What the Tech? Digital Decorations for Halloween
By JAMIE TUCKER Consumer Technology Reporter
There’s always that one house on Halloween that gets more attention than the others in the neighborhood. And I’m not talking about giving away full-sized chocolate candy bars.
I’m talking about decorations. You can go the pumpkins on the porch if you want, but the new trend of digital decorations is getting more and more affordable if you don’t mind doing just a little DIY work.
What are digital decorations? Most often it’s animated videos being projected onto doorways, garage doors, and windows. It’s easy and pretty affordable. If you’re on TikTok you’ll find lots of examples by searching #halloween or #digitaldecorations.
How do you do it?
First, you’ll need a digital projector. You can find them for under $60 online but the better projectors can run upwards of $400. The expensive projectors are a great investment if you’d like to show movies on a big screen outdoors.
Otherwise, cheap projectors will work fine for digital decorations. Just make sure the projector can play video from a USB flash drive, or SD card, or cast the video from a phone or tablet.
You’ll need the scary or Halloween-type video. You can find free digital videos on YouTube that will work fine. Some though will be interrupted by commercials. I found a good selection of digital files on ATMOSfx.com that range in price from $9 to packages of multiple themed videos for $59 from scary to not-too-scary, to terrifying.
These files will play on a loop and come with audio. Atmos has a huge selection of videos for Halloween and other holidays.
Once you have the video, and the projector you’ll need to figure out where you want the video to appear. Horizontal videos play well on garage doors and through large windows. Vertical videos look best in narrow windows and doorways.
The file I purchased has the vertical format to play inside the storm door on my entryway. To give it something for the video to play on, I purchased a cheap $1 shower curtain liner and tacked it up inside the doorway.
I then took the projector and turned it on its side so the video filled the doorway. I put the video file on a flash drive but my projector also has a slot for an SD card.
When I turned on the projector and pressed play, the terrifying video looked so realistic that friends told me it was too scary for trick-or-treaters. The next file I purchased was one that featured dancing cartoon monsters. I tried it on an upstairs bedroom window and on the garage door.
It looks fantastic and is sure to draw the attention of people as they walk or drive through our neighborhood.
Altogether, the Halloween digital decoration cost around $80. $70 for the projector, $9 for the file, and $1 for the shower curtain liner.
Granted, it is only for one window or garage door but by DIY’ing it myself, I feel like that was an inexpensive way to dress up our house for Halloween.