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BeOn Burglar Deterrent uses smart LED light bulbs to deter home break-ins

Michael Brown | Nov. 5, 2014
When you’re away from home, this security system responds to your doorbell by mimicking your at-home lighting usage.

BeOn LED smart light bulbs

What's better, dispatching the cops after a burglar breaks into your home? Or convincing the criminal that your place just isn't a desirable target? The BeOn Burglar Deterrent promises to do the latter in a minimally intrusive way.

Like a Nest thermostat, BeOn's smart LED light bulbs will quietly learn your patterns. When you leave the house, use a smartphone app to set the bulbs to "away" mode, and they'll automatically turn on following similar patterns (although each day will be somewhat unique). If someone rings the doorbell while you're away, the bulbs will automatically turn on in a sequence that suggests you're walking from another part of the house toward the door. In either situation, a burglar casing your home will get the impression that the house is occupied and will likely beat a hasty retreat.

BeOn launched a Kickstarter campaign today to bring its product to market. The company expects to deliver its bulbs to backers in April 2015 if it can raise $100,000 by December 19. Yeah, we get tired of these crowd-funding campaigns, too. We do our best to cover only the most compelling projects, and this one fits that description.

"We think people want products that solve problems, versus investing in platforms," BeOn CEO Alexei Erchak told me during a quick demo last week. "We wanted to approach home security the way the experts do, in layers. But we didn't want to be just another video camera, or a motion sensor, or an alarm. Once an alarm sounds, the break-in has already happened; the emotional trauma is already there. The best home security starts before the break-in. So we embraced an unloved space--the security deterrent."

Erchak said his team also wanted to avoid over-reliance on the smartphone. BeOn has an app, but the only thing he thinks you'll use it for is to put the light bulbs into "away" mode. The app, still in development, might also have an optional reminder that alerts you to arm the lights once you're out of Bluetooth range, but Erchak didn't seem to like the idea. "We want to get away from the phone as much as possible," he said.

How it works

BeOn bulbs operate just like normal incandescent light bulbs, but they're outfitted with a Bluetooth Low Energy module; a microphone that listens for your doorbell, your smoke detector, and your carbon-monoxide alarm; and a battery backup that can turn the light on even in the absence of AC power.

The smoke detector/CO alarm use case could be a lifesaver if you're home when a fire breaks out or your gas appliances malfunction, turning on lights to guide you out of the house to safety (something the otherwise-excellent Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight can't do).


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