Weekly HomeKit: Grow Halloween with a Notch Using HomeKit to Play Tricks for Guests Looking for Delights

Cupertino, October 8, 2021

Halloween is almost here, and HomeKit offers a lot of fun ways to automate your Halloween decorations to provide a bit of "cyber espionage" to fool or treat while they come knocking.

Weekly HomeKit is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks and everything to do with the Apple smart home frame.


Outdoor motion sensors

One of the easiest ways to add a little clever flair at home to your Halloween decorations is to use outdoor motion sensors to start something scary when someone comes on the porch. Typically, you would use outdoor motion sensors to provide light to someone as they made their way to the front porch. However, for Halloween, you want it to be the opposite. You will want it pitch dark as they approach and even as they hit the steps, a HomeKit motion sensor detects them and would turn the light on to something scary.

hue motion

There are a handful of outdoor motion sensors, so it will depend on your current setup. I have a Hue bridge for my indoor Hue bulbs, so I use the Hue motion sensor outdoors. If you are not yet in the Hue ecosystem, you can use a HomeKit camera from Eve as a motion sensor. A bonus reason to use a room is that you can catch some fun hysterics when the kids scream. If you want to opt for the battery-powered camera route, you can use one of the eufy HomeKit kits to record and act as a HomeKit motion sensor. No matter how you walk, the motion sensor is the first integral part of your fun.

Set the scene

homekit automaitons

Once you have the motion sensor in place, you will need to build the second way to provide a "trick" when the unsuspecting trick or treats approach. You will need to set up an outdoor HomeKit plug that can be configured to start by motion detection.

Once the plug is installed, you will need to get some scary decorations. What you need will depend on your budget and porch configuration, but you can choose a Ghost theme or a Grim Reaper. If you have placed the motion sensor in your yard, you can make a more important decision.

You can even go with a two-way approach and scare the kids as they come through your yard and take them back 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 outlet and have an instant start function, you can pair anything.

Equipment needed to build a Halloween HomeKit setup

To put this into practice, here is a list of the equipment you need. For the motion sensor, you'll need either a Gue motion sensor or a HomeKit camera that can act as a motion sensor - not both.

If you intend to put this into practice, I would love to see how it turns out. Let me know on Twitter @bradleychambers

Photo: NeONBRAND / Unsplash

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