5 Spooky Smart Home Halloween Ideas that Kids will Love
Halloween is right around the corner. Why not use your smart home to create the spookiest house on the block? Using your Control4 system and a few little tricks, you can create a spooky atmosphere that will amaze the kids and impress the whole neighborhood.
You already have a lot of the devices you need to make your house the most fun on the block for trick-or-treaters. Using your home automation system and a few tips from us, you’ll be able to create a scary show with lighting and sound effects from your favorite scary movies. You can also create spooky and fun surprises for kids in every dark corner of your yard.
Here are a few spooky smart home Halloween ideas that the kids will love!
Spooky-Up Your Doorbell!
To give your home a spooky feel, ditch the typical doorbell sounds and use scary ones instead. There are tons of options available. You can choose from various screams, a witch’s cackle, howls, creaky doors, ghosts or even songs like the “Monster Mash.” The easiest way to do this is to replace your doorbell’s chime with one of these scary sounds on Spotify or another music streaming platform..
When trick-or-treaters visit your home, you will be ready for them. If you want to create a little mystery and fun, you can even use your cameras and intercom system to interact with them.
Set up an Automated Halloween Candy Shoot
Surprise the kids with an extra treat, and set up a Halloween candy shoot. This is incredibly easy to do and you can automate it too. All you need is a photo shipping tube (you can order this on Amazon or any shipping supply store). Then decorate it in Halloween colors. You could paint it orange and string purple or black Halloween lights around it. Or, add paint it black and cover it in Halloween stencils or stickers.
Then, you can use your Control4 4sight subscription to set up a when>>then personalization to create a simple Halloween automation. Use an extension cord or smart plug to connect your lights to your home automation. Then program the Halloween lights to automatically light up when the door bell rings. When you drop the candy down the shoot, the kids will be thrilled!
Light up Your Front Porch with Color Changing Light Bulbs
Smart lighting is a great way to trick-out your home for Halloween. You can buy color changing smart light bulbs and use them to illuminate the path to your door and create a creepy entrance.
Philips Hue has a ton of great options for outdoor Halloween lighting, from spotlights to strip lights. They also have a motion sensor that you can use to automate your lights. When kids walk by, the path automatically lights up.
Another option is to buy some Halloween themed string lights and plug them into smart plugs. You can connect them to your smart home system and automate them or turn them on and off with your phone when kids walk by.
Digital Decorate your Windows
If you haven’t heard of digital decorating, this is something you have to check out. Digital decorating is a new trend that kids — and adults love! AtmosFX offers a variety of spooky animations like ghosts, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns that you can project onto a screen or wall..
You simply purchase a digital download. Then you can use a projector and screen to project the spooky animation on the screen. You can even play the download on a television. This would be a great way to use your outdoor television for Halloween. You could create a haunted backyard for the kids or have a killer Halloween party for the grownups.
Use Outdoor Smart Plugs to Automate Your Outdoor Halloween Decorations
You can use smart plugs to decorate your house for Halloween and to save money on electricity. Smart plugs are easy to install and set up. Just connect your smart lights or outdoor decorations to your smart plug and you’ll never have to worry about turning them all off manually. You can program them so that the lights automatically turn off at night, or whenever you want.
They’re also a terrific way to automate your smoke machine, digital decorations, or pop up Halloween inflatables. Just pair them with a motion sensor and let your home automation create the special effects. Kids and adults will love the way all of your outdoor Halloween decorations turn on and off like magic.
We’re the Experts in Home Automation
Whether you want to make your house the spookiest on the block for Halloween or have the most convenient home automation system ever, we can help. Contact us today at (770) 317-7016 to learn how to make your home a smart home.
4 Ways Your Business Can Benefit from Smart Technology
Businesses are always looking for more ways to generate more revenue, reduce expenses, and improve efficiency. Smart technology can help businesses do all three of these things. Adding smart technology such as smart lighting, smart security cameras, or an intelligent meeting system can help your business run more efficiently. This will save you money in energy costs and improve workplace productivity.
