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Automatic light switch while away from home

  1. Jun 19, 2012 #1

    Pengwuino

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    Dear PF,

    How are you? I am fine. So we are going to be out of the house for a month and I figure it would be a terrible waste of electricity if we had someone house sit for us. Does anyone know if anyone makes some sort of device that will turn on and off a light in our house for certain hours? I know there are some devices that will turn off and on an entire wall-plug for certain hours in a day (which I suppose I could use for some), but are there any that would fit right into the sockets themselves?

    Does anyone have any other suggestions to make our house... not look like it's been unoccupied for a month? :P

    DISCUSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2012 #2

    lisab

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    Where you goin'?
     
  4. Jun 19, 2012 #3

    lisab

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    More importantly - where do you live?
     
  5. Jun 19, 2012 #4

    lisab

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    http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/funny-pictures-cat-is-a-stalker.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  6. Jun 19, 2012 #5

    Evo

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    OMG!!! :rofl:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  7. Jun 19, 2012 #6
    Would it be expensive to have someone sit in the house than having install those home automations?
     
  8. Jun 19, 2012 #7

    micromass

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    http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQcfl_h2xyyypxvsKIOtKgU4wRlfZ1oUC36uTmIVmzbMBL-NAHe_rVkr0SI [Broken]
     
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  9. Jun 19, 2012 #8

    jhae2.718

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  10. Jun 19, 2012 #9

    Pengwuino

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    BAN BASIL!!!!

    I'm moving to Georgia. I'm bringing the parental units and we're just going to tour the south and east coasts as well so we'll be gone a month. Then I stay in Gawgia and they go home muahaha.

    Considering it's going to be the second hottest month of the year and our A/C won't need to be on if we leave the house alone, it would be a lot cheaper to have no one around and buy a few automation things than have to have the a/c on adn everything and pay the huge amounts of power it will take.

    BAH, I didn't know what search terms to use. I kept finding ... things that weren't what I wanted!
     
  11. Jun 19, 2012 #10

    BobG

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    Who uses lights as a guide to whether people are out of town or not?

    You call their phone and time how long it takes their answering machine finally beeps to take your message. The longer it takes, the more voice messages there are on the tape.

    That and checking out which houses didn't put garbage cans out on trash pick-up day.

    You don't think any of those light tricks really work, do you?

    The only real protection when you're gone is nosy neighbors that know you're gone (and they will if they're nosy enough). They'll get suspicious if the lights turn on in your house when you're supposed to be gone.
     
  12. Jun 19, 2012 #11

    Evo

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    Back in the olden days it was having someone remove the newspapers that were delivered.

    Keep the grass mowed. Have someone move a car in and out of the driveway.
     
  13. Jun 19, 2012 #12

    DaveC426913

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    Answering machine? Tape??? Yah. Check if the stables are empty too.

    But all seriousness aside. You assume the perp knows the phone number of the target house. B&Es tend to be more opportunistic than that.

    That requires more planning and patience than most B&Eers are willing to risk.

    The jury's out on that. Why do you think they don't?

    That why you tell them about the lights.
     
  14. Jun 19, 2012 #13
    There are programmable switches that are wired into the box and replace the switch cover.

    There are even security cameras that will let you watch burglars steal your stuff while watching on your smart phone.:bugeye:
     
  15. Jun 19, 2012 #14
    We don't know your actual background to give any advice.
     
  16. Jun 20, 2012 #15
    Years and years ago I rented a back room from a guy who was a real estate wheeler dealer. He went out of town on business one week feeling fine cause I'd be there. A couple days into his absence I went into the kitchen from my room in the back and heard people moving around in the living room. I though he must have cut his trip short, and was about to call out when the kitchen door opened and a face briefly appeared, then disappeared. There were frantic whispers, then fast footsteps away, then silence. I went into the living room to find the front door all askew: they had opened it with a crowbar.

    The cops said there was a network: baggage handlers at the airport take down the addresses of people leaving town and sell them to the B&E guys.

    I was just lucky these weren't the tie-you-up-and-tell-me-where-the-valuables-are type. They really were only interested in temporarily vacant places.
     
  17. Jun 20, 2012 #16

    Borek

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    A friend of mine told me that story. Back in seventies father of his best friend designed a system that would switch the lights on/off as if someone was home. But he forgot to tell his son how to switch it off. When his parents left the city for two weeks poor guy was living moving from room to room to follow the light. Mark claimed he have visited him one evening and it was like "OK, it is 20:15, we are going to the kitchen. Click!".
     
  18. Jun 20, 2012 #17

    DaveC426913

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  19. Jun 21, 2012 #18

    DrGreg

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    Products like this are widely available in the UK. I don't know about other countries.

    NB. A UK-sold device would work only for 220-240V supplies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  20. Jun 21, 2012 #19

    Integral

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    Back in the '80s I set up a X-10 system that was controlled by my AppleII. It turned on and off lights at pre-programed times including sunrise and sunset as allowable times. It even allowed to set a time window and would switch the lights at a random time in the window. (Random time -/+_15min of sunset).

    Not sure how they work now but it was not incredibly expensive then.
     
  21. Jun 21, 2012 #20

    DaveC426913

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    And it could do all that while storing and organizing all your recipes?? No wonder personal computers took off! :rofl:
     
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