HomeKit with Christmas lights: equipment to buy and tips for setup

Cupertino, February 10, 2021

It is Christmas season, so many of us decorate our homes with Christmas trees, outdoor lighting and other objects to put our homes in the Christmas spirit. I've been using HomeKit to simplify the way our Christmas decorations work for years, so read on for some essential tips, tricks and equipment to buy.

Weekly HomeKit is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks and everything to do with the Apple smart home frame.

Christmas tree

It is very likely that your Christmas tree will not accept HomeKit natively, but using a switched socket, you can easily turn the lights on and off using the Apple HomeKit protocol. There are a lot of great options, but below are my favorites:

When you place one of these adapters between the tree and the wall outlet, you'll be able to use the Home app to turn off the tree, create automations to turn it on at some point in the day, or group several trees together so you can stop and start at the same time.

Group several trees together in the Home app

If you add a mini HomePod to your home, you'll be able to say phrases like "Hey Siri, light up the Christmas trees" and turn on all the lights. These socket adapters can work to illuminate the mantle, the garland of stairs, or anything else you need to get power, which could be controlled with HomeKit.

HomeKit with Christmas outdoor lighting

Lighting outside the home can also be automated with the help of HomeKit. I personally use Meross outdoor socket adapters to control the lights on the porch of our house. Because it is outdoors (and it is cold if you are in the US), you will want to avoid using indoor classified products as they will not be able to withstand rain and extreme temperatures.

As with the interior lamps, you will be able to have full control over the lighting program using the Home application.

homekit automation 2
HomeKit Automation to start the Christmas trees at sunset

To build it, go to the Automation tab in the Home app. Then choose "There is a time of day". Then choose "Sunset". Then you will 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 time for Sunrise to turn off the lights every morning. You can also choose "Time of day" to then close at 11pm while you go to bed.

End the HomeKit with Christmas

Automating Christmas decorations with Homekit is easy to implement, fun to use and affordable, as most of your purchases will be with smart outlets. One last tip is to use HomeKit scenes to create a custom Christmas scene to set your lights exactly the way you want and to trigger your favorite Christmas playlist on Apple Music. How do you use HomeKit with Christmas lights? Let me know in the comments below.

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