Smart Home Magic: The Trickiest Ways to Automate Your Life

Smart Home Magic: The Trickiest Ways to Automate Your Life

Carley Knobloch
Oct 18, 2016
(Image credit: Marshall)

This month we'll be sharing solutions that are so simple and easy—and at times, automated—that they feel like magic. Hocus Pocus celebrates all the small ways you can trick yourself into living a better life.

If you jumped on the bandwagon and watched Stranger Things recently, you're probably looking for ways to feel less creeped out every time you wake up to go to the bathroom at night and have to walk down that long, dark hallway. But Halloween is coming, so it's time to celebrate the many ways you can use technology to automate your home—many of which are so smart they really feel like magic.

All of these gadgets are useful for tricks and treats, and also making your life easier the rest of the year. Think a motion-sensing light that alerts you to pumpkin bashers (or potential intruders) or a WiFi-enabled slow cooker that makes witches' brew (or just plain veggie stew).

Here are seven smart ways to sneak up on guests and goblins this October 31. Don't worry, no randomly illuminating Christmas lights included.

(Image credit: Nest)

A Smart Camera

Want to catch kids who can't keep their hands out of the candy bowl (or masked visitors who are more trick than treat)? The Nest Indoor Cam keeps an eye on what's happening in your home, and the Nest Outdoor Cam and alerts you to suspicious goblins outside.

(Image credit: Kuna)

A Smart Security Light

It looks like a standard porch light, but the Kuna Smart Security Light (pictured above) turns on when it senses motion and also records whoever's outside, so you'll know exactly who's TP-ing the trees on the front lawn.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Automated Colored Lighting

If you're throwing a party, the Phillips Hue Lighting system will allow you to magically change lighting in different rooms throughout the house, from soft white to other spooky hues.

(Image credit: Insteon)

A Smart Outlet

Plug a smoke machine into the Insteon Smart Outlet and you'll be able to surprise people by activating it remotely.

(Image credit: Somfy)

Self-Closing Shades

It'll look like a ghost showed up when you press a button from afar and Somfy's Smart Blinds or Shades open or close on their own.

(Image credit: Belkin)

A WiFi-Equipped Slow Cooker

Your kids may think you're really a witch when they see you were able to get dinner cooked in the cauldron, AKA CrockPot's Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo before you even got home from work.

(Image credit: Marshall)

A Bluetooth Speaker

The Marshall Stanmore Bluetooth Speaker looks decidedly old-fashioned despite its Bluetooth capabilities, so it may inspire shock when you hit play from another room and Thriller starts blasting on repeat.

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