Every family wants their holiday light display to be the biggest and brightest on the block -- it’s a tale as old as time. But with 21st century gadgets at our fingertips, holiday home pageantry can be both elaborate and easy.
We vote to leave the ever-tangled box of lights in the attic and add some awesome, hi-tech tools to your arsenal. Check out the list below, created in partnership with U.S. Cellular®, for a few ways to take your holiday display up a notch. You might end up the envy of the block.
1. Synchronize Your Lights With Christmas Songs
Every year, viral videos circulate of funny and impressive Christmas displays set to music. But most of us don’t have the ability to hack our wiring, or the budget to hire a professional lighting designer. That’s where channel controllers come in: just plug your lights into the device, and the individual outlets will switch on and off, making the lights flash in time with pre-programmed Christmas songs.
2. Color-Customize Your Tree
Christmas lights? There’s an app for that. Light systems like Lumenplay or MooresCloud enable you to have full creative control over your tree display. Using a corresponding smartphone app, you can choose from 16 million colors and a number of transitions and effects.
3. Go Green For The Holidays
For those who are both holiday enthusiasts and environmentally conscious, these solar-powered christmas lights are a great find. This super-simple product comes with a compact solar panel that can power lights on your shrubs or fence.
4. Project Thousands Of Lights Onto Your Home
For those looking to make a big impact with minimal effort, laser lights are an awesome alternative to bulbs. These LED laser projectors shine lights onto large spaces, decking the front of your house in thousands of multicolor lights or, say, dozens of dancing Santa Clauses.
5. Don’t Let One Dead Bulb Ruin The Strand
Even if you’re feeling faithful to traditional light strings, there are tools to make upkeep a lot easier. You can revive half-working strands with tools like the Light Keeper. They enable you to locate the problem and bring “shunts” (portions of the strand) back to life. When you plug a dead bulb’s socket into the device, it sends an electrical pulse through the strand and restores conductivity, saving you time and money.
6. Turn Your Tree Lights Off...From Anywhere
It’s happened to all of us. You're lying in bed or on your way to a family gathering, and have a nagging thought in the back of your mind: “Did I turn the tree lights off?” There are many home automation controllers out there, but this fairly inexpensive and well-reviewed wif-fi connected power strip is perfect for the job. Just plug your lights into the dock and sync the device with an app on your phone.