Halloween time approaches. You love gadgets. You work hard. It's time to have some fun with the neighbors, or host your own haunted party. Halloween is the perfect time to automate your scariest ideas. Here are a few of our favorites from the Intellanet Home Automation Library.

The 411 on 10-31

Stefan Willmert | Intellanet

Halloween time approaches. You love gadgets. You work hard. It's time to have some fun with the neighbors, or host your own haunted party. Halloween is the perfect time to automate your scariest ideas. Here are a few of our favorites from the Intellanet Home Automation Library.

By Stefan Willmert, Intellanet


The Television Right Out of Poltergeist ("They're HERE")

Using a motion sensor, as soon as someone walks in the room and the motion sensor fires, execute a script that turns on the television and sets it to a channel with all static. If anyone tries to change the channel, be sure to automatically set the station back to a channel with all static. If they try to turn the television off, turn it back on.

The House That Keeps Prisoners.

With a standard door sensor, as soon as someone enters, and the door shuts, you can execute a small script to lock the electric door strike, and if it's too quiet to hear, have the system play a sound on your whole house audio system that sounds like a door locking. Put an electric door lock on a bedroom door, and you have the perfect dungeon for an unsuspecting guest.

Haunted Lighting

Of course, you can have lights turn on or off as someone enters a room, using a motion sensor, but here's an interesting lighting tip. Use a length of fiber optic cable. Put a light bulb in a small, wooden box, leaving one end of the fiber optic cable near the bulb. The end of the cable will pick up the light, and transmit it along the cable. Since fiber optic cable is so small, you can put it almost anywhere. Hang the cable on the trim of your walls, on cupboard doors, or on a painting / picture. To make a portion of the cable emit the light from the bulb, use a small knife to scratch the surface of the cable. Make the eyes of a portrait glow with a red light bulb. How about a glowing pentagram on the floor or the wall?

Haunted Sounds

With a whole-house audio system and your mp3 player, you can have the system play various sounds in different parts of the house as guests move around. Anything can trigger the sound of chains, a howling voice in the basement, or a barking dog in a private room. Scare the pants off trick-or-treaters as they approach your front door. Remember not to go too crazy with the children. You don't want to be known as the evil, mysterious neighbor.

The Jack-O-Lantern Watchdog

Using an electric bulb in each jack-o-lantern, and a single motion sensor, you can turn on the scariest faces you can carve as soon as someone approaches your front door. Enhance this one by adding a motorized drape controller and a little fishing wire to make the pumpkin appear as if it's rising off the ground all by itself. (Please do not use candles with a moving pumpkin. Candles are an extreme fire-hazard) Add some evil laughing sounds and you'll have plenty of Halloween candy left over for yourself this year!

The Real Host of the Party

Do you have an electric piano or keyboard? Put a skeleton on the piano bench and use the automation system to start the piano playing by triggering any standard midi file. Most new digital pianos have an interface to play any midi files. Fine a nice-sounding organ and watch your guests jump, as the skeleton appears to be playing them a tune. Add some fiber optic lighting and make his eyes light up.

For other Halloween gadgets, I recommend looking at the Halloween section on www.smarthome.com. Some gadgets seem a bit pricey, but I'm sure you can find plenty of cool gadgets to amaze and scare your neighborhood.

With an automation package such as the Intellanet Home Automation System, your options for automating your home are unlimited. Don't stop at Halloween, use the system for your Christmas lighting as well. Not only can the automation system provide convenience, cost savings, safety, and your neighbors envy, but you can have fun with it for all sorts of occasions. A little imagination goes a long way. If you would like information about the Intellanet Home Automation System, please visit our website at www.intellanet.com.

Have a safe…and scary Halloween.


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