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Now that Thanksgiving has just finished, there’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than “making your spirits bright” with some festive lighting scenes. Here’s how you can do this in a “smarter” way, plus a few more tips to make your smart home tech work for you.
We already know that scenes in Vera are easy to create, so why not replace the manual control of your indoor and outdoor lighting with some smart triggers so you can set it and forget it.. Here’s how you do it:
Get your decorations ready for the festive period with this Jasco On/Off Outdoor Z-Wave Module or any similar Z-Wave or Zigbee outdoor lighting modules. We will create a basic timer which is a neat way to automate your outdoor or indoor lights while potentially cutting down on unnecessary power consumption during the day.
We will need two scenes for this. One in which we turn on the lights at Sunset and one in which we turn them off at Sunrise. In your Vera or Ezlo controller simply navigate to Scenes, then create a new scene by tapping the “+” symbol in the top right corner of the screen. Tap “+” again in the “Triggers” menu, choose “schedule” then “daily” and pick the time of the day you wish your light to turn on, then off. Now tap on “actions” and pick an “immediate action” on the outdoor module that is controlling your lights. Name and save your scene, and now create the second on, to turn your lights off at sunrise.
Pro tip: Scenes are even easier when you can simply ask Siri, Google Home or Alexa to put “Holiday Mode on!”. If you have an iPhone you can easily activate voice shortcuts within the app.
Get creative with your lights using a similar scene as above but instead of a timer scene, you’ll choose a trigger scene in which you can attach your interior mood lights to a remote control or voice command. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our daily lives this doesn’t mean we can’t put our family in a festive mood. Imagination is your only limitation when it comes to the amount of mood lighting you can put in your home and control with your voice.
Pro tip: If you still decide to travel these holidays, the same scene will improve your home security by making it look like someone’s at home, even if it isn’t. That will deter any prying eyes on your property.
With so many households doing most of their gift shopping online nowadays, there’s no reason you should ignore your front porch, even if it’s well lit by the Christmas lights. Discourage any opportunistic thieves even before they step on your front porch—your VistaCam 1200 Doorbell camera will notify you that something’s going on at the front door even before someone gets close, so you can “greet” anyone who’s curious about your shopping habits. Let’s hope they’ll be smiling when your front porch will speak to them “Hello, how can we help you?”.
Pro tip: You can use the camera’s motion detector as a scene trigger, and also automatically turn on the hallway lights, making it look like you’re approaching the door even before anyone reaches your steps.
There’s no better time of year to use your smart home to its fullest. Your imagination is the only limitation on how creative you can get with your smart home devices. Happy holidays!
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