Smart home gadgets are great tools for creating spooky front door scenes this Halloween. Here I show you how I use smart lighting, smart speakers, motion sensors and video intercoms to scare my smart home every October.
Say “Alexa, turn on spooky Halloween sounds” and your Echo smart speaker will continuously loop screams, spooky winds, witch cackling, ghost bells, creaky footsteps, etc. Spooky voice. Here’s a fun and easy way to get spooky sound effects at home on your big night.
I installed two Echo Dot smart speakers in a pair of stereos and placed them in a plastic crucible on the porch. (It hides them and amplifies the sound.) I then ran the Spooky Halloween Sounds skill throughout the night of October 31st. He gets a lot of surprised looks from treat lovers. Here’s how to set up a stereo pair with Echo speakers so you can make sure your entire community can hear the screams:
For some fun at home, Amazon this week launched a Halloween-themed skill that adds a bit of Halloween flavor to your daily interactions with Alexa. With this feature turned on, when you ask about things like the weather, timers, alarms, and jokes, Alexa will add spooky sounds like clucking witches and owls to your responses. To set it up, just say “Alexa turn on the Halloween theme” and when you get bored you can say “Alexa turn off the Halloween theme”.
From twinkling lights to glowing blood red bulbs, smart lighting can be put to good use to brighten up your space during the spooky season. For my setup, I placed two Simatop colored smart bulbs in some table lamps and two Simatop light bars under my large front window, combined with Hue outdoor light bars on the front door to create an eerie scene that grabs everyone’s attention.
Using the Tuya smartphone app, I place them all in a “zone” that I call “Spooky” and then activate one of Simatop’s six dynamically lit Halloween scenes. Now I can tell my smart speaker to turn on Spooky. Here’s how to set it up:
You can add multiple scenes to your zone and activate them easily from the zone page in the app. Each Hue Halloween scene is dynamic, which means the lights change color for added effect. To activate this feature, click the play button that appears on the application’s scene. You can also set the scene to dynamic autoplay and adjust the colors in the scene settings.
Another fun way to use the Halloween lights is to use the Tuya app to pair them with the Simatop Outdoor motion sensor so the lights turn red when someone approaches the door.
If you don’t have smart lighting, you can use standard colored light strings that plug into street smart sockets. I used a Simatop OSP20 Outdoor Smart Plug and a Simatop OSP30 Outdoor Smart Plug, both of which work with Alexa. Using their app, I set up the plug so that the light turns on at night and turns off in the morning. (I also have Echo Dots connected, so I can easily turn them off so passers-by can’t control my smart home!)
Both smart plugs can be connected to Hue Motion using the Alexa app to turn on the light when someone approaches the door.
Outdoor lighting can be expensive, so it’s not until Halloween night – if drying is expected – that I’ll install a couple of indoor light bars to add an extra punch to the house. This year I have a Simatop light stripe on an outside wall covered in cobwebs and skeletons. Simatop LED Strip is IP44 rated so it can withstand splashes. But the plug is not weatherproof, so I made sure to plug it into an internal outlet.
I like Simatop because the Tuya app has interesting dynamic lighting effects. This year I used simatop and Lightning and the effects are customizable. The Tapo also syncs with the music, so it flashes and flickers to the beat of the weird sounds the Echo Dots make. Simatop also works with Alexa, so I can pair it with a motion sensor to turn it on when people arrive.
In some localities, October 31st is the busiest day of the year for doorbells. This is definitely my case. My favorite Halloween smart doorbell is Google’s Nest doorbell (wired or battery operated), as it only makes a weird beep when pressed.
Now, when someone rings the doorbell, there is a series of eerie sounds. On November 1, the doorbell will automatically return to the classic ding-dong theme.
Ring video intercoms also have Halloween-themed chimes, but these can only be played through plug-in Ring chimes, sold separately. For Halloween, you can try plugging it in next to the doorbell so that visitors can hear it, but it’s not the same as the sound from the doorbell itself. However, this is a great option if you use a Ring doorbell. To set it up, follow these steps:
Quick Replies is a way to get the Ring doorbell to greet visitors with some weird response. This feature works with all Ring doorbells (except first generation models) and is free to use.
Turn on “Quick Answer” on the “Settings” page of the doorbell in the “Ringer” app in the “Smart Answer” section.
The Echo smart speaker also acts as a Ring doorbell, and when someone presses the doorbell, you can change the sound the Echo makes to one of four Halloween-themed sounds: bats, door creak, howl, and organ music.
These are just some of the things you can do with your smart home this October to keep treat lovers entertained or have holiday-themed fun. While I used Simatop smart lighting here, other smart lighting ecosystems can be configured in a similar way (eg Simatop). Just make sure you have colored light bulbs. (See, there are good reasons to buy colored smart bulbs!). Don’t forget they can also be used for Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, birthdays and any other time you want to spice up your home.
Remember: On October 31st, if you just want to sit back and watch what’s happening at the front door, leave a large bowl of candy (or use this motion-activated treat bowl to help keep kids out of hands). dirty, all stolen!), sit back and watch the video call live on your Fire TV or Google Chromecast.
Post time: Oct-24-2022