6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

How To Video: Light your tree with your phone

About Video Transcript

How To Video: Light your tree with your phone

2:44 /

Use an Internet-connected power strip to manage your holiday lights using any smartphone.

Hey. I'm Donald Bell for CNET.com and if you want a cool way to make your holidays just a little bit more techie, check this out. This thing is called the Quirky Power Pivot Genius. You get four sockets that you can twist around to fit whatever chunky power adapters you might have and two of them can be controlled remotely by your smartphone. So, if you want it to be able to remote turn on your Christmas tree lights or your holiday lights, you can do that with this power strip, runs about 80 bucks. Now, the first thing you're gonna need to do is to plug this on the power and then download a free app called Wink, that's available for both iOS and Android. Now, when you first set up the Wink app, it's gonna ask you to create an account and then set up a new device. Now, to do that, it's gonna ask you for your local WiFi password and it's gonna try to communicate that information to the power strip and this is where it gets really cool. To do that, it's going to blink that information with the series of light pulses directly to little sensor on the strip, I'll show you what I mean. Here you go, let's now do a countdown. Three, two, holding it over. Success. All right, now that they're talking to each other we can see an image of the power strip on the app and it will toggle switches from the two different sockets. So, I've got the Christmas three here plugged into the first socket and I've got the holiday lights in the background plugged into the other one. So, I can turn on this first socket here and the three should go on. There it goes. And then the second one here is gonna control the lights in the background. Yeah. All right. I can even name them by tapping them. I can actually name them for what they're going to turn on and off just so that I can remember it later on. And if we wanna get a little more advanced, we can hit the little clock icon here and schedule events. Now, this event can either be turning one of the sockets on or turning one of the sockets off. So, I'm gonna say, turn this socket on, in a few minutes hit set and I can repeat the process over again to find a time to turn the socket off. Now, by repeating this process, you can create multiple events that turn the lights on and off throughout the day which is a big advantage over a conventional light timer. You also get two independent light sockets here that can be controlled on separate schedules, which opens up some interesting possibilities. So, there you go. That's a quick and easy way to control your holiday lights with your smartphone. For more How To you can visit howto.cnet.com. I'm Donald Bell wishing you a very happy, very techie holiday.
  • This is the interactive sidebar!

    Click any icon for more information as they appear--don't worry, we'll pause the video and wait for you to come back.

  • Links Polls Galleries
  • Video Review

New releases

Sennheiser Urbanite: An on-ear headphone with a retro-hip design and "now" sound
1:03 December 17, 2014
The $200 Urbanite has an eye-catching look and plump bass geared toward younger listeners.
Play video
Samsung Gear VR turns a Note 4 into stunning virtual reality headset
3:28 December 17, 2014
Are you VR-curious? Samsung's "Innovator Edition" headset accessory for the Galaxy Note 4 does a seriously impressive job of putting...
Play video
Brew espresso drinks fast and with some flavor
2:18 December 17, 2014
The $100 Nescafe Dolce Gusto Mini Me creates fancy espresso-style drinks in a flash.
Play video
The 404 Show 1,596: It's the end of an era with Steve Guttenberg (podcast)
36:33 December 17, 2014
Today's the last video episode of The 404. Ever. To help us say goodbye to our video feed, Steve Guttenberg joins us to discuss his...
Play video
Withings Activité, the high-end watch with smart fitness hiding inside
2:24 December 17, 2014
Meet the stealth fitness tracker: Swiss-designed and elegant, the expensive Activité is a Bluetooth-syncing pedometer and sleep tracker...
Play video
BlackBerry Classic tempts hardcore fans with keyboard
2:58 December 17, 2014
A new BlackBerry arrives with signature features, Sony's ready to show off a new take on smartglasses, and TAG Heuer goes after the...
Play video
HP's Omen offers high design, high performance
2:05 December 17, 2014
A slick midsize gaming laptop from a company not known for being on the cutting edge.
Play video
The $449 BlackBerry Classic offers a great keyboard, but a cramped screen
2:59 December 17, 2014
BlackBerry's latest smartphone has a familiar form factor, but a four-row keyboard makes for a smaller screen.
Play video