Making Your Home Smarter in Time for the Holidays


With the end of 2018 fast approaching, the holiday season is right around the corner. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about making your home smarter, but never got around to it. Have no worries—this is the perfect time to jump into smart home automation. With holiday lights, visiting guests, parties, and all the festivities that come during this time of year, your smart devices will be put through their paces.

Where to Start

An ideal start in the journey toward making your home smarter is with smart power strips and plugs. These products enable you to control devices (i.e. holiday lights) plugged into them from anywhere. For instance, the HS300 Wi-Fi power strip from TP-Link lets you control and set schedules remotely, for up to six devices from six individually controllable outlets, via a mobile app for iOS and Android. It also has three USB ports to charge devices. To ensure that your plugged-in devices remain safe and sound during sudden power surges, the HS300 offers surge protection. It also offers energy monitoring to track energy consumption. Voice control is possible, thanks to Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana compatibility.

TP-Link HS300 Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip

If you don’t need a power strip with six outlets, then TP-Link’s HS107 smart plug with two outlets is a viable alternative. It has many of the same features as the HS300, sans the USB ports, surge protection, and energy monitoring functionality. The HS107 has a compact design that doesn’t block the second available outlet.

TP-Link HS107 Wi-Fi Smart Plug with 2 Outlets

Light Control

Implementing light control into your home is another way to make your abode smarter. Aside from being totally cool, remotely controlling your lighting from anywhere via an app offers advantages, such as deterring intruders by making your empty house look occupied by turning the lights on, a lifespan of up to 25,000 hours, or setting customized schedules and recipes to suit your lighting needs. The Philips Hue light bulbs, when used in conjunction with the Hue Bridge, offers a complete automation system in which up to fifty Hue bulbs and twelve accessories like the Hue Wireless Dimmer Switch can be controlled. When not linked to the Bridge, the Wireless Dimmer Switch can control up to ten Hue bulbs.

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit

Temperature Control

The holiday season means frigid temperatures for many parts of the country, so keeping your home warm is a necessity. Smart thermostats offer energy-saving temperature control to ensure that your home is always at the ideal temperature. Honeywell’s T5+ Wi-Fi Touchscreen Thermostat offers temperature control and more. It delivers seven-day temperature programming and is equipped with Smart Response technology to learn your heating and cooling cycles, ensuring that your home is always at the temperature you prefer. Remote access and control is available via the Honeywell Home app for iOS and Android. In addition, voice control via Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Homekit are supported. The device’s intuitive backlit touchscreen display offers direct control.

Honeywell T5+ Wi-Fi Touchscreen Thermostat with Power Adapter

Home Security and Video Intercoms

Foot traffic from visitors to your home is usually higher during the holiday season. Keeping an eye on your home and making sure all is well not only offers security, it offers peace of mind. Honeywell’s Smart Home Security Base Station is an all-in-one security solution that seamlessly works with other compatible devices. It has dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity and features smart home integration with compatible devices such as motion sensors, key fobs, Z-Wave lighting, and IFTTT. Additionally, it captures 1080p resolution video in a 147-degree field of view and offers motion detection and night vision functionality for ’round-the-clock surveillance. Two-way audio communication is available, thanks to an omnidirectional speaker and a three-microphone array. Voice control is available via Alexa and Google Assistant. Like the T5+ thermostat, this base station can be controlled remotely with the Honeywell Home app for iOS and Android.

Honeywell Smart Home Security Base Station

Knowing who is at your door before you open it is very convenient, and the DP1 Wi-Fi Smart Door Viewer Video Intercom from ezviz offers that functionality. The DP1 is a complete camera, video intercom, and doorbell system with a built-in chime that enables you to capture video and speak to visitors at your door. It comes with a 4.3” touchscreen monitor that provides a live view of what’s happening at your door from an included peephole camera. The camera captures 720p video in a 124-degree diagonal field of view. Additionally, the camera provides up to 10' of night vision, thanks to an IR lamp. A PIR sensor detects human activity within 8' of the doorbell. Remote viewing and playback is available via a free app for iOS and Android.

ezviz DP1 Wi-Fi Smart Door Viewer Video Intercom

By no means are you limited to these devices for your smart home journey. There are many options to choose from and we are here to help you along the way. Are you looking to make your home smarter? What type of smart home products are you interested in? Let us know in the Comments section, below!


The technology certainly has evolved since our grandparents' day, and even more since this article was published. Thank you for your expression of wonderment, Abe W.! And thanks for reading.