If you’ve never put much thought into smart technology, we’re going to explain a few ways your business can benefit from it.
One of the best ways to utilize smart technology for your business is to install a smart lighting system. No matter what kind of business you have, it is an easy way for you to implement smart technology. It will not only save you money, but it will provide better lighting for your retail store, restaurant, or office space.
Aside from the fact that lighting is essential for any business, lighting also affects how we feel. Have you ever noticed how your mood changes when it’s overcast and gloomy outside or how the sunshine brightens your day? Artificial light has been used to treat seasonal affective disorder and depression. It may improve the mood and energy of your employees. This in turn can make them happier and more productive. Your customers will also benefit from it, as it has been shown to affect buying habits.
Adding automated lighting to your office or workspace can save you money as it’s much more energy-efficient than traditional lighting. You can program your lights to turn off at times you don’t need them. Or, you program the lights to dim when there is more natural light. Just dimming the lights by 50 percent will reduce the cost of your lighting by 50 percent. And, smart lighting can reduce your overall energy costs by as much as 30 percent. If you have a large energy bill, these savings could be substantial.
A Smart Thermostat
If you are still using an old thermostat or programmable thermostat for your building, you will find that investing in a smart thermostat can do much more than just adjust the temperature. For example, it can tell when people are in the building or not and adjust the temperature accordingly.
A smart thermostat adapts and learns from the behaviors in your building. It will automatically adjust the temperature in your space, so that it doesn’t engage the heating or cooling system every time you change the temperature. This is a huge money saver. When you change the temperature manually, the heating and cooling system has to fire up each time, which wastes a lot of energy.
A smart thermostat is another easy way to add smart technology to your office or retail space. If you combine a smart thermostat with an energy-efficient heating and cooling system, you will see immediate money-saving benefits.
Smart Security Cameras
Every business owner wants their office or retail location to be safe and secure. Smart security cameras are an excellent way to keep your business secure. Unlike other security systems, a smart security system does more than just monitor your property. The cameras can be viewed from anywhere. You can check in on your location from anywhere right from your smartphone.
A smart security system allows you to monitor your business remotely. This way you can take immediate action if there is an emergency. If there is a break-in, the system will alert you and can take high-resolution photos of any intruders. You will have peace of mind knowing you can remotely view cameras inside and outside of your building to keep an eye on the situation until police or emergency crews arrive.
Intelligent Meetings and Conferences
As more businesses embrace remote and hybrid workforces, video conferencing has become a must-have for many companies. It allows people to participate in meetings regardless of their location, and makes meetings more convenient for everyone. Companies can make their meetings more effective and productive with an intelligent video conferencing system. You don’t want to waste time trying to get a meeting started with technology that’s difficult to use.
Beyond 1, a leader in intelligent video conferencing is now part of Creston. They have designed cutting edge tools that allow for more realistic video conferencing. Their solutions are much more advanced than other video conferencing systems like Zoom or Google Meet. Their intelligent conferencing uses multi-camera technology to automatically focus on the person speaking, which makes it easier to follow the conversation.
Even when a speaker is moving around, the cameras will focus on them. This system is remarkable at keeping track of the conversation. It makes participants feel like they are in the room, even if they are participating remotely. This is an innovative solution that will make your business stand out from your competition.
Are You Ready to Add Smart Technology to Your Business?
If you would like to add smart technology to your business, our team is ready to help you get started. Whether you’re looking for a smarter lighting system, security system, or video conferencing, we can design a custom system built around your needs. Contact us today at (770) 317-7016 to find out how smart technology can improve your business.
