Whether you want to dim or dazzle with your holiday lights, a smart plug can help. Consumer Reports tells you how to use one and offers some safety reminders for this holiday season.
The simplest way to control your holiday lights is with a smart plug. They’re very affordable, and you can set them to turn on and off at sunset and sunrise.
Smart plugs cost $15 to $65. You’ll want one that’s WiFi capable. To set it up, just plug it into a wall outlet and plug your lights into the device. Then you can control your lights from your smartphone.
Consumer Reports also looked at several smart light kits that can change colors, create festive patterns and effects, and set your lights to music. But they require some tech skill, and they cost more than regular lights, at about $60 to $200.
They’re a lot of fun and provide that whimsical effect that people could use right now. There can be some hiccups, though. But the Lumations Holiday Music Light Show is easy to set up.
Consumer Reports says any smart plug will do for indoor use. But for outdoor lighting, choose a smart plug specifically rated for outdoors. You’ll pay a bit more and most likely need to purchase it online. Also remember that if you need an extension cord, make sure it’s rated for outdoor use.