Even on Vacation, your home still works for you


Ahh, the joys that word brings to mind. It’s when we get to relax, go somewhere warm and tropical, kick off our shoes, lie in our chairs, sipping pina coladas as the world goes by. It’s beautiful. It’s needed. With all that we’ve got going on during our lives, we need time to unwind and not think about everyday things. We need our island in the sun.

When we’re on vacation, there’s plenty of things we don’t want to do, like thinking about work, getting up early, doing chores…the list goes on. One of them is tipping the neighborhood that we won’t be home for a few days. We don’t want our house to become a target when we’re not there.

Fortunately, Staples Connect gives us a way to address this.

To solve this problem, we’re going to make a series of scheduled Activities that make it look like someone is still in our house even when we’re not there. These Activities will only run in Vacation Mode. When we’re home, the house will be under our command. When we’re away, it will look like someone is still there. We’ll do this by turning on our GE Link bulbs and Philips Hue Lux bulbs throughout the day, when we would normally be present.

The GE Link and Philips Hue Lux bulbs are new members of the Staples Connect family, and they’re great additions to your lighting. The Link bulbs are bright LEDs with a retro-influenced design and the Hue Lux bulbs combine the power and reliability of the Philips Hue system with soft daylight tones. Both of them are energy-saving bulbs, which makes them perfect for this kind of use. You’ll be protecting your house without breaking the bank.

We’ll use these bulbs in four Activities that will be the basis for our fake schedule.


First, we’ll create a “Good Morning – Vacation” Activity. This Activity will turn on the Hue Lux lights in our bedroom—perfect for a restful morning wakeup—as well as the lights in the kitchen and dining room, where we’d normally eat our breakfast. We’ll set the Activity to turn on at 6:00am.


Next, we’ll create an “Off to Work – Vacation” Activity. This will turn off the GE Link and Hue Lux lights in the bedroom, kitchen, and dining room, and will turn on the lights in the living room and office. This Activity will run at 8:45am.


Next, it’s time for a couple evening Activities. We’ll make a “Home from Work – Vacation” Activity that turns off the light in the office, turns on the GE Link lights in the kitchen and dining room, and turns on the outside lights. This Activity will run at 6:00pm.


Finally, we’ll make our “Off to Bed – Vacation” Activity, which will turn off all the lights in our house at 10:00pm.

This gives us four Activities that simulate a “normal” day around our house. We’re almost there. We just need to enable these Activities in Vacation Mode so that they’ll run when we’re not home (but not any other time). To do this:

  1. In the app, tap Modes.
  2. Tap the right arrow on Vacation Mode to edit it.
  3. Tap “Activities are enabled.”
  4. Now we need to make sure that only the four Activities we’ve just created run while we’re away. We’ll do this in two steps. First, tap Enable all so it’s not selected. This will disable all the Activities that would normally run.
  5. Next, we’ll enable the four Activities we just created. Scroll down and tap each of those Activities to enable them in Vacation Mode. When you’re finished, tap Save.

With our Modes set up, when we’re going on vacation, we’ll simply set Staples Connect to Vacation Mode and our home will automatically turn on and off the lights so it looks like someone’s home. We won’t be advertising to the world that we aren’t paying attention to our home. Staples Connect takes care of your home even when you’re far away.

Bonus: we’ve set up your home to turn on everything the same way each day. If you’re concerned that people might start to notice that your home’s pattern isn’t changing, you can create a second set of Activities that run at different times. When you create these new Activities, be sure to schedule them to run on certain days of the week. Then you can go back to the four Activities we created earlier and change them so that they don’t run on those days. This will really make people think you’re home.

Staples Connect lets you stay in charge of your house even when you’re away but also lets you relax and know that your home is being taken care of. So put your feet up. You’ve earned it, and your home will be fine.

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