Outdoor Automation: Energy Saving Outdoor Tech That Turns Off When Not in Use
You want your home’s exterior to be secure and safe at night. You invested in security lights, path lights, and landscape lighting to make the night-time view of your home spectacular. But if you’re leaving your outdoor lights on all night, it adds up. You are wasting electricity and money!If you have outdoor landscape lighting, porch lights, fans, or other outdoor technology, and they’re not automated, you could be spending tons of extra money on energy costs over time. We all know that turning off lights when they are not in use is a good way to save money on your electric bill. If you’re not taking advantage of smart technology, you will need to manually turn your lights on and off. While turning your lights off manually can work, there are more efficient, convenient, and affordable ways to upgrade your outdoor technology to be more energy efficient. You can easily automate your outdoor lighting and fans.
MAKING THE SWITCH TO OUTDOOR AUTOMATION IS EASY!
With so many options in automated technology, making the switch to an automated outdoor lighting system couldn’t be easier. Upgrading your outdoor lighting and outdoor technology to an automated system can provide your home with more security, safety, and provide you with energy savings. You can have a fabulous well-lit garden or patio, with lights that you can conveniently turn on and off. Along with that, there are so many other cool features that will make you wish you made the switch sooner
Your outdoor landscape lighting, porch light, pathway lights, can all be controlled by powerful automation. If you are curious how difficult it is to upgrade your current lighting system, switching to the Control4 smart switch is a great solution. Control4’s wireless lighting solutions make upgrading your outdoor lighting to a smart automated system easy. Whether you’re ready to move all your lighting to smart lighting or just want to start small, Control4’s wireless lighting system can be tailored to meet your needs. Even if your current lighting system is older, there are options for upgrading your lighting system to Control4’s automated technology.
What’s a smart switch? A smart switch is similar to a light switch but it uses smart technology. A smart switch replaces your existing wall switch and can be programmed to turn your lights off and on automatically, or you can control it wirelessly through an app on your smartphone. Your smart switch works with other smart home technology to provide you with convenience and energy efficiency you can’t get from a traditional lighting system.
OUTDOOR AUTOMATION CAN SAVE YOU MONEY
More Americans are upgrading their homes to smart technology. Your indoor lighting can be automated. Your heating and cooling system can be automated. Your home’s blinds, entertainment systems, outdoor lighting, and fans can be automated. Aside from automated technology being convenient, it can create significant energy savings.
According to Energy Star, lighting accounts for about 20% of your monthly electric bill. The cost of electricity varies across the country. How much you can save from switching to outdoor automation depends on how much energy you typically use and how diligent you are about turning your outdoor lights and fans off. Some customers report saving as much as 30 percent off their monthly energy bill by moving their homes to smart technology.
By being able to control the times when your lighting is turned on and off, you can avoid paying for energy use when you don’t actually need it. Your outdoor lights can be scheduled to turn on automatically at sunrise or turned off automatically at sunset. Control4’s smart switch comes with a built-in app, so you can conveniently override the settings any time you want right from your app. You can use a timer to turn your lights or porch fans on only during certain ambient temperatures. No need to worry about forgetting to turn the lights off or for you have to get up and turn on the fan. You can program them to turn off or on automatically.
TAKE YOUR OUTDOOR TECH TO A NEW LEVEL WITH AUTOMATION
Sure you want to save money, but adding outdoor automation to your lighting system does more than that. It’s convenient, adds value to your home, and your life. Would you like to set the tone for an evening backyard get-together? You can easily adjust your outdoor lighting right from your smartphone. When you’re done for the night, you don’t need to go around and switch off all the lights. With just one touch, you can turn everything off. If you’d like to find out more about how to automate your outdoor lighting, contact Intuitive AV for more information on how to bring smart technology to your home.
HVAC Automation: Smart Thermostat Pros & Cons
With the advancements in modern technology, there is an app for everything. Thirty percent of American homes now use some type of smart technology, and this figure is expected to grow. There are smart TVs, smart lighting, smart speakers, and smart thermostats. Everything can be automated and controlled from your smartphone, including your HVAC system.
WHAT IS HVAC AUTOMATION?
