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October 29, 2018

Use smart home tech to make your Halloween home a bit more terrifying

by John_A


Use your Connected Home tech for evil.

Most of the time your Connected Home tech is busy lighting your home, pinging your phone when there’s a water leak, and letting you know who is at the front door.

While any Halloween supply store will gladly sell you something that will flicker a strobe light from a remote control while you’re hiding in the bushes dressed as a murderous clown, some of your Connected Home tech could help you have a lot more fun. Here’s a quick list of ways you can freak out Trick or Treaters with your smart home!

Activating the smoke machine when people walk up the driveway

This can be a lot of fun. Set a programmable button under a floor mat in the driveway. When people step on the mat, it activates a smoke machine on your front porch. This way you don’t have to have the smoke machine on the whole night, and when that fresh puff of fog shows fills the porch it sets the stage really well!

For this you’ll need:

  • A good smoke machine
  • Logitech Pop smart button
  • Samsung SmartThings Outlet

This is fairly easy to set up, especially if you’ve already got this hardware in your house. Through IFTTT, you can set Logi Pop to trigger an on command to the SmartThings Outlet. Connect your smoke machine to the SmartThings Outlet, and when the Pop button is triggered the smoke machine will start!

Setting your front porch lights red when someone walks up to the door

Is there anything creepier than things changing when it’s not clear no one is around? When people walk up to your front door, make the porch lights turn a bright red to greet them!

For this you’ll need:

  • Philips Hue Bulbs
  • Hue Motion Sensor

This one is real easy, since the Hue motion sensor is wireless and can be set up anywhere. Place your motion sensor somewhere sneaky and set it to activate the lights on your front porch when motion is detected, and set the Hue lights to red as the command trigger. When someone trips the motion sensor the lights will turn red automatically and everyone will wonder what they have gotten themselves into!

If you’re looking for more ways to have Halloween fun with your Hue bulbs, the Philips Hue labs includes a whole section on Halloween-themed scenes for your home.

Triggering a scream when someone presses the door bell

Some people can’t be scared by smoke and lights. That’s what loud noises are for! This setup lets out a loud scream once someone presses your doorbell, guaranteed to make people jump for their treats.

For this you’ll need:

  • Amazon Echo Dot
  • Ring Doorbell
  • Samsung SmartThings Hub

This is a little tricky to get right, but so worth it. Set up your Echo Dot on your front porch, but hide it so it doesn’t stand out. Bonus points if you hide it inside carved pumpkin, but not totally necessary for this. Set up your SmartThings Hub to fire up a scary sounds playlist on your Echo, and configure an IFTTT trigger to make SmartThings start the playlist when someone presses your Ring Doorbell. It’s one hell of a surprise, even for people who think they aren’t scared of anything.

Don’t have an Echo Dot? No worries, this same trick works on Google Home!

Turn all the lights off when you open your door

Loud noises and flashing lights not enough? Show off your acting chops by demonstrating how haunted your house is. When you walk through the front door to get people their candy, make sure all the lights go out and scream as the door slams shut!

For this you’ll need:

  • A convincing scream — Not available for purchase 🙁
  • Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor
  • Philips Hue bulbs

Sit outside your house and tell everyone you’re afraid there’s something happening in there, but you’ll reach in real quick and grab your visitors some candy. Place the SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor on your front door so when it opens, IFTTT can tell your Hue bulbs to all turn off. All the lights will go out when the door opens, leaving you ready to scream and slam the door to save everyone waiting for candy!

Got any other connected home tricks you’re excited to pull on visitors this Halloween? Share them with us in the comments!

Updated October 2018: This post has been updated with new scares and new tech so you can have tons of smart home fun this Halloween. Or, you know, any day of the week. No judgement here.

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