Halloween Pumpkin

Home Takes on a Spooky (Philips) Hue

Author's Note
This post is, obviously, delayed from its expected publication time of Halloween. Just as we were finishing the videos, I received word of the attack on the west side of Manhattan, just two blocks from my home, and my kids were not home from school yet. Bottom line? Everyone got home safe and we decided to trick-or-treat within our own apartment building.
Our thoughts continue to be with the victims’ families and the survivors.

We have been finding new ways to use the Internet of Things (IoT) in decorating for Halloween and this year our goal was to make the display in the hallway of our New York City office completely automated, leaving us to enjoy the trick-or-treaters. New rules imposed by the landlord added complexity as we could not begin installation until noon and nothing could be attached to the walls or ceilings. Our decorations in 2015 (Smart Lighting Sets a Scary Hue, The Architechnologist, October 29, 2015) and last year (Cast A Scary Hue 2016, The Architechnologist, October 26, 2016) broke both of those rules.

The lighting this year came from Philips Hue smart lights that we added to our existing system (Disclaimer: Philips Hue provided samples for this review; all opinions are my own.). The key to our installation was the addition of a pair of Philips Hue Go Portable Dimmable LED Smart Light Lamps [Amazon Affiliate Link] that were hidden behind my children’s collection of pumpkins and uplit the corner. The doorframe was trimmed with a Philips Hue LightStrip Plus [Amazon Affiliate Link] and hidden behind a simple cardboard frame.

The Halloween lighting was automated through the Halloween for Philips Hue iOS application from iMakeStuff  [iTunes Affiliate Link]. This great app ties selected Hue lights to the user’s choice of spooky sound effects and can activate sound and light combinations automatically if connected to a Philips Hue Smart Motion Sensor [Amazon Affiliate Link]. We secreted a Bluetooth speaker with the Hue Go smart lamps to tie the flashing lights and colors to sounds from the application, all while keeping the device safely inside.

Advances in Internet of Things technology make common routines simpler for users and creative installations will continue to use this intelligence. Using smart systems for projects like our Halloween decorations is within reach of the typical user. Would you use any high-tech tricks (or treats) do you use to decorate your place for special occasions?

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