Insteon Solutions

Create a Festive Display That Will Surprise and Impress Trick-or-Treaters!

The weather outside is getting frightful, and it's time to start dusting off those holiday decorations to get ready for the endless number of visitors that this time of year tends to bring. For many, this time of year brings out a creativity that your neighbors may not see again until next holiday season, so why not do something memorable?


Using just a few simple products you can automate a festive display that will surprise and impress many of your trick-or-treaters. For this tip we will use a strobe light, Insteon I/O Linc, Insteon Motion Sensor, and HouseLinc software to program an event that will trigger a lighting-like strobe effect. In addition, using HouseLinc and a Global Cache device, we can add an audio trigger that will play scary sound effects and/or music as your guests arrive.

To begin you will want to connect a low voltage strobe light and power supply to an I/O Linc. The negative output of the power supply will connect directly to the strobe light. The second strobe light wire will connect to the positive output of the power supply through the I/O Linc (using the NO and COM terminals). Once wired, you can test the strobe light effect by tapping the set button on and off.

To add sound to your display, use a Global Cache device to send a timed IR code to your CD player or receiver triggered by motion. This scene is configured such that when the motion sensor senses a person approaching, it triggers an Infrared command to play the queued audio track you have set up to scare the pants off of the would-be trick-or-treater. To set this up, add the Global Cache device to your HouseLinc software and learn-in the IR code required to play the audio track of you audio player (e.g. CD player, receiver, MP3 player). Set the scene to activate when the motion sensor is triggered and you have now automated your spooky sounds to play automatically as people arrive.

To create this type of Event in HouseLinc, you will want to click on the 'Events' tab towards the top right section of the window and click on the button labeled 'Add Event.' Drag your Insteon Motion Sensor in the 'Trigger(s)' section of the Event (it should automatically default the trigger to motion detected). Next you will drag the 'Clock' tool into the Conditions section of the event and Edit the Condition to read 'if it's dark outside.' You will want to drag the I/O Linc into the 'Action(s)' section of the Event. Drag the 'Clock' tool under the 'Turn On' action of the I/O Linc and set a pause duration (this will determine how long the strobe is activate for). Finally you will want to drag the same I/O Linc into the 'Action(s)' section and Edit the action to 'Turn Off.' You can also add in the Global Cache to this Event to control Play, Pause and Stop functions on your audio device. Once your Event has been configured, click 'OK' at the bottom right hand side of the window.

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