7 Ways to Use SmartThings This Halloween

Here’s some news that’s more treat than trick: We just released a series of Halloween-themed icons in the app library to help you customize your SmartThings setup this season.

Now, for a little inspiration…

From the sensible to the spooky, here are 7 ways to use SmartThings to ensure that your Halloween is both frightful and fun.

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ezgif.com-resize1) Keep an Eye on Your Little Ghouls

As trick-or-treating toddlers grow into ‘tweens, they tend to not want their mummy around anymore. No problem: Give ’em a smartphone, a curfew, and tell them to stay within a certain range of your home. If your little ghosts float outside of the Geo-fence that you set up around your home in the free SmartThings app, you can get a push notification alert.

What you need:
A SmartThings Hub


2) Let There Be Light

A jack-o’-lantern that’s not lit up is like a witch without a hat.

tumblr_ncuiajZZtt1s6bxzqo1_500Ensure that your pumpkin stays glowing all night long through wind, rain, and tiny tealight candles by placing an electric candle inside your pumpkin and plugging it in to either a GE Outdoor Outlet or a SmartPower Outlet. That way, you can skip the spilled wax, relighting, and candle replacement and instead simply power your candle on with a push of a button when you’re ready for trick-or-treaters, and then power it off when you’re all out of candy.

What you need:
• A SmartThings Hub
• GE Outdoor Light Plug-and-Control Outlet or a SmartPower Outlet
Electric candle


3. Spook Out The Neighborhood

200While your outdoor light setup might not be quite as elaborate as, say, this family’s –> SmartThings makes it easy to control and automate your indoor and outdoor Halloween lights.

This idea just takes the above example and extends it: Simply plug in your indoor lights to a SmartPower Outlet, your outdoor lights into a GE Outdoor Outlet, and then either power the lights on and off with an easy tap of a button in the SmartThings app, or set your lights to turn on and off at a set time.

What you need:
• A SmartThings Hub
• GE Outdoor Light Plug-and-Control Outlet(s) or a SmartPower Outlet(s)


4. Mist-ify Your Walkway

There’s a reason that Thriller, haunted houses, and most every horror movie ever made uses fog machines: because it clouds everything it touches with a healthy dose of creepy. Spook it up with these two ideas.

fogJust as you can easily control outdoor lights with SmartThings, you can also plug in your fog machine to a smart outlet and power it from anywhere, or set it to start and stop at a certain time using the free SmartThings app.

Things get really fun if you automate your SmartThings-powered fog machine to work with the outdoor Aeon Multi-Sensor so that it shoots out fog only when trick-or-treaters are coming up your walkway.

What you need:
• A SmartThings Hub
• GE Outdoor Light Plug-and-Control Outlet to plug in your fog machine
• Aeon Multi-Sensor
Fog machine


5. Play a Bone-Chilling Soundtrack

Proper Halloween etiquette says that we can’t really scream or make blood-curdling noises at children. But our stereos can! Set the haunted mood by using SmartThings to play a scary soundtrack this Halloween.

200-1There are two easy ways to do this: The easiest is to set up a speaker or computer by your window, create a playlist, and then use Sonos or ObyThing to play that soundtrack during the night.

If you want to take this setup one step further and really scare the kids, you could use SmartThings to trigger your playlist to start playing only when trick-or-treaters approach your house (via an outdoor Aeon Multi-Sensor), or when they knock on the door (via a SmartSense Multi sensor and our brand-new Door Knocker SmartApp).

What you need:
• A SmartThings Hub
Sonos or ObyThing
• Optional: Aeon Multi-Sensor or SmartSense Multi sensor


6. Set Your Home’s Halloween Hue

Orange may be the new black, but with SmartThings and Philips hue, it’s up to you.

ezgif.com-resize (1)Place your Philips hue bulb(s) near your front door and you can either manually change the color using the free SmartThings app as trick-or-treaters approach, or you can use the Notify with Hue integration to automatically change the color of your hue bulbs when kids approach outside (as detected by an Aeon Multi-Sensor) or when someone knocks or opens a door (as detected by a SmartSense Multi sensor).

What you need:
• A SmartThings Hub
Philips hue bulb(s) (Note: You’ll need a hue bridge)
Optional: Aeon Multi-Sensor or SmartSense Multi sensor


7. Do Something Epic

Okay, this is not for the faint of (haunted) heart, but if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort with your spooky SmartThings setup, you can be a real Halloween hero.

giphy-1How? One word: animatronics.

In addition to Amazon, are lots of great sites out there selling both indoor and outdoor Halloween-themed decorations that will scream, sway, lunge, and generally just scare the bejeezus out of trick-or-treaters and party guests.

By combining these ghoulish gadgets with things like an Aeon Multi-Sensor (to detect motion outdoors), a SmartSense Motion sensor (to detect motion inside), a SmartSense Open/Closed sensor (to detect if a door, cabinet, or window opens), or a SmartSense Multi sensor (to detect if someone knocks), you can trigger these robot-like devices to spring into motion just as unsuspecting trick-or-treaters approach.

The key is to find an animatronic device that can be plugged in to either a SmartPower Outlet (for indoor use) or a GE Outdoor Outlet (for your yard or walkway). Once you have that nailed down, the possibilities are endless. Take a look…

Zombie girl on a swing…

Electrocuted prisoner…

Not totally sure what this is, but it’s giving us the heebie-jeebies… 

Hope these ideas have inspired you to use SmartThings to get into the (ahem)… spirit… of the season. And if you’re already using SmartThings to decorate your home this Halloween, let us know!

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  • Ryan Gallagher

    Fog machines take some time to warm up and power has to remain on for an instant start. One could rewire the button possibly with an