Recently we installed a new product that has a lot of potential uses in your smart home. We installed a pair of Photo Beam Alert Kits (available at Smart Home).
We had a customer with an existing Insteon Network that was controlled with Mac Software Indigo, by Perceptive Automation. I know I have mentioned this software before, but that is because I really like it, and love how flexible and powerful it is.
The client has two narrow walkways that lead to his back yard. We installed the kits on both sides of his house, and placed them discretely to not draw attention to them. You’ve seen this type of device in stores all over. They shoot a small beam of light to a mirror and the signal is reflected back. When the beam is broken, from something walking in past it, it sends an insteon message. This message when picked up by a controller, in this case a Mac running Indigo, can do anything you can think of. You can set rules, so you are alerted only at certain times, say at night. The software can send you an email, turn on a light, or give an audible response alerting you to the intruder.
In the first photo, you can see how we installed the reflector. We used 4×4 pressure treated lumber with a white plastic sleeve wrapped around it, and topped off with a decorative cap.
We attached the reflector to this, and buried it on the border of the property. We placed it so it is in a place where someone would have to go past it to get through the gate and into the backyard.
In this second photo, you can see how we mounted the Photo Beam Transmitter. We placed it on the side of the home, and drilled a small hole to run the power lines inside the home.
In the second photo (right) you can see how small the device really is, and therefore how easy it can be to hide. Even in plain site, it’s very discrete. And of course it is weather resistant, and well made to stand up to the elements.
There are a million uses for a device like this. Put them across your driveway to know when a car pulls in, at your front door, or boundaries of any kind. If you have another use for this type of device, we would love to hear from you!
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