With spooky season officially underway, it’s time to scare your neighbors and turn the tables on trick or treaters with your Halloween decorations!
Many Halloween decoration guides for home automation call for a great deal of technical smarts. Instead of that, today we have some easily actionable pointers for smartening up your Halloween decorations.
7 Ways To Smarten Up Your Halloween Decorations
- Use an Outdoor Plug-In Module To Smarten Up Control
- Make Your Jack-o-Lantern Scarier with Philips Hue Go
- Put Your Smart Speaker to Work
- Stay Connected with Your Video Doorbell
- Get Digital Decorations
- Highlight Larger Decorations with Spotlights
- Motion-Detected Smoke Machine
1. Use an Outdoor Plug-In Module To Smarten Up Control
One of the most effective tricks at your disposal this Halloween is more simple than you might imagine.
Using an outdoor smart outlet like Insteon’s Remote Control On/Off Module is a wonderful way to take charge of your outdoor Halloween decorations at a distance.
Whatever lighting and displays you have out in the yard, plug them into this highly capable weatherproofed module and you’ll be free to take control using the intuitive Insteon app.
Expressly designed to operate in hostile conditions, you’ll be safe across a vast temperature range from a freezing -4 degrees Fahrenheit right through to 122 degrees Fahrenheit at the upper end.
As with all Insteon products, you’ll get the most from your module if you invest in the Hub Central Controller. This will let you take charge of your lighting and appliances, even if you’re not at home. Throw in a smart speaker and you’ll also enjoy getting those Halloween decorations ablaze using nothing but voice commands. Both Google Assistant and Alexa are supported. If you’re a Siri fan, you can buy a HomeKit-enabled hub.
Whether you want to schedule your lights to come on and off at dawn and dusk or you want to step in and take the helm manually, this module makes everything easy.
The great thing about choosing this route is that you’ll need no experience with home automation to get things rocking in time for Halloween.
2. Make Your Jack-o-Lantern Scarier with Philips Hue Go
Standard procedure with a jack-o-lantern is to pop in a tea light which can be a bit difficult to light up from the top. There’s then the issue of whether or not the candle will kick out enough light to get the effects you’re striving for.
The first way you can improve your decoration is to cut out your opening from the bottom instead of the top. Not only will you have more room for maneuver, but you’ll also be placing your pumpkin onto your light source rather than vice versa.
How can you make your Halloween decorations even better?
Ditch the candle completely and opt for a smart light like Philips Hue Go, which is wireless and completely portable. You’ll get up to three hours of use on a single charge which should be enough to get the party started.
As with all smart tech from any ecosystem, investing in the hub brings you enhanced functionality, but you can get by without one if you simply want the basics.
Sixteen million colors and an array of white shades give you enough scope to get your jack-o-lantern looking lively. Throw in a smart speaker and voice commands and you’ll have your kids enraptured as you command your pumpkin from a distance.
Whether you want to create custom party scenes to automate things completely or to tweak things in-app, treat yourself to Hue Go this Halloween and your kids will be wowed.
3. Put Your Smart Speaker to Work
Are you thinking of holding a party this Halloween?
If so, you can use wireless speakers stashed throughout the house to help make your spooky playlist and sound effects even spookier. You can also hide a speaker outside to give trick or treaters more than they bargained for. See how many are still sticking around at the door once you belt out some scary sound effects and haunting music.
If you have Alexa in the house, why not opt for a Halloween playlist? 32 songs across a range of genres will serve up something for everyone.
If you prefer raw sound effects, Spotify wins at Halloween playlists with this Spooky Sounds album.
Building out Halloween-specific scenes is super-simple if you have a string of smart devices and a hub in place. Create the scenes you want and then bark a single command at Alexa to get things going.
If you’re stuck for ideas when it comes to costumes or even Halloween decorations, just ask your trusty virtual butler for some creative input and you’ll be hustling down to the costume store with renewed vigor.
4. Stay Connected with Your Video Doorbell
If you’ve already invested in a smart video doorbell, you can guarantee it will get plenty of action over the Halloween season. How can you make things even more fun?
If This, Then That is a nimble platform allowing you to get even more than ever from your smart devices. By linking your smart lights to your video doorbell, you can bathe callers in a sea of orange light when they come to your door. You’ll also be able to add in some haunting music to give your callers a fright. This will definitely take your Halloween decorations up a notch.
You can also use IFTTT to get the lights blinking when someone calls. The normal use for this is in a household where someone is hard of hearing. This works particularly well with Ring Video Doorbells.
You might find it useful to tweak the sensitivity settings on your doorbell to prevent constant false alerts over the busy holiday season.
5. Get Digital Halloween Decorations
If you’re getting a little tired of the same old analog decor this Halloween, why not consider going digital with your Halloween decorations instead?
AtmosFX has produced a stunning Digital Decorations DVD you can project onto a garage door, curtains, windows or TV.
In Macabre Manor, the residents have taken to haunting one another to pass their time and this is great viewing over the scary season when you have children in the house.
The menu is a breeze to navigate and you’ll be able to loop your favorites for hours in the spirit of complete automation.
You will need a DVD player to make this work, so if your media is download only, you’ll need to think again. If, however, you still have an old DVD player on hand, you can put it to work over Halloween for an extremely low price.
If you’re hunting for a larger than life display, why not roll with a projector so you can really supersize things?
6. Highlight Larger Decorations with Spotlights
Do you have some substantial physical Halloween decorations out in the garden?
If so, why not pick out the details by using some spotlights?
The beauty of these lights is that they’ll serve you year-round long after the scary season is over. Whether you want to add a little brightness to dark areas in your garden, liven up the decking, or add an accent to staircases in the yard, these compact but powerful spotlights are well worth popping on your shopping list.
7) Motion-Detected Smoke Machine
Last but certainly not least, you can really jack up the special effects for much less than you might imagine.
This pro-grade Haze Fog Machine can kick out huge clouds of unscented fog at the rate of 2000 CFM to a distance of ten feet or so. The machine takes a couple minutes to warm up, so be patient before the main event.
Despite kicking out such clouds of smoke, this unit is remarkably energy-efficient so you won’t get stiffed with a swollen electricity bill after the party is long forgotten.
Once you’ve set things up, you can take control of your Halloween decorations using the wired remote. This means you'll have complete control and stability while your kids have the time of their life.
So, with Halloween just around the corner, you have no excuse not to inject even more fun into proceedings for your kids this year.
Today, we deliberately focused on technology that’s decidedly beginner-friendly. So, even if you’ve never attempted any form of home automation, maybe it’s time to get started. 2020 is almost here, so why not make it the year you connect your home? And what better way to start than with simple Halloween decorations!
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