Archive for April 9, 2010

Weekend INSTEON Project: Automatically Turn Off Lights When you Arm your Security System

Add the ability to have your security system automatically turn lights off when you arm your security system. This reduces energy costs and keeps you from having to walk around the house making sure lights have been turned off before you leave the house. This project assumes you currently own a security panel that provides a relay output from the main board. We recommend that you be familiar with your security system or have a professional complete this project.

Parts list:
1 I/O Linc
1 Dimmer or Relaywall switch for each light you want to control
1 Lamp module for each lamp you want to control
1 Pair of Access Points


1. Install your Access Points on opposite phases in the house. (explained in the setup guide for Access Point).
2. Install the wall switch or lamp module to control your desired light. For the new wall switch you will install it in place of your existing switch. For a lamp module you will plug your lamp into the bottom outlet and plug the lamp module into a wall outlet.
3. Now plug the I/O Linc next to your alarm panel.
4. Typically most alarm panels will have at least a set of contacts that are part of the system that will allow you to trigger an external device. This part of the process may require someone who is very familiar with the system.
5. There may be an option to pick either a normally open or a normally closed set of contacts. These are usually shown as N/O or N/C on the security panel circuit board. The most practical would be to pick the N/C set of contacts and run wires from there to the N/C set of contacts on the I/O Linc.
6. Now press the set button in on the I/O Linc for 5 seconds and the led should be flashing, now go to the switch or lamp module and hold the set button in for 5 seconds. This will link each light to the I/O Linc.
7. You should now be able to test that the links work by by tapping the set button on the I/O Linc once to turn on the light and again to turn it off. If this doesn’t work then follow the instructions that came with the I/O Linc on how to link it to another device.
8. The alarm system will need to be programmed to tell the contacts to open when the system is armed and close when the system is disarmed. This may happen without any programming needed but you will need to verify operation first.
9. Once all of this is done the alarm should turn on your lights when you disarm the system and turn them off when it is armed.


* Using a continuity meter to check the contacts on the alarm system ahead of time will verity if you need any additional programming. Connecting the meter to the normally closed contacts when the system is disarmed will show continuity but when the system is armed it will not show continuity. If this set of contacts does not change state you may need some outside help from an alarm company familiar with the system. Sometimes an add on component can be purchases by your alarm provider to provide these contacts.
* By following the instructions with these devices you can have the device come on a dim level or have the I/O Linc send only off commands.

This project can take up to two hours if the alarm contacts are present and no programming needs to be done by an outside contractor.

Easily Bundle, Organize and Identify Cords and Cables

Dotz, LLC DCS301AN Dotz Cord Straps, Multi-Color

Dotz Cord Straps are an easy to use solution that allows you to better organize cords and cables in your home or office. The reusable straps wrap around your home theater cords or computer cables and “zips” up to your desired tightness. If you want to undo and remove the strap simply press the dot. For added convenience, there are 36 punch-out tabs included that fit into the dot on the strap, making it easy to identify your cords and cables at any time.

  • Organize loose cords and cables by strapping them up
  • Simply punch out the appropriate icon, press it in, and attach the strap around your cords and cables
  • Straps can be easily removed and reused
  • Includes 8 reusable multi-colored cord straps, 24 punch-out icon tabs and 12 DIY punch-out icon tabs
  • Price: $9.94
  • Read more

    Color Packs Also Available:
    Dotz, LLC DCS303SM Dotz Cord Straps, Smoke
    Dotz, LLC DCS302RD Dotz Cord Straps, Red
    Dotz, LLC DCS304PI Dotz Cord Straps, Pink

    Variety of Dotz Identifiers Also Available


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