Throw a Killer Halloween Party with Smart Home Technology

Here are six ways technology can help you turn a ho-hum Halloween party into an incredible frightfest.
Consider the last Halloween party you went to: there were fake spiderwebs, tombstones, maybe a cool jack-o’-lantern. Fun, right? But also very predictable.

This year, however, doesn’t have to be so blasé. Here are six ways technology can help you turn a ho-hum Halloween party into an incredible frightfest.

1.  Set a spooky mood

Lighting makes all the difference. Go beyond basic black lights and candles with smart LED light strips that can display millions of colors. Philips Hue and LIFX Z make strips that are extremely flexible and have sticky backs, so you can shape and place them anywhere.

With an app on your phone, you can easily control the color changes and brightness, or if you prefer voice commands, most are compatible with Amazon Echo or Google Home. Really want to get the party going? Try syncing the lights to your music playlist. Anyone in the mood for “Thriller”?

2.  Give them at least one jump scare. Boo!

If you have a drone (doesn’t everyone?), convert it into a flying ghost. It’s perfect for surprising guests as they arrive.

Just search online for “How to make a drone ghost,” and you’ll find a number of step-by-step tutorials. You can also buy one if you’re not into DIY. Either way, you’re bound to get a few screams and a lot of laughs, which is what Halloween is all about.

3.  Make some creative cocktails

Everyone serves beer and wine. But if you want to enhance your party and stick to the theme, whip up some seasonal cocktails. Apps like Cocktail Flow and Highball feature lots of crowd-pleasing drink recipes, with a list of ingredients, necessary equipment and step-by-step instructions. I recommend Kill Devil Punch or something classic like a Blood & Sand—both are perfect for Halloween.

Pro tip: Make a monster batch ahead of time so you’re not stuck mixing drinks all night. And consider chilling your drinks with LED ice cubes or serving them in LED glassware to heighten the mood.

4.  Try a live slideshow

Rather than waiting until after the party to see all the pictures, make the photos part of the fun. Send your guests an invitation to a shared Google Photos album and encourage them to add pictures throughout the party. Then, activate the slideshow feature and show it on your smart TV or Google Chromecast so everyone can watch.

If you prefer Instagram, designate a unique hashtag for your party, and use a program like Hashslider or Slidesome (both have a free version). Seeing photos from the party on screen will encourage folks to take creative pictures.

5.  Embrace the horror

Is a photo slideshow a little too…tame? If you have money to spend, invest in a mini projector and show your favorite scary movies during the festivities. Mini projectors like the Nebula Capsule or RIF6 Cube are portable, surprisingly powerful, and compatible with most smartphones and tablets for easy streaming. All you need is a blank wall (or a crisp white sheet) to set up a spooky backdrop.

6.  Put your smart speaker to work

The downside of hosting a party? You can spend so much time entertaining people that you forget to enjoy yourself. Let Alexa or Google Home help.

Tell your smart speaker to recite recipes, control lights, change playlists, and adjust the music volume. Depending on how many speakers you have, you can sync them to play the same music inside and outside, upstairs and down. Here’s how to do it with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

A smart speaker can also help shut the party down when you’re all spooked out. Set up a simple “Goodnight” routine to turn off all the lights and music at once. Any guests who have overstayed their welcome will get the hint. If it comes down to it, you can always chase them off with your drone ghost. Happy Halloween!

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