Repurpose a door/window contact as a smart switch

I recently bought one of the new gen5 aeotech doorbells. This made a home-made doorbell i created redundant. I will now show you how i repurposed it as a switch to control whatever lights i wish in my bedroom.

reason: I replaced the switch in the bedroom with the ge fan controller. However this means i had to use my alexa device to control the lights from the other room. I came up with an alternate way that doesn’t wake my wife up at 4 am.

The first pic shows where i put a hole in the wall next to the fan switch.

The next pic shows where i connected a standard wall switch into the “external” pins of the sensor.

The third pic shows where i simply fed the sensor into the wall, leaving the switch exposed.

This final pic shows the new plate on.

The current smart app for bulbs allows you to control bulbs with a sensor so no issues there. It works as intended :slight_smile:


I like the idea of this, but in many parts of the US it is a violation of residential code to put a battery-operated device of this type inside the wall. It’s a fire hazard. This is true even with very low voltage batteries. I know it looks nice the way it is, but I would seriously consider putting it in a vented case raised up above the wall. Also note if a fire starts and it is determined that it is because of a modification you made that was a violation of code, your house insurance may not cover the fire.

I hate to be a wet blanket for such a creative idea, but better a wet blanket than a house on fire. At least check your local code to make sure your homeowners insurance is still in effect.

On the other hand, maybe I’m just wrong on this. I’d be happy to hear I was. Hopefully one of the wiring experts can comment. I do know that both the battery-operated Cooper 9500 switch and the battery-operated Phillips hue dimmer switch say they should be mounted on the wall, not in the wall.

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so are you saying it’s ok to put this in a surface-mount box? I had actually wanted to do that but the store i went to didn’t have any.

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Yes, that should be fine as long as it’s vented and you check to make sure it’s not overheating.

i bought the gocontrol alarm kit on clearance at home depot for merely $25. I got two of them! So point is i have a lot of these sensors left i’m not using. I was thinking of getting one of those surface boxes and completely covering a spot on my wall that has 3 switches (two 3-way switches and one direct to my dining room chandelier). Each of those fixtures have smart bulbs so i wanted to cover these switches with either a setup just like in this pic or a scene controller of some sort. I consider mounting an unused android phone as a dedicated scene controller and having the power supply hidden in the box somehow. The screen could also have the weather and time on it. There’s a few apps that detect motion from camera and light the screen so i don’t think it will be too hard if i do that.

The mounted tablet or wifi phone gives you a lot of functionality. Lots of ideas on that in the dashboard hardware thread. :sunglasses: