As Halloween approaches, you're likely searching for creative ways to spook up your home. Lacing your home with glowing pumpkins, itchy spiderwebs and ghostly decals is a good first step, but you can take your Halloween decorations to new heights with smart home tech.
These innovative devices make setting the perfect eerie atmosphere easier than ever. Whether it's lighting, sound effects or animatronics, consider these smart home upgrades to scare your neighbors.
Before diving into our product picks, it's crucial to consider compatibility, ease of setup and versatility. You'd want devices that can seamlessly integrate with your existing smart home ecosystem. The last thing you want is to be wrestling with tech glitches while trick-or-treaters are at the door.
For instance, we've settled on the Philips Hue system for the best smart light bulb solution. It's a little costly and requires a proprietary hub controller, but it's the most cohesive system of anything we've seen. That said, plenty of cost-effective alternatives will work with smart home devices you likely already own.
Most items we suggest below are operable using your smartphone, even if you're using voice-activated control. The only exception is the Hue system, which requires a hub if you're using more than two light bulbs.
If you have room in the budget, we'd recommend adding a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. These offer hands-free activation of compatible smart home devices and even add to your sinister environment with audible tricks.
No matter what you choose, do ample research to see whether the products you're buying can talk to each other and how to do so. This may involve reading user reviews and referencing online user manuals.
We recommend starting with just a few pieces to build around your primary system. Start with smart lighting, as it's likely to be the most impactful component in your setup. Then, add smart hubs, controllers and switches that work well with them. Check out our beginner's guide to building a smart home for more help.
Take control of your home's atmosphere with this kit, offering various color schemes you can control via a mobile app or voice assistant. These smart lights let you paint your house in spooky shades of red, orange, purple and other unsettling colors. It also includes automation features and other spooky effects to tie it all together.
The Amazon Echo isn't just a smart speaker. In addition to smart device voice control, the Echo has special Halloween-themed skills. It can tell creepy stories and fill your home with spooky soundscapes on demand.
With Ring's video doorbell, you can enable Halloween-themed chimes and quick replies. Ring's doorbells are also customizable with a Halloween-themed faceplate to blend in with the other ghoulish effects around your front door.
The Echo Show 10 adds a 10-inch display to the original Echo. With it, you can control all your Alexa-enabled smart home gadgets and access many Halloween-themed skills. It also has a much better speaker than the standard Echo.
Building a respectable haunted house without animatronic props, fog machines and other electronic effects is almost impossible. With these affordable smart plugs, you can use your smartphone to activate timers or turn devices on and off.
Line your home's exterior or highlight specific decorations with these versatile LED strips by Philips Hue. One of these 7-foot kits should be long enough to illuminate your walkway or doorway with a Halloween-centric vibe.
Fill your garage door and side paneling with ghastly decorative effects with this inexpensive projector. It includes 17 effects, including Thanksgiving- and Christmas-themed options.
You can use a smart motion sensor to trigger sounds and effects whenever someone opens a door or enters a room. It's great for setting up a motion-activated haunted house.
You can use these motion-activated floodlights to cast eerie shadows and sound a loud siren. It acts both as a startling scare for trick-or-treaters and a deterrent for potential intruders. This product requires hardwired power.
This essential oil diffuser can give your home a unique smell and a misty ambiance. It has two mist modes, five spray speeds and time and scheduling features. This smart diffuser works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's Siri out of the box, but you'll need to supply your own oil.
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Quentyn Kennemer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.