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When you want to make your home look 'occupied'

Here is a simple technique which will turn lights on and off in a way that should 'deter' all but the most clever crooks.

Following this is a technique for telling you whether any motion has been detected in the house for the past few minutes !

The idea is to have a global script which you can start for any reason, like if you don't arrive home as planned, or if you're gone on vacation.

In the simplest example, you must choose the 'units' that you want to turn on and off while the script is active.

Select which lights you want to include

Here's what this group "Night Lights" might look like if you used the standard XTension Demo database:

nite lite group

Note that it isn't a very good idea to include 'outside' lights in this group as you should have motion sensors that turn these on and off...

Now, we need a script which will randomly 'toggle' the members of this group.

This script is really simple, but amazingly does create a random sequence of lights going on and off which looks a lot like there must be humans in that home...

random script

Starting and Stopping this thing:

You must now determine just when you want to have this script 'kick off'. It will stop itself automatically before midnite, but if you get home before midnight, you will want to be able to stop the lights.

Starting it is a simple thing. You can have a line in your 'sunset' script that says something like :

execute script "Random Walk" in 1 * hour
( Or any time after sunset that you choose. )

You may also want to have a command to send whenever you do finally get home and want the random lights to stop !

So you create a new unit called "House is Occupied", and be able to turn it on or off from one of the wireless controls. In this case, the ON script for this unit would include the line:
remove unit events "Random Walk"

OH ! When you get home, wouldn't you also like to know whether there has been any motion in the house in the past few minutes ????

Has there been any recent movement in the house ?

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Mac Made

Last modified: March 10, 2003
Michael Ferguson, webmaster@shed.com