Flashing Lights?

Wondering if anybody knew of a way to make lights flash that does not include webcore. I have nothing against webcore, but would like to do it with “built in” SmartThings functionality if possible.

Basically, I’d like to say that if the front door multi-purpose sensor senses vibration at night then flash the outside lights (which are already on from sunset to sunrise).

I had somebody knock on my door at 12:30 the other night. It did not wake me but my blink camera picked it up. I’d like the ability to scare the crap out of the person if they do it again. I figure flashing the lights quickly in succession would take care of it.


How about through the smart lighting smartapp?
Create new automation>
Select the light you want to control>
Select you want it to turn on>
Select trigger as acceleration>
Select your device>
Then select the option to turn off once stopped
It will look like a flash as it won’t last long.

Unfortunately then the lights will be off the rest of the night (unless someone is knocking).

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I don’t know if there’s anyway to do it in the new mobile app, which has a different rules engine.

But if you have smart bulbs which have their own “blink“ scene option, and they have an IFTTT channel, then you can activate that scene by turning on a virtual switch. People have been doing it that way for several years. I know Hue has that option, I’m not sure whether LIFX has or not.

That method won’t require any custom code other than the virtual switch.

There are also some Z wave switches, notably eaton Cooper, which have a blink capability, but you would have to have custom code to send the command to the switch, so at that point you might as will just use webcore.

There are also some zwave sirens which have a strobe light capability, and can be set to only strobe, not sound, so that might be another possibility.

All of that said, I would rethink your desire to scare the person. A late night knock might well be fire, police, or the utility company coming to notify you of a problem in your neighborhood. 👮🏽‍♂️

We had a “shelter in place“ alert in my neighborhood about three months ago. They did phone call notifications but anyone who didn’t respond to the call had an officer knock on their door.

Anyway, if you tell us the brand and model of the switch or bulb, we could make some more suggestions.

This topic has also been discussed multiple times in the past, so you might just search the forum for existing topics such as the following (this is a clickable link)

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Thanks, I didn’t even think about setting up the scene with the Hue app. I’d already done the virtual switch and the IFTTT statement.

I don’t think the police, etc. would be scared by flashing lights. It’s more of, if somebody who shouldn’t be knocking is there it would bring attention to it and hopefully encourage them to move along.

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I kind of would like this, too, but not from Hue bulbs because the lights I want to flash are not Hue.

I could see where this would be a great idea for outside lights in the case of fire, or burglary, or a medical emergency to draw attention to your home for first responders. Obviously, you would be limited on some types of bulbs but all my exterior lights are dumb LEDs so I could flash those without issue.

My personal preference if you don’t want to use hue bulbs is to use the Eaton Cooper Z wave switch with the “alarm“ feature. That’s discussed in the thread I already linked to. It just works really well and since it’s in the firmware of the switch itself, the hub only has to send one command, which means it should work every time consistently and reliably. All the software stuff that works in the cloud, including webcore pistons, are just a much more fragile approach. But that’s just my feeling. :sunglasses:


Yeah, but I use the Leveton dimmer on them and have things set up like brighten them to 100% if someone comes up (motion) or the door is opened. I would not want to purchase a switch just because of a function I hopefully would never have to use but would be thankful it was there.

I have been picked up at my house by the ambulance…twice. It would have helped them. Plus, think about how easy it would be for the pizza delivery person to figure out what house gets the pie?

there is a smartapp called Flasher III. I suspect if you do a search you will find code for it.

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BlinkLight smartapp on GitHub
is available as of 11/17/'2018.
Happy Thanksgiving


Seems to work pretty well

it works great with my philips hue.
but with my lifx, after finish cycle, the bulb won’t turn off.

another side, I can’t choose multi bulbs (eg. hue+lifx). could you take time to do an update?
thank you.

Man, this works just perfect!
I was looking for exactly this when I found your smartapp.

My use case is when I’m in our Home Theater room and someone opens the front door one Philips Hue light will flash two times and the return to its initial state. In doing so I know that someone has enter the house without being able to hear them enter.

Many thank you and have a great 2019!


|### Tom Young <tyoung3@gmail.com>|12:41

To flash multiple lights, create multiple BlinkLight instances. This approach allows for different parameters for different types of lights.

BlinkLight is intended to return the light to its original state, as opposed to leaving it off. Some lights may not reliably indicate their current status. Perhaps lifx is one of these.

Thanks for your feedback!

My GE light flashes when Ring sees motion at my front door.

@Linuxmaven Is there anyway to edit the app to allow it to be triggered by a button? Example I have a zigbee button for my door bell. I live in an apartment so I couldn’t just install a wired one and I figured with my current setup it wouldn’t be difficult. It works. But there have been time I’m playing with the kids etc and miss the tone for it. So what I would like is for say the Kids Lamp and my living room lights to blink a few times when the door bell is pushed.

Sorry sdh91, buttons are above my pay grade right now. They are a bit more complex that it would seem: have press, double press, hold, etc. options.

Nice use case. Thanks for the feedback.

There is a app called Flasher 2. It shouldn’t be to hard to add a button as a trigger for it.

The issue is that at this time I don’t understand the code or mechanism to add to these apps, the larger issue is I just don’t have the time to learn it.

But maybe shortly I will gain some time.