Do you have a holiday to-do list that’s a mile long? What if your home was smart enough to help with chores with just a voice command or tap on your smartphone? Seriously! Today’s home automation innovations allow you to connect, monitor and control multiple systems and appliances from wherever you are, with a tablet, computer or smartphone.

Safety and Security

Kwikset offers KEVO smart locks that secure your home not only with traditional metal keys, but auto-style fobs and smartphone apps. Encrypted controls let you buzz-in your in-laws when they show up early or keep track of when your teenagers come in and go out.

If you’re out doing holiday shopping, you no longer need to circle back home to double-check that the garage door is closed. With Chamberlain’s MyQ Garage and any compatible garage door opener, you can check for an open door and even close it with your phone. You can also remotely open the garage door for deliveries or to let in a family member who has forgotten a key.

GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Outdoor Module lets you wirelessly control your home’s outdoor lighting, including seasonal and landscape lighting, from your phone. Turn lights on and off or schedule a timed event from anywhere, at any time.

Amazing Smart Appliances

LG offers appliances connected with Amazon Alexa, so you can use voice commands to find recipes, start a shopping list, or use Amazon Dash to reorder supplies. Bosch Dishwashers can even be connected to Amazon Dash to automatically reorder detergent before you run out!

GE Appliances has added Amazon Alexa skill sets to a broad range of its connected appliances, including refrigerators, dishwashers, wall ovens, ranges, laundry and more. With voice-activated controls, you can preheat the oven or check on the internal temperature of a roast while it’s cooking.

A Smart Shower? Yes!

If what you really need before the holidays is a spa day, we’ve got just the thing. Kohler’s DTV+, its most advanced showering system, seamlessly integrates water, sound, steam and lighting elements. It features pre-programmed spa experiences as well as a touch screen interface, allowing you to control and customize every facet of your showering experience.

Totally Connected

A significant advance in home tech is the emergence of smart systems which monitor and control devices from different manufacturers with a single system. You can choose a hub from Google, Amazon, Apple or other companies and add on the devices you want to control, such as interior and exterior lights, thermostat, garage door, window shades, security cameras, pet door and water heater.

A Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself to maintain your comfort. Every time you adjust the temperature, you’re teaching it your preferences and schedule. An Auto-Away™ mode for energy efficiency kicks in when it detects no one is home. The Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm units send low-battery alerts to your phone (so there’s no chirping in the middle of the night). Plus, if you burn your toast, you’ll get a simple “Heads-Up” alert instead of an ear-piercing alarm blast. Many brands you already use also can connect to Nest, like Google Home, Yale locks, Philips Hue lights and a Whirlpool washer. And more are coming every day.

The number of household devices that can be controlled right from your smartphone is growing every day. If you’re thinking of remodeling, it’s a great time to consider integrating whatever level of automation will suit your lifestyle and make your holidays a bit easier.