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5 festive ways to use smart home tech

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Tech-savvy tips to help your holidays

The holidays are a beautiful time, where loved ones, friends, and family gather to break bread and exchange gifts. But all the preparation, planning, and pandemonium that comes with it can be downright stressful.

Luckily, with a little help from your favorite home tech experts at Verizon, you can learn to use electronics to your advantage for a smooth and extra-festive season.

Check out our tips and tricks for using smart devices and other household technology to make the most out of your holidays.

We'll help you automate your least favorite wintertime activities, and teach you take advantage of electronic assistants for everything from Christmas carols to counting the number of tablespoons in a quarter-cup.

Install a video doorbell to deter porch pirates 

Choosing the perfect gift is hard enough without worrying about porch pirates. Installing a video doorbell is the best way to deter or catch them. Video doorbells, like Ring or Google Nest Doorbell, let you see what's happening outside your front door in real-time. You can watch the video on your smartphone or TV. You can also use the speaker feature to communicate with delivery drivers, or let someone know you're watching.  Video doorbells are great for travel, too—they allow you to keep an eye on your home, even when you're away, and pair perfectly with smart door locks like the Ultraloq® U-Bolt Pro. That way, if you forget to leave a key for your sister so she can feed the fish next time you’re out of town, it's not a problem. Smart locks make it easy to let people in from afar, and even lock up after. 

Use smart plugs to set holiday light timers

Lights are important element of holiday cheer. But between all the different displays and lights outside, inside, and on the tree, there's a ton of cords to keep track of. Instead of crawling under the tree to unplug your lights every few hours, it's time to add a few smart plugs to your shopping list.

Today's smart plugs allow you to control almost any wired home device using your smartphone. You can use your smart plug to do almost anything, whether that's scheduling your outdoor Christmas light timer or turning on an electronic oil diffuser remotely so home always smells like fresh cookies at six o'clock. Smart plugs can also help offer peace of mind, since you can double-check that everything on the list is turned off directly from your phone. 

How to put your Christmas lights on a timer

Many smart plug applications allow you to set automatic timers for "On" and "Off" whenever you'd like, turning holiday lights from a seasonal stressor to a simple "set it and forget it" chore.

To set up your new smart plug, simply plug it into an outlet, download the compatible app, and follow the instructions to connect. 

If you'd like to use voice controls with your smart plug, make sure to choose a smart plug model that's compatible with your home assistant of choice, like a Google Home or Amazon Echo.

Your smart plug's application should show you how to connect your new plug to your virtual assistant step-by-step. Once your holiday lights and other appliances are plugged into the smart plug, you can control them through the app.

Or, if you chose a smart plug compatible with your home assistant, you can control them with voice commands. Like "Alexa, turn off the twinkle lights," or "Hey Google, turn on the inflatable Santa."

Now you know. Christmas light automation is easy with a few smart plugs! 

Looking for another way to use your tech to fill the holidays with extra cheer?  

This next tip can help add a little color to your life.

Sync smart lights to music to set a merry mood

For the perfect festive ambiance with minimal effort, try a colorful smart light like the Philips Hue. You can buy a smart strip of LEDs or individual smart bulbs, available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Every manufacturer's instructions for syncing up your smart lights is a little different, but follow the instructions and each should allow you to designate controls for your lights, then sync them to whatever music you'd like. Enjoy a festival of lights right from your living room!  Remember, you can enjoy all tech decorating for any holiday, not just the winter season. And if you need a little extra help with your technology this holiday, you can always count on Verizon Tech Coach.

Bonus tip: Have a Smart Home? Consider setting it to "Vacation Mode."

Vacation Mode features can allow your Smart Home to automatically enable presence mimicking settings, turn on eco-friendly thermostat settings, and/or set smart sensors to monitor for leaks or fires while you're away.

Protect your home tech

Protect the devices your family receives this holiday season with one simple plan that covers all your favorite home tech. With Verizon Home Device Protect, we cover your computers, TVs, tablets, premium headphones, smart devices, and so much more—plus 24/7 assistance for your whole family. Learn more about Verizon Home Device Protect and how you can get peace-of-mind device protection.

Note: Verizon Home Device Protect doesn't cover devices already covered by any one of the Verizon mobile device protection options. To learn about protecting those devices, please visit our Verizon Mobile Protect FAQs.

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