You know you can control different smart home devices with a voice assistant like Google Assistant or Alexa, but did you know you can use the power of voice assistants like Google Home, Google Mini, or Amazon Echo to automate your holidays? Let’s kick off a little ho-ho-holiday spirit by checking out how your favourite voice assistant can add a little magic to your home this year.
Use voice control on your Christmas lights
Christmas lights have a certain magic to them, and because they light up your home with a twinkly glow, they make everything feel festive. The only thing that’s not so festive? Crawling under the tree to unplug them every night.
With Google Home you can use your voice to turn your lights off and on. You can plug them into a compatible smart switch and just say, “Hey Google” to trigger it off and on. You can also grab the Twinkly and Google Home Mini bundle and have your lights completely automated right out of the box. Twinkly are Wi-Fi enabled lights that let you deck the halls with bright, colourful lights, and having that Google Mini means you can control your lights, stream Christmas tunes, and connect to your other smart home devices with a few taps.
Twinkly also works with Alexa and Amazon Echo, so if you have that voice assistant on your TV stand, you’re ready, set, and able to use voice control on your Christmas lights.
Voice control for Philips Hue
They aren’t technically Christmas lights, but that doesn’t mean your Philips Hue bulbs and lamps can’t get into the holiday spirit. You can use voice control to set a festive Christmas tone in your TV room, kitchen, and the exterior of your house just by asking your assistant to change the lights. I’ve synced my Google Home to set up a Christmas scene by creating a new scene within the Hue App, so my lights will flash red and green whenever I’d like them to.
If you have the Hue Bridge 2.0 you can also sync your Philips Hue bulbs with your favourite movies and music. Imagine watching It’s a Wonderful Life and having your lights create the perfect atmosphere for every scene. I just did a review of the Philips Hue Signe Table and Floor Lamps, and I think they would be amazing for Christmas movies.
Use your voice assistant to play Christmas music and movies
Google Home and Amazon Echo are fun as smart devices you can talk to, but you shouldn’t overlook what a great speaker they are too. You can use voice control to play a Christmas music playlist on either speaker, skip songs by saying, “Next”, or turn the volume up and down from wherever you are in the room. The quality is so good that you won’t need an external speaker, although you do have the option of plugging one into the Amazon Echo Plus.
You can also use voice control to cast your favourite Christmas movies to Google Chromecast. All it takes is a “Hey Google, watch The Grinch on Netflix” and you’re ready to enjoy a cozy holiday evening in.
Voice control to Santa – are you there Santa?
I hope everyone has a Google Home, Mini, or Amazon Echo this holiday, because there’s a bit of Christmas magic they give you that you can’t get any other way. Gather your kids in the room and say, “OK Google” or “Hey Alexa” and you can call the North Pole!
With Google you can call the North Pole and an elf will answer. Santa eventually gets on the phone, and he will play a game with you if you have the time. With Alexa you can track Santa via Norad Tracks Santa. You can also ask Alexa Santa and Christmas related trivia, or use the kindness skill and get the entire family involved in a random act of kindness every day.
These are just a few ways you can enjoy the benefit of voice control using Google Home and Amazon Echo with Alexa. You can find all types of voice assistants and accessories at Best Buy right now.