Frequently asked questions regarding the operation

In what situations would you recommend multiple units?

If you want to protect your house from more than one side than you can use more units to increase protection. If you are using more units, you have great flexibility in presence simulation where you could switch on/off light and shadow casts automatically for different rooms.

Do shadow patterns repeat?

HomeShadows moves shadows in a completely random way and uses special algorithms to simulate everyday movements of people. When looking from the outside, one has the impression that people are moving quickly or slowly in the living space, that they remain standing or that they are even communicating with one another. Should the movements repeat themselves, it happens simply by chance.

How do I set up HomeShadows?

In principle, it is always about making visible moving shadows to the outside and setting HomeShadows in such a way that the device itself cannot be seen from the outside. Examples of application and further details can be found under „First Steps“

I have no or very transparent curtains. Can I still use HomeShadows ?

If it is possible to see the whole room from the outside, then it does not make much sense to simulate shadows, because in this case it can be seen that no one is really present. But if other rooms are connected to this one, and they are not quite visible from the outside, then shadows can be created on the walls there and they can be seen from the outside. Example: The living-room is completely visible from the outside. From there, you can get to the kitchen by going through a door. What can be seen from the outside is the kitchen wall, but not the whole kitchen. In this case, HomeShadows can be aimed at the visible wall in order to simulate shadows.

Can I simulate shadows with external blinds ?

Yes, but shadow effects are very limited due to their small light slits. This is why we recommend curtains or inside blinds.

My blinds are always down when I am on holidays. Does the AUTO mode still work in this case ?

The AUTO mode does not function properly when the light sensor cannot recognise any differences in brightness between day and night, since the brightness in the room always stays the same. In this case, you can use an external time switch and set HomeShadows to “ON”.

Sometimes no shadows are created

This is correct and intended as such. People do not move constantly in real life either. However, the breaks are short, since burglars should not overlook the “presence”.

The shadows are recognised only weakly from the outside. How can I improve their visibility ?

  • It has to be dark in order for the shadows to be seen. During the day, it is impossible to see any shadows due to the light conditions.
  • Ensure that no additionally switched on light sources are simultaneously illuminating the same curtains, blinds or walls that are already being illuminated by HomeShadows. In case of doubt, switch off any extra sources of light.
  • The closer HomeShadows is located to curtains, blinds or walls, the better the shadows are visible from the outside.
  • When curtains do not let enough light through, then the shadows are not seen that well. If possible, use translucent curtains.
  • If you use blinds, pay attention to the slat positioning. In dark rooms, they can be tilted up or down. Try different slat positions in order to optimise the visibility of the shadows.

HomeShadows does not generate any sharp shadows of the body. Is it intended?

Yes, it is! See the details under „Why the shadows look the way they do“

Is HomeShadows loud?

HomeShadows works without a fan and is absolutely silent as a result.

Does HomeShadows need a lot of energy ?

No. In the stand-by mode, the device needs about 0.25W. That is much less than 1W! In operation, it needs a maximum of 7W and therefore it can be operated without reservations for a longer period of time.

Can I also set up other activation times?

Yes. Turn HomeShadows to “ON” and use an external time switch.

Can HomeShadows overheat ?

No. Security mechanisms prevent overheating.

HomeShadows switches uncontrollably ON or OFF in the AUTO mode

HomeShadows is most likely located in proximity to a foreign light source, such as a status LED of another device or a flashing source of light that impacts the light sensor.

In the AUTO mode via the light sensor (2), HomeShadows neither switches ON nor OFF.

The most common reasons are:

  • HomeShadows does not recognise any day/night cycles. Ensure that the sensor (2) on the back of the device gets enough light. If it is placed on a shelf for example, you can push a bit forward in order to provide more light for the sensor.
  • The switch (1) is set to “ON”
    → SChange to the “AUTO” mode.
  • Verify whether the light sensor is defective:
    • Switch off the device. Set the switch to „OFF“.
    • Put the device in a dark room. Cover the light sensor (2) completely with a finger and set it then to the „AUTO“mode while you keep the light sensor covered. If the device turns on, the light sensor works properly.

If the device still does not switch on in the “AUTO” mode, read “3 steps to security”. If that does not help either, the sensor could be defective. Please pay attention to the instructions under „First steps“

HomeShadows switches off, even though the switch (1) is set to “ON”.

Possible reasons:

  • Is the power cable plugged in?
  • Did a time switch turn the device currentlessly on?
  • Did the device turn off due to overheating?

When a or b are not the reasons, then verify the status of the blue status LED (4).

