How to Control Twinkly Smart Lights (or any Christmas Lights) with Amazon Alexa
If there’s one thing Christmas enthusiasts go wild for, it’s customization. We understand. After all, being able to tailor the entirety of your Christmas display—both inside the house and out—is one of the great joys of the season. And with the advent of smart home technology like Amazon Alexa and Twinkly smart lights, that experience is now easier than ever.
Voice-activated Christmas lights are a must-have feature for anyone that enjoys smart home tools like virtual assistants or door cams—or just anyone looking to make their Christmas as convenient and easy as possible. Being able to activate and tweak smart lights on your tree or window display with a simple voice command is a genuinely next level upgrade. Think: next time you’re watching a movie with your family, working or gaming intensely, or needing to set the mood for a gathering, all it takes is a quick command and you’re all set!
Here, we’ll guide you through the process of controlling smart Christmas lights with Amazon Alexa, with a special focus on how to use Alexa with Twinkly lights specifically. With a few simple steps, you’ll be able to verbally control and customize your indoor displays like a pro.
The best solution: Twinkly lights + Amazon Alexa
By combining the power of Amazon Alexa, a cloud-based voice assistant, and Twinkly smart lights, you can remotely manage Twinkly lights using voice controls. The combination will allow you to remotely dim the lights, change or dim their colors, or turn them on and off on the fly.
What you’ll need:
How to set it up:
First, ensure your Twinkly lights are connected to your Wi-Fi network. If it’s your first time using Alexa, you’ll also need to download the Alexa app and follow the procedure to configure it.
Once you’ve done that, you need to add the “Twinkly skill” to Amazon Alexa. The process is simple:
- Open the Alexa app
- Tap on “More”
- Navigate to the “Skill and Games” category
- Search “Twinkly”
- When Twinkly appears in the list, select it and tap “Skill Activate”
- Follow the ensuing steps
Once you’ve done, you’re all set! You can now verbally control your Twinkly lights using the following commands:
- Dim your lights using percentage values (“Alexa, set Twinkly to 50%”)
- Turn Twinkly smart lights on or off (“Alexa, turn off Twinkly”)
- Change the color of the lights (“Alexa, set Twinkly to Red”)
It’s worth noting that the color-changing command is only available on the second generation of Twinkly smart lights, which just means the newer Twinkly lights. Twinkly lights manufactured for 2020 or before fall under the Gen I classification.
If you want to use non-Twinkly lights
If you don’t have Twinkly smart lights, or just want to use your existing Christmas lights, it’s easy to set them up with a smart device like Alexa. The process is slightly more involved than with Twinkly, but still extremely doable for the vast majority of people. Do note, though, that this won’t allow you to change the colors on your lights.
What you’ll need:
- At least one smart plug compatible with Alexa (here’s a list of some good ones)
- Any Christmas lights!
How to set it up:
- Set a Routine on Alexa
The key to using Alexa and smart plugs with your Christmas lights is setting a new Routine. To do so, open the Alexa app and select the “hamburger” icon on the bottom left to open Alexa’s “Settings.”
There, select Routines. Routines act as bundles of smart-device actions, tied together by a single voice command you select.
In Routines, hit the plus sign in the upper right to create a new Routine.
- Name the Routine
Once you’ve created a new Routine, you need to name it. You can choose something as simple as “Christmas lights.” Once you’ve done that, choose “When this happens,” which will open a new menu with a variety of Routine actions.
Start with the “Voice” icon. This gives you the option to enter a specific phrase to begin the Routine. Think something straightforward, like “Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree.”
- Add actions to the Routine
Navigate back to the “New Routine” menu and choose “Add action.” Scroll down until you get to “Smart Home” and select it.
This will bring up a list of every Alexa-enabled smart device on your Wi-Fi network, including your new smart plug. Choose it, and then Alexa will ensure that your new Routine, activated by the voice command you entered, will turn the smart plug on. Hit “next” and then ”save” to finish up.
- Test the Routine!
Now it’s time to see if it works. Make sure whatever Christmas lights you want to respond to your command are plugged into the smart plug and that the plug is turned off. Then give the command you selected earlier (e.g. “Alexa, turn on the tree”). It should work! If not, just go through the steps above and make sure your plug is connected correctly.
And that’s it! With a few easy steps, you can take hands-free control of your indoor Christmas display. Test out Alexa with your lights and experiment with what works best—and have fun with it!