Laser trigger for lighting

Ok, here is my dilemma. We have echo as the voice control for ask of our HA. The family dies not use the ST app at all, just me. I’ve noticed that echo understands make voices more accurately than female voices. Here is the problem.

When my wife walks into the kitchen (center of the house kitchen with two access points) she walks over to echo and tells it to turn on the lights. I can tell this is frustrating to her because it would be faster for her to just flip a switch.

So this is what I’m thinking and I would like any feedback, ideas, recommendations, and if anyone had already done this…

I am thinking of taking a garage for sensor, the one that tells the system that something is in the way, and hard worrying it into a door/window sensor. I would then put this conspicuously into the door jams high enough that the purrs will not set it off. Then, as you walk through the doors, the lights come on. A smart lighting app can be used to turn them off or we just use echo.

I’m not concerned about the size and looks as I will re-engineer it to be much smaller and able to be hidden.

I haven’t found anything available for this. I’ve searched, but come up empty handed.


You might consider having your wife doing the “training” in the Echo app. It can make a big difference. We have literally about 20 different people using the echo at our house, and have not noticed a gender difference. But there are some individual people who for whatever reasons may not be as clear.

As far as what you’re talking about, absolutely, you can use beam detection. That’s fairly common in some secure facilities, just like you see in the movies. The issue is finding some way of communicating it to SmartThings. Right now I don’t know of any device that does that, and it would take some fairly complicated set up.

On the other hand, you could also just use a battery powered motion detector. They’re quite small, will probably cost you less than the pair of beam detectors, and already work directly with SmartThings. You can use tape over the detection area to make the area of detection smaller if you want to, so that floor level pets don’t trigger it.

The following topic does include an example of a beam detector system that is used indoors, but it is not directly connected to SmartThings.

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Beam detection… I couldn’t think of the name… I’m having s blond day!

I was thinking of getting a door/window sensor with external leads and hard wiring it to the beam detector. The sensor would communicate with the hub and turn on the lights.

Kind off like how I have the closet and laundry room doors set up. The sensor opens and the lights come on.

I’ve been along her to do the voice training, but she hasn’t done it yet. I’m going to press her on that too.

Also, i’ve mentioned before in other topics, but if you have a high up motion detector you can put it in a box or recessed into the wall and reduce the detection range to a much more focused kind of beam detection. This can be useful for catching someone as they walk through the door way, but not as they pass by on their way down the hall. It just takes some experimenting to get the angle just right.

Just remember that whatever you use, you need to be able to get to the device again later to change the batteries or do a network reset. :sunglasses:

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I’ve tried the motion detector… Too much of a time lag on those. One second lag is way too much.

Hi @bamarayne – Try looking at moisture sensors as a bridge between the beam and ST. Moisture sensors are basically a box with two metallic terminals on the outside that send a signal back to the hub when electrical contact is made between them. The intended purpose is for water to act as the conductor between leads, but you could easily wire any other electrical device to it. To me, these look like the easiest device to re-purpose for your intended application.

Then again, @JDRoberts’s suggestion to do voice training is also a good idea…

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Unfortunately, the majority of that time is cloud turn-around time, not sensor reaction time. No matter how quick your sensor, there will still be latency from ST cloud. Best case latency is on the order of 500 msec. But it can vary considerably higher than that.

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I have a closet door and the laundry room set up so that a the door opens the lights come on and when it closes they go off.
This is fast enough that the delay is barely noticeable. Both of these are running local.

I tried it with a motion sensor and I couldn’t get it to run local. There was a huge delay.

It could be that having to open and go through the door slows you down enough to make the short delay seem even less than it is.

The problem with the kitchen is that it’s an open floor plan. You pass by the bar to go one way into the kitchen and from the dining room it’s an archway.

I passed the idea by the wife and she pointed out the one fatal flaw with this idea. (Luckily my wife is pretty tech savvy, she was an aviation electrician in the baby). By having this set up the lights would come on every single time. This just isn’t practical as there is accent lighting, and sometimes the lights from the fridge front is enough to do what you want.

I’m still going to pursue the idea. I think I can make this work on the stairs… That is a place the lights will always need to come on.