HVAC automation simply means that your heating, cooling, and ventilation system is automated. An automated HVAC system is energy-efficient. It can make your life easier and save you money. Automated HVAC systems still have the same functionality as a traditional HVAC system, but instead of using a regular thermostat, they connect to a smart thermostat via WiFi. What this means for you is that you are now able to control the temperature of your home through automatic settings or right from your smartphone.
WHY MAKE THE SWITCH TO HVAC AUTOMATION?
If you’re thinking about making the switch to HVAC automation, you may be wondering whether or not it’s a good idea for your home. If you have a manual thermostat, upgrading to a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat can save you 20 percent on your heating and cooling bills.
You probably know the difference between a manual thermostat and a programmable thermostat. With a manual thermostat, the temperature in the room adjusts to whatever temperature the thermostat is set to. A programmable thermostat is more sophisticated. It allows you to digitally program the thermostat to change the temperature at set times or days. This means the temperature in your home can be set to be cooler or hotter when you’re not there, saving you energy and money. A smart thermostat also lets you program the temperature, but what’s the difference between a smart thermostat and a programmable thermostat? And is a smart thermostat better?
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT AND A SMART THERMOSTAT?
If you’re looking for ways to make your home more energy-efficient or lower your monthly heating or cooling bills, you might be considering upgrading your thermostat to a programmable thermostat or smart thermostat.
A programmable thermostat allows you to program the temperature in your home based on your needs. Programmable thermostats have been around for a while. Some of them are easier to use than others, but they work in much the same way as a smart thermostat but without smart technology.
While you can set customized temperatures with a programmable thermostat, such as when you are away from home or when you are on vacation, programmable thermostats are not always intuitive or easy to use. Homeowners often buy a programmable thermostat with the intention of using it, but many people never actually get around to programming their thermostat, defeating the purpose of buying one.
A smart thermostat is easier to use than a programmable thermostat and has more features. While they both will save you money on your energy bill, a smart thermometer has technology that allows you to easily program them and also adjust the temperature from your smartphone. Have you ever gotten out of work early? You can adjust the temp in your home to cool off while you drive home.
Some smart thermostats like the Control4 Wireless Thermostat by Aprilaire or the Nest Integration thermostat by Google have features that allow your thermostat to learn from your surroundings and behavior. They do much more than a programmable thermostat, they respond to what’s going on in the room, and adapt. They can adjust everything from the temperature to the humidity in your room.
Both smart thermostats can connect with your Google Smart Home or Alexa device, allowing you to use your thermostat easily through your app. You can set up an automatic vacation mode or away from home mode. All of your home’s comfort settings can be controlled directly from your app. An extra perk for tech lovers, when you connect your app to Google Smart Home or your Alexa device, you can control your home’s heating and cooling with voice commands. Something, you just can’t do with a programmable thermostat!
PROS AND CONS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT
For the most part, a smart thermostat is an excellent way to upgrade your HVAC system. There is an initial upfront cost when you invest in a smart thermostat, but the savings and convenience make up for it. In the long run, it is a great investment for your home. There are a few circumstances where you might not want to use a smart thermostat, such as if you work from home or if you plan to move soon.
PROS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT
- It’s energy-efficient
- It’s convenient. Program it and it does everything for you
- It’s easy to use
- It provides you with useful information about maintenance and energy usage
- It can be controlled from anywhere using your smartphone
- It’s cool!
CONS OF USING A SMART THERMOSTAT
- The initial cost of set up
- You may need to have it professionally installed
- If your home is never vacant, it may be unnecessary
- It only works over wifi
- Some smart thermostats will not work with older HVAC systems
WHY INVEST IN HVAC AUTOMATION?
If you are ready to upgrade your HVAC system, HVAC automation is a great way to turn your home into a smart home. If you have already started using other smart home technology, adding a smart thermostat to your house is just one more way to make your home more energy-efficient.