Smart home setups have changed the way people shop for home gadgets. As soon as you start with a couple of lights here and there, you’ll likely be tempted to go all the way, and even to explore smart lighting solutions for the holidays. Weeding through all the cheap Christmas lights from unknown brands and understanding the value of pricier smart led Christmas lights can be a real challenge.
Budget Pick: Nobent Smart Wi-Fi Fairy Lights
If you’re looking for a string of Alexa-certified Christmas lights at a rock-bottom price, the Nobent Smart Wi-Fi Fairy Lights is the set to get! Priced at less than 50 cents per foot, the Nobent Christmas lights come equipped with a vast feature set. It has full RGB controls for color selection along with 44 preset modes and a built-in microphone enabling Music Sync support. It works with Alexa as well as Google Home and runs on USB power. The app is a bit outdated and the controller itself isn’t waterproof but you’ll pay very little especially if you go for the 66-foot model.
- Alexa and Google Assistant support
- Built-in mic for Music Sync
- Full RGB support (16 million colors) with ICRGB compatibility
- IP44 waterproof
- Affordable price
- Fairy lights are less bright compared to string lights
- App lacks polish and updates
- Slightly cumbersome setup process
Value Pick: Brizled Color Changing Christmas Lights
Brizled RGB Christmas Lights look like your average Christmas lights and can easily wrap around your tree unlike most smart light strips. You can ask your Alexa or Google Home device to change the color of the lights, adjust the brightness, or toggle the lights on or off. The app offers a decent selection of scenes that expand beyond Christmas so you use these lights for other occasions as well! When you’re playing music, you can optionally pick one of the three music modes for synchronizing lights to the rhythm – Music, Romantic, and Game. If you decide to purchase multiple sets of Brizled lights, you can also use the app to group lights into zones so you can control them all at once. Just make sure you get the Wi-Fi model!
- Fairly bright and resembles ordinary smart led Christmas lights
- Numerous light presets
- Zone control support
- Multiple music sync options
- Affordable price
- Small ecosystem
- Limited customization for multi-colored modes
Upgrade Pick: Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights
One of the main compromises of getting a cheap set of smart Christmas lights is the subpar app you use for controlling the lights. If you are looking for something a bit more polished, Govee is a good brand to consider as its app opens the door to numerous Govee products from smart bulbs to ambient lighting. While Govee doesn’t have any Christmas-specific products, the Govee Smart Outdoor String Lights can play the part well whether you want to brighten up your tree or any other area inside or outside your home. You won’t get as many lights in a single set compared to the budget and value picks but the Govee Outdoor lights are larger and brighter.
- Large, colorful, and bright
- Durable and shatterproof
- Intuitive app
- IP65 waterproof
- Diverse smart light ecosystem
- Fewer lights per set
- A bit pricey
Premium Pick: Twinkly Generation II Strings
If you want to turn your Christmas tree into a light show, go straight towards the Twinkly Generation II Strings lights. The Twinkly app has a special 3D mapping feature which involves using your phone’s camera to capture your Twinkly light arrangement. Once you have framed all the required angles, Twinkly’s servers will analyze the data and create a 3D map of your lights. You can then apply special effects where all the lights work together simulating eye-popping animations and other effects. Because of the vast library of presets, these are the kind of lights you could use all year long. Twinkly even managed to add both Razer Chroma RGB and OMEN Light as a nod to gamers. With the Generation II model, you also get HomeKit support.
- Dazzling light show presets with 3D mapping for deep customization
- Works well with other Twinkly lights
- Bright and vibrant colors
- Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit compatible
- OMEN Light Studio and Razer Chroma RGB support
- Premium price
- Music syncing features requires app running or a Twinkly Music dongle sold separately
Investment pick for smart lights beyond Christmas: Philips Hue
If you’re looking for a set of smart holiday lights that can be used beyond the Christmas season, no further than Philips Hue. This is one of the easiest to set up and use smart lighting systems on the market. The biggest downside to the Hue system is that you do need a special Bridge plugged into your modem or router to be able to control the lights with your smart phone. But this is a relatively small price to pay for the absolute ease-of-use, and for the bug-free operation, not to mention millions of colour and customization options for your smart lights. Use a string light for the tree, the Hue Bloom to splash some colour on a wall, or look at the many outdoor options too. Having all you indoor and outdoor lights accessible in the Philips Hue app makes holiday decorating a breeze—and when Christmas is over, just tap the app to change you lighting away from holiday colours to something more neutral. No climbing ladders in the cold!
- Easy to set up
- Easy to use
- Amazing colours & scenes
- Expandable and customizable
- Indoor and outdoor options
- Extra Bridge needed for Wi-Fi operation
Bonus Pick: Smart Plugs
The best smart Christmas lights could be the ones that you already have! If your lights lack any smart capabilities, you can add them yourself by connecting the lights to a smart plug. Smart plugs obviously won’t add extra light show capabilities to your existing Christmas lights but at least you can switch them on or off via a voice command or set a power schedule using your favorite smart home platform. Smart plugs can also be a clever budget choice for an existing smart home setup as you can pick the brand that works best with your other devices. For instance, if you have a lot of Amazon Echo devices, you can pair your lights with an Amazon Smart Plug.
Bonus Tip: Explore Each Brand
Adding cool smart lights to your Christmas tree is really just the beginning! As soon as you find out what other products these brands sell, you might be tempted to expand your light decorating to the entire room and possibly outside your home as well! So before settling down with one of these picks, check the official brand pages and product catalogs to see what other types of smart lights they sell. This may include icicle lights, curtain lights, light strips, smart bulbs, and other fancy fixtures. Owning multiple sets of lights from the same brand can make it easier to control them. Yes, you can theoretically work with multiple smart Christmas light brands if they all work fine with your smart hub or voice assistant but you may have to clutter your phone with several apps to configure your lights.