Smart home technology can make your daily living just a bit easier any time of the year. But during the Halloween season, all of the powerful devices can serve another purpose: to help get everyone in your house in the spirit of the spooky season.
With just a little bit of planning and some easy-to-use smart home devices, you can turn any ordinary trick-or-treat season into a scary good time.
To help get you started, we’re providing five different ways that technology can help turn your Halloween up to 11. Since each home is different, feel free to make each idea your own.
1. Ominous Jack-o-Lantern
What You’ll Need: Carved Jack-o-Lantern + Philips Hue Go
The jack-o-lantern is one of the universal signs of the Halloween season. After going through the messy and fun carving process and picking your design, everyone wants to show off their spooky gourd on the front porch or other location, usually with a lit candle inside.
But along with the substantial fire hazard, an open candle can often make a huge mess. It also might have problems staying lit in windy weather. So to help a pumpkin masterpiece shine bright anytime you’d like, all you need is a Philips Hue Go smart light. Part of the popular Hue line of connected lightning, the Hue Go is small, compact and can easily fit in a larger gourd. If this is your first Hue product, you’ll need to also purchase the separate Hue bridge that attaches to a router.
While the light does come with a power cord, it also features a built-in battery that can go for up to three hours of use. And best of all, you can pick from one of the millions of different colors or any shade of white you can imagine. You’ll have the old-fashioned candle running scared this Halloween.
2. Turn the Spooky Music Up
What You’ll Need: Amazon Echo Dot + Sonos Play:1 Speaker
Ah, the sounds of the Halloween season. For some, that means old favorites like “Monster Mash.” And for others, it could mean more adult fare and downright horrifying tunes.
If you’re looking to pipe music to the front porch for trick-or-treaters or a Halloween party inside, the Sonos Play:1 speaker definitely fits the bill. While the speaker might look small, it packs a huge punch and is one the best sounding speakers out there with a reasonable price tag. Along with being easily wall mountable, the speaker is perfect for any smaller space. You can even pair two together to create stereo sound.
Thanks to a recent integration with Amazon Alexa, you can now control music using any Echo device, including the inexpensive Echo Dot. So even if your Dot is on the other side of the house, you can start up music on the Play:1 from a number of different service with just a voice request.
3. Scary Smoke Signal
What You’ll Need: Smoke Machine + Elgato Eve Motion Detector + iDevices Outdoor Switch
Another fun idea for your porch — or maybe even inside if you are brave — is a smoke machine that will provide a scary ambiance for a more frightening Halloween. With a usual smoke machine, you first fill it with special fog juice and then control it with a wired remote from just a few feet away. Not exactly spooky. But some great smart home technology can help, especially if you’re using an iPhone or iPad.
First, you’ll need to plug your smoke machine of choice into the iDevices Outdoor Switch. As you can probably guess by its name, the rugged switch with two outlets is made for the outdoors and is completely watertight.
The next piece of the puzzle is the Elgato Eve Motion Detector. Safe for outdoor use, you can place it near the smoke machine. Using the Home app (built-in to iOS 11), you’ll need to create a specific automation that will turn on the outlet whenever motion is detected. Once that’s complete, any time a trick-or-treater comes to your door, they’ll experience a spooky show of non-toxic smoke.
4. Keep a Watch for Ghosts and Goblins
What You’ll Need: August Doorbell Cam
Hopefully, most everyone on Halloween night ringing your doorbell will be harmless children looking for a piece of sweet candy to add to their collection. But unfortunately, there may also be tricksters up to no good on fright night. Either way, you can keep track of who is at your front door with a doorbell camera. One great option is from August.
Replacing an existing doorbell that requires power, the camera will allow you to look in on your front door at any time. When someone rings the bell, you’ll receive a notification on your iOS or Android device with the companion app. You can then see and speak to the person, even when not at home.
If a goblin, or an annoying teenager, is up to no good and doesn’t ring your doorbell, the device has built-in motion detection that can also provide an alert. With an optional cloud recording service, you can even replay video of motion detection or doorbell alerts later.
While you’ll need to do a bit of installation, the doorbell camera is weatherproof and can also integrate with other smart home products from August including a smart lock. So the system can keep watch and protect your home and family on Halloween and every other night of the year.
5. Paint Your Home With the Colors of the Season
What You’ll Need: SYLVANIA Smart+ LED Landscape Lighting Set [No Longer Available]
There are two major types of landscape lightning: solar lights (often underpowered and don’t perform) and low-voltage lights (require a substantial amount work and time to install). But a fun alternative, perfect for Halloween or any other time, is the SYLVANIA Smart+ LED Landscape Lighting Set.
Offering nine low power LED lights on a 14-foot string, each light has its own small and removable mounting stake. Once you plug the string into an electrical outlet, it can be used pretty much anywhere around the exterior of a home. Thanks to the Lightify app for iOS or Android, you can select from thousands of different colors for the lights to display — everything from a spooky orange to a Christmas green.
Users can also dim or brighten the lights easily from their smartphone. If you want to extend your exterior lighting, you can even purchase another set of lights to attach together.
The lights are compatible with a number of different smart home hubs and services including Amazon Alexa, Wink, SmartThings, Nest, and more.
Have a Spooky Halloween
Thanks to smart home technology, and a little ingenuity, you can take Halloween fun to the next level.
Are you using smart home devices to help make your Halloween even more fun? Tell us your spooky setup in the comments.