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Christmas Gift Guide
Smart Home

Make your smart lights flash when your package is on the way

Forget constantly refreshing your tracking information. Let your smart lights notify you when your package's status changes.

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I obsess over tracking packages.

As soon as my Amazon purchases have a tracking number for shipment, I add the number to the ParcelTrack app on my phone and incessantly refresh until it has arrived.

There is a better way of going about things, however, and if you don't want to be glued to your smartphone for shipping updates, you can use your smart lights to notify you anytime your packages shipping status changes.

What you'll need

To make your lights flash when a package is on the way, you need an IFTTT account, smart lights (like LIFX or Hue) and an account with Slice.

Slice is an automated package tracking service. It scans your inboxes for shipment info and automatically tracks packages. For it to work, you will also need to link any email addresses you use for purchasing items online.

Set up the automation

For this setup, you'll set up just one IFTTT recipe.

First, add the channels:

  • Head to IFTTT in your browser and login or create an account. Click Channels in the upper right portion of the site and search for the Slice channel.
  • Click Connect and authorize the connection.Finally, from ifttt.com, click Channels in the upper right corner once more and connect the channel for your smart lights of choice.

IFTTT Recipe: Breathe lights on shipping status change connects slice to lifx

Make the recipe

  • To create a new recipe, go to ifttt.com and hover over your profile name. Click Create in the dropdown menu.
  • Click This to select the Trigger Channel. Search for Slice and click on the channel icon in the results.
  • For the Trigger, select Shipment status changes. Click Create Trigger to continue to the next step.
  • Click That to proceed and search for the brand of your smart bulb and click on the channel icon. For this example, I'm using LIFX, so the options from this point forward may vary slightly.
  • For the Action, select Breathe lights.
  • Select which lights you want to breathe, whether they should turn on first, how many times the lights should breathe, which color and the brightness.
  • Click Create Action to continue and Create Recipe to finish.

Now, any time something you have ordered is coming your way, your lights will "breathe" the a specified color and number of times. This will let you know it's time to check the tracking, rather than checking the status of your packages randomly throughout the day.