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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How to Set Your Smarthome Up for a Spooky Halloween

When most people think of Smarthomes, they think of voice-controlled lights and video doorbells. But the gadgets you may already have can be used to take your Halloween decorations to the next level.

When you put up Halloween decorations, you have probably run into one of two problems. Either you always have to leave the plugged-in devices on, or you have to rely on analog timers that are complicated to set and quickly lose time. This especially leads to difficulties if you’re trying to keep everything in sync. And one of the best decorations of Halloween, the jack-o-lantern, can be the most tedious to light and keep lit.

Make Your Jack-O-Lanterns Scarier and Safer

When most people make a jack-o-lantern, they cut a round opening in the top of a pumpkin, dig out the insides and then carve a fun pattern into the side. This creates difficulty in placing a tea light, getting it lit from the top, and hoping it’s bright enough to make the pattern shine.

This year consider starting from the bottom. By cutting the opening from the bottom instead of the top you benefit in having a larger hole to work with, and you place the pumpkin on your light source instead of a light source in your pumpkin.

This trick works even better with a smart light. It’s easy enough to cut a notch in the back of the pumpkin for a power cord. Then you can place a smart light, like a Philips Hue Go, inside. With a Philips Hue light, you can do some fun things you can’t do with a conventional bulb or a candle.

For example, you can change the light to any spooky color you want, or even put different colors on rotation. If you love the flicker of a candle, you can achieve a similar effect for your smart light with an app like OnSwitch (for Android and iOS).

With a little extra work, you could even set up a smart motion sensor or the motion sensing ability of your smart video doorbell to activate or change the jack-o-lantern’s light when people approach.

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