Get Spooky for Halloween with IoT Enabled Smart Home

By Special Guest
Eyal Ronen, CEO, Puls
October 23, 2017

This time of year, a favorite thing to do is invite friends over to scare the daylights out of them in accordance with the Halloween tradition. Even though the paper mache corpses and fake spider webbing is super fun, some of the tech from Puls is bringing the scares into the 21st century.

Home automation devices can help turn a living space into haunted smart home. The gadgets have a small footprint all the gear can be used all year round for non-scary applications. Here, take a look at the Puls haunted smart home guide, and you’ll be spooking your loved ones in no time.

Nothing sets the mood like the warm red glow of death or a chillingly ghoulish green. Instead of just dimming the lights like some sort of amateur, you can use those lighting fixtures to your advantage. Installing smart light bulbs is the single easiest thing you can do to turn your home into a haunted smart home. We popped Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance bulbs into regular sockets, and then paired the bulbs with the Philips Hue Bridge to control the lighting from a mobile device.

I recommend integrating with Samsung SmartThings so all of your smart devices can be controlled from your phone or voice-controlled assistant.

Another trick up Philips’ sleeve is the Hue portable lamp, a tool for creating unique lighting effects with minimal effort. They’re wireless and portable, which makes them a natural choice for sticking inside jack-o-lanterns or other scary decorations. One member of our team cut open the back of a fake skull and implanted a Philips Hue Bloom lamp inside. Using the app, we were able to change the color of the skeleton’s eyes throughout the night for different eerie effects.

We also placed a Philips Go lamp in the bathtub and set it to glow green behind the shower curtain, casting a terrifying shadow.

Who doesn’t like a nice, ominous fog rolling across the floor? And of course, it makes all the smart lighting look great. And while there’s currently no smart fog machine on the market (that we know of), you can transform pretty much anything into a smart device with the help of smart electrical plugs and sockets, like the iHome SmartPlug. This SmartPlug integrates with Samsung SmartThings so you can control any plug-in device from the same interface as your smart lightbulbs and other connected devices.

What really sets the masters apart from the rest when it comes to haunted houses is the soundtrack. Sure, you can just throw “Monster Mash” on the stereo and call it a day, but you want your friends to know that you went the extra mile to scare them silly. A good combination of dissonant music and creepy sound effects will really bring the scene together. And if you want to really put the scare in people, hide a Google Home speaker and then set it to make scary noises at random. Google Home also has the benefit of allowing you to control the room with your voice. Just tell Google Home “turn the lights red” to immediately take the room into Halloween mode, or say, “Okay Google, play Halloween sound effects.”

Not only is Samsung SmartThings a great way to control all of your connected devices from one central place, you can go one better and automate several smart devices for a chain of creepy reactions. For example, attaching a sensor to your window or door, then setting up a routine where all of your smart bulbs turn off any time a door or window is opened – except for one creepy skull in the corner. The lights go out, and all that your guests can see is that disembodied skull with the fire of hell burning in its eyes.

Staying Safe
Halloween is a lot of fun, but it’s also a common time for pranks like toilet papering houses or other Halloween shenanigans. So stay safe with video surveillance. A Nest security camera and a Ring Doorbell can allow you to see whether noise around the apartment was from trick or treaters or potential intruders. Both devices are easy to install, and the peace of mind that comes with being able to monitor the outside of your home from your smartphone lives long after Halloween, as theft unfortunately becomes more of an issue during the holiday season.

All in all, the prospect of upgrading your living space with some smart home appliances doesn’t have to send a chill up your spine – with a host of devices so easy to install and use, your home can be connected to some great money-saving gadgets scary fast.

About the author: Eyal Ronen is CEO of Puls, an on-call support for the devices at the heart of digital life. Based in San Francisco and operating in more than 40 markets in the U.S., Puls connects consumers with skilled technicians to fix or install digital devices anytime, anywhere.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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