There has been a lot of interest in the creation of an indicator, in particular for the status of the Smart Home Monitor. In my case, I kept triggering the door sensor from the garage since my presence monitor sometimes took longer to respond than my walk from my car to my door. After my house called my wife to let her know that an intruder was in the house, I decided that I really should be checking on the status of the alarm prior to opening the door.
Keypads have been suggested, and are a very good idea in that other people that come over to stay could use the pad to disarm the alarm, but I’m on something of a budget (my wife doesn’t understand my semi-obsession), and I haven’t been able to find anything for less than $40 to $50.
What I’m looking for here is simply a light that would be lit while the system is armed, and off when it’s disarmed.
I could also use a Hue or Cree light for this purpose, but the form factor just isn’t right, and I don’t want to pump the money into running a full LED lightbulb, when a single small LED is all I need.
There has been a string of articles on the use of a salvaged CREE bulb Zigbee board- using the Zigbee module out of the connected Cree bulbs, I’m thinking that I can build something out that is cheap and effective,
Step One- buy a bulb:
Step Two- set up CREE bulb in ST. Connection to the system was really easy: screw bulb into base, set hub to search for new device, turn on light. Once it was connected, I turned off the light at the switch, unscrewed the bulb, and replaced the CFL that was originally there.
Step Three- Break into bulb (part of this step is to explain to my wife that destroying a brand new and very expensive light bulb is all part of the plan). I found this to be somewhat difficult- there isn’t exactly a method that is recommended by CREE… I used a screwdriver at the top of the plastic dome and pryed the halves apart, working my way down to the metal ring at the base. The base eventually split, releasing all of the goodies inside. (lightbulb pinata?)
The Zigbee board is pretty easy to find, but it’s soldered to the vertical board with four pins. I wanted those four pins intact, since I was planning to attach the power source to two of them, and the LED/resistor assembly to another.
I am a Biomechanical Engineer- really, I am out of my depth with most of this stuff, so this has been a lot of fun learning about soldering, desoldering, and the rest. I tried to use a desolder suction device, but it wasn’t effective due to how close the pins were. I then tried using desoldering braid, but the solder down in the holes wouldn’t come out.
So I took the mechanical engineering route, and cut the perpendicular board in half along the line of the four pins.
A little dremel work, and we get cleaned up pins (needed a steromicroscope for this).
Next up is the LED, resistor, power source, and enclosure.