Flash the Lights When the Phone Rings

Flash the Lights When the Phone Rings


The Problem

Sometimes it's just not possible to hear the phone ring. For example, you may be listening to loud music or running the vacuum cleaner. Or maybe you're just in a part of the house where you can't typically hear the phone ring, like the garage. The good news is that with a few affordable smart products, you can set up a simple home automation system in just a few minutes that will alternately flash any lamp or light fixture every time the phone rings.

The Phone

The first product you'll need is the X10 Telephone Responder. This unit acts as a communication translator between your telepone system and your home's electrical wiring. This system won't interfere with the normal operation of your phone.

To set it up, just follow these steps:

  • Connect the X10 Telephone Responder to any telephone jack, then plug it into a nearby AC outlet.
  • Take a small screwdriver and set the unit's X10 house code (represented by the letters A-P) by slowly turning the dial. It doesn't matter which house code you choose, although we recommend not using house code "A." That's the default setting and the one most likely to encounter interference.
  • Using a small screwdriver, set a 3-digit security code. This code can be any combination of numbers, so long as the last digit ends with 1 through 8.

Now every time you get a phone call, the X10 Telephone Responder will send out an X10 ON/OFF signal that corresponds with the third number of the security code.


The Lights

Next, you'll need one receiver module for every light that you want to flash. For plug-in lamps, you'll need an INSTEON LampLinc V2 Lamp Module. For built-in light fixtures, you'll need an in-wall dimmer.

INSTEON ToggleLinc Dimmer (2466DW) INSTEON LampLinc Dimmer (2456D3) INSTEON SwitchLinc Dimmer (2476D)

You'll notice that the X10 Telephone Responder has some buttons under the main panel, allowing it to double as a mini controller. These buttons will not only give you manual control of the lights, they also allow you to program the X10 address for each dimmer.

To set the X10 address on the LampLinc:

  • Plug the LampLinc into any outlet
  • Press and hold the LampLinc SET button for three seconds
  • Send the desired X10 Primary Address THREE times; the light will flash agai

To set the X10 address on any SwitchLinc or ToggleLinc in-wall dimmer:

  • Press and hold the paddle top or hold the toggle up for 10 seconds until the light flashes - then release
  • Send the desired X10 Primary Address THREE times; the light will flash again

Now every time the phone rings, the light you selected will flash ON and OFF with every ring. In addition, you'll also have the ability to turn that light on or off remotely from any touchtone phone in the world. To do so, simply dial your home, enter your 3-digit security code and press the code that corresponds with that light.


Add Optional Chime Modules

For more signaling options, you can also add an X10 Chime Module to signal you when the phone is ringing. It's perfect if you're in a part of the home where you can't hear the phone, like in the garage or patio. Simply set its X10 address and plug it into any AC outlet. Now when the phone rings, the remote X10 Chime Module will also ring.

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