, outdoor lighting, and other items to put our homes in the Christmas spirit. I’ve been using HomeKit to simplify the operation of our Christmas decorations for years, so read on for some tips, tricks, and essential gear to buy.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
It’s highly likely that your Christmas tree doesn’t support HomeKit natively, but using a switched outlet, you can easily turn your lights on and off using Apple’s HomeKit protocol. There are a lot of great options, but below are my favorites:
When you put one of these adapters in between your tree and the wall outlet, you’ll be able to use the Home app to turn the tree off an on, create automations to turn it on at a certain time of day, or group multiple trees together so you can turn them off and on at the same time.
If you add a HomePod mini to your home, you’ll be able to say phrases like “Hey Siri, turn on the Christmas trees” and have all of your lights come on. These outlet adaptors can work for mantle lighting, stair garland, or really anything that you need to get power to that could be controlled with HomeKit.
HomeKit with Christmas outdoor lighting
Lighting that is outside the home can also be automated using HomeKit. I am personally using the Meross outdoor outlet adaptors to control our lights on our home’s front porch. Because it’s outdoors (and cold if you’re in the US), you’ll want to avoid using products rated for indoor as they won’t be able to stand up to rain and extreme temperatures.
As with the indoor lights, you’ll be able to have full control of the light schedule using the Home app.
To build it, go to the Automations tab in the Home app. Then choose ‘A Time of Day Occurs.’ Then choose ‘Sunset.’ You’ll then want to find the Christmas lights you want to turn on at Sunset and complete the automation. You can build a second automation, but make the time Sunrise to turn the lights off each morning. You could also choose ‘Time of Day’ to shut then off at 11 p.m. as you go to bed.
Wrap up on HomeKit with Christmas
Automating your Christmas decorations with Homekit is easy to implement, fun to use, and affordable, as the majority of your purchases will be with smart plugs. One final tip is to use HomeKit scenes to create a customized Christmas scene to set your lights just like you want them and trigger your favorite Christmas playlist on Apple Music. How are you using HomeKit with Christmas lights? Let me know in the comments below.