I dare you to turn on my light!


Active Member
My HA/Security system does not protect any of my windows and I am missing a lot of coverage that standard systems use. But I have some alternative ways to protect my house and wanted to get people's opinions.

(Not sure how relevant, but I write my own apps and don't use HomeSeer.)

When the security system is set to AWAY, any light switch will not only trigger an alarm, but will taunt the intruder in addition to turning the light back off. Motion sensors and magnetic door contacts on most of my inside doors will also trigger the alarm.

My question is does anyone else use activation of lights or opening of internal doors & cabinets to trigger an alarm? I figure I already paid for the automated lights I might as well use them for security... You may break in but to get to any good stuff, I'll know..

It is real fun to put the software into away or debug modes and let it fight with my guests... "Moron, you can't use my bathroom!" as it turns the light off on them... Not sure how much of a deterrent it would provide, but I like it.

This might work fine in AWAY mode, but you aren't protected when someone is home. Personally, I like perimeter protection (doors/windows) AND interior protection for complete coverage. Odds are very small someone would ever even attempt to break-in, but it helps my wife sleep better B)

Interesting idea that could have some useful applications. I'll have to think that one through a little more......

If you are going to use it for security, I would make sure that you also turn on a "path of light" so you can find your way to the keypad in the dark without hurting yourself.
Hi Vaughn,

I too trigger my alarm from interior door contacts in away mode (also motion and exterior door/window contacts).

Never thought about triggering on light switch status change???

A couple thoughts/questions:

1. What happens if a light is turned on by timed event? I have some interior lights that go on/off randomly at night while in "away" mode and also a number of lights that turn on/off via timers. With my x10 switchlincs, this would trigger the alarm too. Maybe Insteon, Z-Wave, UPB can detect between a local change or one from the controller?

2. Light is the enemy of the burgular/bad guy! The first thing my system does when it detects an intruder is turn on ALL the lights inside and out.

3. Seems like burgulars alway bring their own flashlight (at least in the movies B) ) and avoid turning on the house lights (see #2).

Like Martin... I'll chew on this a bit more.

Thanks for sharing,
I thought the point of a Alarm is to draw attention and alert.

I feel alot safer to have All the lights On with my sirens/strobes going off like crazy. To me turning off the light is really little value when a bad guy doesn't really care to work in the dark.

I always carry a flashlight when prowling around at night but hardly use it B)
I too turn on all the lights inside and out if an alarm occurs. And UPB can tell the difference between local switches changing state versus the controller sending it a signal to adjust brightness. It is an extra countermeasure I have not thought of... but to be honest - in AWAY mode, my motion sensors would catch them before they could get to the light switches.
I believe I mentioned this before, but I activate strobes and sirens on an alarm immediately, but I first turn on ONLY the lighting where an entry was made. Then after a few seconds turn on all the lighting.

I would much rather be in the dark and have the intruder in the light at first (makes for an easier target to, err... hit B) )!
I would think that instead of turning the lights of that they should all start flashing to draw attention. At the same time the quick brightness and darkness could also keep the intruders eyes from adjusting properly. So perhaps 1 second one and 3 seconds off would keep him in the dark long enough to not find anything easily at the same time it would draw attention to your house with the addition to the siren.

Elk makes those strobe lights which might be a better thing to have flashing instead of your lights. So perhaps turn your lights off but have the strobes flashing.

Perhaps playing some music such as the Barney theme song would make the intruder want to leave also.
I agree with you all in that Turning a light off or relying on a light for security is mostly meaningless.

Some things to consider:
My lights are pet immune. I have false signals with motion detectors all the time, so motion generates warnings, but lights prove occupancy of a human.

Motion detectors throw out A LOT of traffic... Lights and magnetic sensors seem to give me more reliable information with less crap pumping through my log files....

Taunting is cool =). I have an 8-zone speaker system, so if the living room light is turned on (downstairs), the taunting comes from the upstairs speakers. Violation detected upstairs, taunt from downstairs speakers... Just keeping them off guard and confused as to whether anyone is even home.

Lights and internal sensors offer a lot of logic for when the house is in Home mode too. ADT is not going to impress or scare anyone when it is disarmed... Certain cabinets and lights are monitored even when I am home to catch noisy people trying to snoop where they don't belong...

Anyways, I just play and have fun. I am trying to learn new things, and in the process, I do a lot of silly things too.