Halloween is almost here, and HomeKit provides a lot of fun ways to automate your Halloween decorations to offer a little “cyber spooking” to trick or treaters as they come knocking.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
Outdoor motion sensors
One of the simplest ways to add a bit of smart home flair to your Halloween decorations is to leverage outdoor motion sensors to switch on something spooky when someone turns up on your porch. Typically, you’d use outdoor motion sensors to provide light for someone as they walked up to your front porch. However, on Halloween, you want it to be the opposite. You’ll want it pitch black as they approach, and right when they hit the steps, a HomeKit motion sensor would detect them and flip on the light to something scary.
There are a handful of outdoor motion sensors, so it’ll depend on your current setup. I have a Hue bridge for my indoor Hue bulbs, so I use the Hue outdoor motion sensor. If you aren’t in the Hue ecosystem yet, you could use a HomeKit camera from Eve as a motion sensor. A bonus reason to use a camera is that you can capture some fun hysterics when kids scream. If you want to opt for the battery camera route, you can use one of the eufy HomeKit kits to record and act as a HomeKit motion sensor. Regardless of which way you go, having the motion sensor is the integral first piece of your fun.
Set the stage
Once you have your motion sensor in place, you’ll need to build out the second way to give a “trick” when unsuspecting trick or treaters approach. You’ll need to set up an outdoor HomeKit plug that can be configured to come on by detecting motion.
Once the plug is in place, you’ll need to source some scary decorations. What you’ll need is going to depend on your budget and porch setup, but you could go with a Ghost theme or a Grim Reaper. If you’ve placed the motion sensor in your yard, you can go more significant on the decorations.
You could even go with a two-prong approach and scare kids as they come through your yard, and get them again once they’re on the porch using something like this scary ghost decoration. The possibilities are endless. As long as the decorations are powered by a traditional power outlet and have an instant-on capability, you can pair anything.
Gear needed to build a HomeKit Halloween setup
To put this into place, here’s a list of the gear you’ll need. For the motion sensor, you’ll either need a Gue motion sensor or a HomeKit camera that can act as a motion sensor – not both.
If you plan to put this into place, I’d love to see how it turns out. Let me know on Twitter @bradleychambers
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