A (Cranky) Tech Guy’s Guide to Halloween

A (Cranky) Tech Guy’s Guide to Halloween

Written By

Derek Kopp

My enjoyment of Halloween is kind of a mixed bag (dad joke intended). I love seeing my kids get all dressed up and run off to parties. It’s also fun to take my little ones out in the neighborhood for a little trick-or-treating. I love to see their faces light up with the realization that all this candy is theirs and that they can just keep going to get even more. It’s even fun, for the first part of the night, to have little kids come to my door for snacks. Cute little stinkers. However, as the night drags on, I get a little more tired of having the dog go nuts every time the doorbell rings and having to pause my show to toss out some candy. It gets really old around 8:30 when the kids who are way too old to be trick or treating start showing up.

I believe I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I’m equal parts geek and curmudgeon. Well, this is a perfect example. I’ve decided to go on the offensive this year and my Vivint system will play a big role.

Step 1: Automate the porch lights.

As long as those lights are on, the kids will think I’m open for business. Because my system supports the addition of just about any type of Z-Wave device, I’m able to automate my porch lights using a Z-Wave light switch. At 8:00 on the dot, those lights will shut down and the yard will be plunged into forbidding darkness.

Step 2: Make liberal use of the doorbell camera

As my enthusiasm for trick or treating begins to wane, I can make a quick check of the doorbell camera feed before deciding whether or not to get up and answer the door. If I see 14 year olds without costumes hoping for a handout, I can simply hit them over the intercom with the bad news that I just “ran out” of candy. If I’m feeling particularly cranky, maybe I’ll add a snarky admonishment about getting a job. If I get really ambitious, I might conceal the doorbell cam behind some kind of monster to provide the illusion that it is the creature who disapproves of their questionable behavior. We’ll see.

I’m hoping that being in the driver’s seat will provide me enjoyment of this important holiday. Now if I could just hook the dog up to the system and turn off his barker, I’d be the happiest man alive.