There is nothing more annoying than decorating with Christmas lights and then having to plug them in to turn them on! Some people have an outlet switch for years and keep just to control the lights on their tree. All the lights are plugged in the end to end and then the last one is plugged into the switch which is plugged into the outlet. Makes it that you can toggle it on and off to control the lights.
That’s a very low-tech way to control the lights but these days there are so many ways to control those lights. There are so many options from low to high tech!
Take a look at some of the ways to control your holiday lighting.
This outlet switch still works very well, but there is another option that allows you a little more flexibility with the space at the outlet. Some old ones can only be used in the top position otherwise it blocks the other outlet. This new version has the switch on the side allowing it to be placed in the lower position or top without blocking the outlet.
If you have an outlet that is inaccessible or awkward to reach, like I have, an extension cord with a foot control on the end may be what you need. This positions the off/on switch where it can be easily reached and controlled.
With this device, you can plug your lights into a special adapter and then control the lights via a battery-operated remote. Some people use this method for years to control some of the lights in their kitchen.
With smart plugs like iHome and WeMo, you can plug your lights in and control them with an app on your phone.
Another low tech option is to plug all your lights into a power strip and use the built in on/off switch to control the lights. A lot of people do this with all the lighting in their Christmas village.
Outdoor Light Sensor
You are probably familiar with this technology if you have outdoor lights that come on by themselves. With the light sensor, the lights come on at dusk and off at daybreak. Many also have a way to set them to stay on a certain number of hours after coming on rather than staying on all night.
People use these because they can be controlled via our phones. In theory, they can be used year round as there are different lighting configurations already programed into the phone app. These are LED so they stay cool to the touch and last a long time. They can be use indoors or out.
Many homes have at least one outlet that is controlled with a wall switch. Most of the time in places like the living room which makes it convenient to control a lamp or fan, or lights at Christmas time. Don’t overlook this feature if you have it in your home already. To take it a step further, you could add a SwitchMate to the switch and remotely control it with your phone.