Always Know When Somebody Rings Your Doorbell

Have you ever missed an important visitor or a package delivery because you didn't hear the doorbell? With a few inexpensive items, you can create your own notification system that alerts you in a variety of ways when someone rings the doorbell.

Add an Additional Doorbell Chime in Minutes

One of most common doorbell-related problems is a device that you just can't hear. Whether the doorbell chime itself is just too quiet, or whether it's just not audible from certain rooms in the house, this is one of the easiest problems to solve with the Extend-a-Chime Doorbell Extender. Setup is easy and takes just minutes.

Connect the transmitter onto the low-voltage screws of your existing doorbell. Click here for a diagram.

Plug the wireless chime receiver into any electrical outlet in a room where you have trouble hearing the doorbell, up to 150 feet from the transmitter. Extra chime receivers are also available for multiple rooms.

Once connected, the original doorbell chime as well as the new wireless chime receivers will activate when someone rings your doorbell.

Make Your Lights Flash When Someone Rings the Doorbell

Sometimes you don't necessarily want to hear your doorbell but would still like receive a visual alert when visitors arrive. This is ideal if you like to listen to loud music, have family members who are hard of hearing, or if you don't want to wake the baby. Although this project takes a few extra steps and requires a few more products, you'll have much more flexibility to create a system that adapts to your home. Start with the following products:

Elk 930 Doorbell and Phone Ring Detector

 Elk 930 Doorbell and Phone Ring Detector

X10 PF284 or PSC01 X10 Powerflash Interface


Find the doorbell transformer that powers your existing doorbell (usually in the garage, attic, closet or other out-of-the-way area).

Cut and splice the Doorbell Detector (Item #1221) into the wire connecting the transformer to the existing doorbell chime. Then connect the "output" and "negative" terminals to the Powerflash Interface (Item # 4060). Click for a diagram.

Switch the Powerflash Interface to Input A and Mode 3 and set the X10 address that you'll be using to trigger a macro. In this example, we'll use "E1."

Plug the Powerflash Interface into a nearby AC outlet. Now when someone rings the doorbell, the Powerflash Interface will send the signal "E1 ON."

Select the lamp from which you want to be signaled when the doorbell rings, and plug it into a LampLinc Module, which then plugs into any outlet. You may also set up multiple lamps, although you'll need additional LampLinc Modules for each lamp.

Set the X10 address on the LampLinc Module according to the steps detailed in the instruction manual. In this example, we'll use "E2."

Install the PowerLinc USB Controller software on your computer and then connect the PowerLinc to your computer.

Using the PowerLinc USB Controller software, program an event-triggered action that, upon detecting the "E1 ON" signal, will then send these codes: E2 OFF, E2 ON, E2 OFF, E2 ON. If you own the software, click this link for the example program: Doorbell Flash Example. If you want, you can also program a "doorbell lighting scene" that's triggered by the "E1 ON" signal.

Now, when someone rings the doorbell, the lamp you selected for signaling will flash. Because the last step of the macro was the E2 ON command, the lamp will remain on (making sure you're never left in the dark). If the doorbell rings during daylight, when the light isn't needed, simply turn off the lamp with any X10 controller. If you're not home when your visitor rings the doorbell, this feature is a great way to alert you if someone came to your door while you were gone.

Advanced Tech Tip 1:

Want the lights to revert to their original on/off status at the end of the signaling sequence? No problem! Because the PowerLinc Controller (1132CU) supports conditionals, simply enter logic that states: If E2 is ON, Then E2 OFF, E2 ON, E2 OFF, E2 ON. If E2 is OFF, then E2 ON, E2 OFF, E2 ON, E2 OFF.

Advanced Tech Tip 2:

Once you set up this project, you can easily add extra chimes throughout the house by expanding with X10 Chime Modules. With chime modules you can be anywhere in the house (or garage) and still be alerted to someone at the door.