High-Tech Halloween Shines a Creepy Hue

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Philips Hue Halloween Pumpkin

This Halloween we are continuing our tradition of decorating the hallway outside the Architechnologist offices in NYC in preparation for the hordes of trick-or-treaters that will visit the building. Refining the installation from last year (Home Takes on a Spooky (Philips) Hue, The Architechnologist, 6 November 2017), we have managed to transform our banal hallway into a totally automated visit to eerie town.

We have hidden a Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus (Amazon affiliate link) inside the building’s LED light fixtures and installed the new Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Candle bulbs (Amazon affiliate link) in our entry foyer to make the candy collection even spookier. The tremendous color range from the Lightstrip allows us to mimic the normal light color in the hallway and then trigger special effects with a Philips Hue Motion Sensor (Amazon affiliate link) and the third-party Hue Halloween application that synchronizes the flickering, color-changing lights with scary sound effects.

Philips Hue has shared some tricks will help you jump on some of the lighting shown here and a few more treats from their own lighting experts. Click here for the special Halloween page from Hue. (direct link).

An added Halloween tradition in our house is our Jack O’Lantern—a particularly important part of Halloween, as the Architect in the house counts on bragging rights. Every year since, I have asked my kids for a villain to carve, and every year they have picked some television or movie baddie appropriate to their age… until this year. Long discussions about Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War and Thanos’ villainy have led my children to declare that [Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t seen Infinity War, a plot point is being revealed. But seriously, come on] the biggest villain was not Thanos. Instead, the feature of our Jack O’Lantern would be Star-Lord, the hero who lost his temper cost the Avengers a chance at disarming the villain. Apparently, my kids have developed an understanding of irony and embraced their father’s sarcasm.

Getting a decent image transferred to the pumpkin has always been an evening-long event with much complaining from everyone involved. This year I had a flash of brilliance and utilized one of the most entertaining tech-toys in our house to easily get Star-Lord ready for carving: the smART Sketcher projector can take an image from your smartphone’s photo library, convert it to a black and white outline drawing and then project it onto a surface for tracing.

The kids' smART Sketcher projector let Dad put Star-Lord on the Jack O’Lantern.
The kids’ smART Sketcher projector let Dad put Star-Lord on the Jack O’Lantern.
Image Credit: The Architechnologist

The Star-Lord sketch worked perfectly and it is ready for carving this weekend. Check back on Monday to see the final product, complete with the color changing lighting and sound effects stashed inside.

All opinions in this post are my own; the smART Sketcher projector used in this post was provided as a review unit and Philips Hue has provided some of the products used in this post.

You still have some time to get your own home haunted… What high-tech tricks (or treats) do you use to decorate your place?

High-Tech Halloween Shines a Creepy Hue is cross-published on the Architechnologist, a site dedicated to exploring technologies that change the way we experience the world around us.

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