It’s a task that requires deftness, skill, and flexibility. Unplugging the Christmas tree. Anyone who’s ever contorted themselves into position, used Twister-style reaching moves, or snaked along the floor like they were in a Hollywood heist film trying to avoid a laser security system, knows what a challenge it can be to unplug the tree’s power. You need to try not to crush gifts, tip the tree, or send ornaments flying.

It doesn’t have to be like this. There are plenty of smart gadgets now that can make controlling your Christmas tree, or holiday lights simple and easy.

1. Automate your tree: TP-LINK Smart Plug

A smart plug is an easy answer to your holiday woes. This plug from TP-LINK is controlled with your smartphone, so you can leave your tree plugged in, and turn it on and off without ever getting needles in your hair. A smart plug is also a great option for plugging in hard-to-access lights around windows or in high places. You can also schedule times in the app and the plug will turn on and off without you ever needing to think about it.

Traveling during the holidays and want to give the impression someone is still home? You can use Away Mode to simulate presence and the TP-LINK will turn devices on and off at different times.

There are more brands of smart plugs out there too, like iHome and Insignia.

2. Automate your tree: Google Home Mini + WeMo smart plug

Take the smart plug idea one step further by gaining voice control with the help of Google Home: “OK Google, Turn the Christmas tree off!”

Google Home is a personal digital assistant and the Google Home Mini is a smaller version of the popular device. It can set oven timers for you, play holiday music, make grocery lists, check the weather or news, control all your smart home gadgets, and even answer internet searches all without you ever having to pull out your phone.

By taking advantage of special packaging, you can get the Google Home Mini device and a WeMo smart plug together in one kit.

With the WeMo smart plug, you can plug in any A/C device you like, and gain remote on/off control over it using your smartphone, or the voice-controlled power of Google Home.

The Google Home Mini also works with other smart home gadgets like Nest, Philips Hue, and Belkin devices.

3. Automate your tree: Smart String lights: PLAYBULB String

Another option for wireless control over your holidays is to employ smart Christmas string lights, like these from PLAYBULB. The PLAYBULB String lights are just like regular Christmas lights, only these are LED, so they’re more energy efficient. Plus with the PLAYBULB app you can change the light string’s colours, adjust brightness, tap into special effects, and even set timers – all from the comfort of the couch using your smartphone. Interested? Read my review of PLAYBULB’s smart lights including the String.

It’s easy to avoid Christmas contortions. Smart plugs and lights are the answer.
Check out the full selection of smart lights and plugs at Best Buy.


Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog


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