An Amazon Echo surrounded by Halloween decorations

Our 5 favorite DIY Halloween smart home projects

Alexa casting spells? Lights that flicker? That's easy with some inexpensive smart home gear and these DIY projects to haunt up your home. Here's how to get started.

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Sure, you can drop hundreds of dollars on plug-and-play Halloween decorations. According to the National Retail Federation, October 31st has turned into a significant consumer spending day, with spending to hit $12.2 billion in 2023. But who's to say that you can't dream up your own haunted decorations that are sure to entertain the neighborhood?

These five projects, pulled from the best we've found online, rely on smart tech to create. You can certainly tap into more straightforward solutions like beaming ghostly images via a wireless projector. But for the intrepid with a spooky soul, consider these curated options — including one we designed ourselves — with plenty of time for you to gather all the necessary elements so you can conjure your ghoulish trick before the Witching Hour strikes this month.

How to teach Amazon's Alexa to cast a spell this Halloween through Alexa Blueprintsyoutu. be

Make your own Alexa Skill

There is nothing like a disembodied voice to terrifying people — and Amazon makes this super easy with the Alexa Blueprint. Go to the Alexa Blueprint site and ensure you're logged in with your Amazon account. Then, click on the Custom Q&A option. You can add to existing questions pre-written in the app, or you can write and create your own to build a custom conversation with Alexa when Trick or Treaters arrive. We wrote three different chats to keep the kids entertained for a silly minute. Please make sure you also wish Alexa a Happy Halloween; she has a spooky trick up her sleeve.

Enjoy the spookiest Halloween experience with Philips Hue in 360°

Philips Hue's Haunted House

Philips Hue designed a haunted home using its trademarked lights, which you can view in 360 degrees on YouTube. Lights flicker, change colors, and glow in eerie tones. You can see light strips, outdoor bulbs, and fixtures used through the quick video — all controlled through Philips Hue's bridge. FreshPorcupineSalad also has an excellent display of how they put Philips Hue lights to work for their own Halloween display.

How to make a Halloween Smart Home!

Apple HomeKit Halloween

Shane Whatley's kitted out his entire home using Apple HomeKit and tapping into brands, including Aqara, to create flickering lights outside and inside. In the video, there are colored lights that flash against the walls, some that also make candle effects, which he sets up and then controls via scenes — while both are showing off and explaining everything in this quick six-minute video.

Halloween Smart Home

iHome Halloween

Laura Laws walked through her Halloween smart home, where she automated her lights using an iHome smart plug and the Wink app. Glowing orange and red lights create a scary image on her ceiling and walls — and she can also turn lights on and off. Many of these automations are as simple as downloading an app and linking devices to it, which can take just minutes. A smart plug can also turn non-smart devices into connected ones, allowing you to control them through a smartphone or tablet. (Here is a link to our best smart plugs and switches to help you find other smart plugs that fit your budget.)

Caught on Arlo: Spooky Halloween

Smart security camera sneaks.

Arlo stitched together a few videos captured through the Arlo security camera of people getting scared by Halloween decorations. You can also put a Ring video doorbell or a Nest security camera to good use on Halloween — plus, Ring and Nest have special holiday sounds available to download for Halloween.

With Ring, when trick-or-treaters press the doorbell, you can look at them and even speak through the device — giving them a little scare before you appease them with candy. A Nest security camera can also be used to keep an eye on Halloween decorations to ensure they stay where you've left them, and a sneaky goblin doesn't wander off with anything before All Hallows Eve.

Also, don't forget to check out The GearBrain, our compatibility find engine. It will help you find, buy, and connect any smart device and help you see if any of your smart devices are compatible with Ring devices, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.

GearBrain: Connecting Amazon Echo Plus with Sengled Zigbee smart lightGearBrain recently tested Amazon's Echo Plus smart speaker. In this video, you will see us testing how Echo Plus can control ...

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