Blue status LEDs
They are flashing constantly
HomeShadows befindet sich im Standby Modus und wartet auf Tag/Nachtzyklen. Der Schalter befindet sich auf „AUTO“ und das Gerät ist somit nicht permanent eingeschaltet. HomeShadows is in the stand-by mode and waits for day/night cycles. The switch is in the “AUTO” mode and the device is therefore not permanently on.
Flashing 10/90%
HomeShadows switched off due to overheating. Please check if the ventilation slots are dirty or covered. The device is ready for use again after cooling down. If a, b or c are not the reasons, then the device could be defective.

Can HomeShadows remain continuously switched on ?

Yes, of course. HomeShadows is intended for continuous operation.

The blue status LEDs are flashing. What does it mean ?

Blue status LEDs
Always ON
HomeShadows is in the stand-by mode and waits for day/night cycles. The switch is set to “AUTO” and the device is therefore not switched on permanently.
Flashing 10/90%
HomeShadows switched off due to overheating. Please check if the ventilation slots are dirty or covered. The device is ready for use again after cooling down.
Flashing 50/50%
HomeShadows has become too hot since the last time the switch was pressed, or it is trying to prevent overheating by reducing the brightness. Please check whether the ventilation slots are dirty or covered. Once the device has been cooled down, simply switch OFF and to ON/AUTO again to reset the flash warning.
This procedure ensures that the user recognises a possible overheating even when the device is already cooled down again. Thus, actions such as cleaning or changing the installation location can be taken, and a reliable application can be guaranteed.

Common general questions

What are the benefits of this technology?

  • Deters before break in occurs. (Psychological effects, No Damages => No Cost)
  • Light ON/OFF + Shadow Cast (to make the house look more lived-in)
  • Makes you feel safe (Could even be used if you are at home => simulates more occupants)
  • No installation required
  • maintenance free
  • no annoying false alarms

Who can use this product?

  • Single-Family house owners
  • Anyone who wants to simulate more presence
  • Anyone who wants to deter burglars before they even try to break in to prevent damages
  • DIY enthusiasts because no installation is required

When does it not make sense to use HOMESHADOWS?

  • In high-rise buildings when it is not possible to see which window belongs to which entrance.
  • When the whole room can be seen from the outside than it does not make sense to simulate presence since you will see that there is no one at home.
  • In large rooms with distances >4m / >13ft
  • In case of wooden blinds the shadow cast visibility is very limited
  • Blinds with fixed blades may probably not bring best results

Can it be integrated to smart homes?

Yes. Simply plug it into a smart plug from your smart home system and control it just like a normal light source but with the great benefit of additional presence simulation effects.

Can it be used in addition to an existing home security system?

Yes of course!. At best, you will then never need your remaining home security system

What would be the reason to add to a home security system?

If you want to deter burglars even before they try to break-in, than you have the best reason to use HOMESHADOWS.

How many units would a typical household want or need?

In most cases one unit is enough. But if you have two or more dark sides of your house, you could use more units to show presence on each side to optimize your protection. If you are using more units, you have great flexibility in presence simulation where you could switch on/off light and shadow casts automatically for different rooms.

Does HomeShadows need any additional illumination ?

No. HomeShadows generates shadows without any additional illumination.

Should the room lighting be left on while HomeShadows is in operation ?

It is possible if both light sources do not overlap. Otherwise we recommend not to turn on any additional lighting, as it weakens the shadow representations.

Can I use HomeShadows as room illumination?

The device is designed to generate shadows on curtains, blinds or walls and not intended as room illumination.

I am already using a timer switch to turn light on automatically. Can I use HomeShadows instead of the current light-source?

Yes. It will add extra movement.
Please note the prerequisites as mentioned under „First Steps“

Can several units be used at the same time ?

Yes. This way, your living space looks much more inhabited. If they are used in the same room, please be aware of the following points:

  • The shadows are less visible at the points where shadow simulations overlap.
  • The built-in light sensors cannot be used anymore to activate both HomeShadows products, since the devices affect each other mutually. In this case, use the “ON” mode with an external time switch on both products.

What kind of light sources are simulated by HomeShadows ?

HomeShadows simulates light sources, such as floor or table lamps that are located at the table height.

Did you invent HomeShadows?

Yes, we invented HomeShadows. Our goal was to develop a system that takes advantage of prevention and that does not just warn after a burglary, as most alarm systems do. The system can obviously not deter professional burglars, but it can definitively reduce the number of burglaries where burglars are looking for unoccupied houses.