Another great mood-lighting option, the $200 Philips Hue 3-bulb starter pack is perfect for holiday parties and definitely cool enough to use all year. And now you can also get $90 LED light strips that work with the existing Hue bridge (which comes with that starter pack). You can easily tuck the strips out of sight to add ambient mood lighting any time of the year, but around the holidays you can try hiding them in wreaths, trees, or other decorative displays.
You can use the Philips Hue app for iPhone and iPad to choose the brightness and colors, match the colors in your photos, create “light recipes,” set timers, and turn the lights on and off remotely.
Don’t forget that Hue also works with IFTTT, which lets you set up behaviors such as having the color of a light indicate the temperature outside, or making a light blink when your favorite team’s big game is about to start. Or maybe you’ll want to set a light up to blink at a certain time when Santa is about to come, as a signal that the kids should get to bed. (Hint, hint.)