Dumb Infrared security Lights - figure out they're on

Anyone know of a small and easy way to figure out when some dumb infrared lights have been turned on?

Some sort of reliable electricity monitoring? I find zwave relays with power monitoring a little unreliable, in that sometimes on a zwave restart, it wont pull those counters.

How about a CMOS Camera like in smart phones?
Or a suitable Phototransistor?

Depends. I would use a esp8266 with a LDR.or look in to have a CT and monitor that.
Depends do you want to go DIY or Pre-built

And mount it in a box outside?

Yes that could be one way

You can also build say something that fits inside the light fixture


Can you tell us a bit more about what you are trying to achieve, and the target device?

Do you really need to know if IR light appears? A sensor is necessary.

A close second best is supply current monitoring - if current used is “right” then most likely the device is working and IR is coming out.
Advantage of that, is that you can do it at a distance, monitor the indoor end of a cable for an outdoor device.

Is it enough to know the mystery control device has attempted to turn on the IR? Voltage detection is usually simplest option, depending on what kind of sensing channel you are hooking up to. Even a small relay can do this.
Is it under the control of some other centralized system, can that tell you what is going on?

If the target device has a self-contained control, i.e. onboard photocell, that may be less attractive because you are forced to open it up and modify in some way.

If you just want to know if it is dark, there may be another approach?

Basically just want to identify the lights (which have infrared) have trigger - eg detected motion. So that I can do something with it, like pull as image from a Camera.

I’m not keen to pull them apart, and since they’re outside lights probably not going to build something with a and ldr (what all the weather proofing etc).

I think I’ll persist with trying the get the power monitoring via zwave working as all of these sensor lights were on zwave before we changed them to sensor based.

Why don’t you change the motion sensor which I am guessing is PIR to one that can talk to openhab? Then you know the state of the lights that way. I agree a better description of the setup helps to find another way to do things instead of you asking how to do a solution. Sounds like a $30 zwave PIR may solve it.

Cos we’ve just spent a few hundred $$$ on new sensor lights after a prowler was found on our property. They’re doing their job - albeit independently.

But I was hoping that I also use those as a feed into openhab via power monitoring, or some other method so they can be used as a trigger for rules.

It’s a nice to have rather than requirement

Presumably, as these are IR lights, there is CCTV. Suddenly flooding a dark camera is going to give a pretty hefty “motion” event to CCTV software. Can you leverage that? i.e. get events from your CCTV system to openHAB.

Actually interesting, that one that is directly in front of a camera, it didn’t seem to recognise the light change…I was surprised.

I’ll have to play with that one to see why.

I imagined them lighting the camera view scene.
Of course these days many cams have built-in dawn to dusk IR illuminators. Maybe you are just adding to an already lit scene.