Hints and tips that some may not have heard of. #43: Kept in the Dark.


Boys and Girls,
If you happen to have a workshop with windows facing the street this may be a handy tip for you.  If you often leave your lights on in the workshop unintentionally, it may also be of interest.
I have upgraded to LEDs in the workshop/household so for me this is not as much a case of cost savings as security.
My workshop has windows across the “front” facing the street 
which is open view from the footpath over my driveway,
Moreso during summer, I like to lift the blinds to catch some free light and some spattering of Vitamin D.
Unfortunately, too often I exit the shop for the day with the lights on, which during the day is no issue due to the tinting and mirror reflection, but at night it’s like a well lit shop front in the heart of the city, letting everyone see the full contents.

 The original owner had the switch ridiculously hidden in a corner of the shop along the front wall

and though he had a dual control beside the front door,

which was bugger all use when I remembered it and was half way to the shop (down the stairs... before the lift install).
To facilitate turning on the light when I enter the workshop, I installed a pull cord switch just inside the door 
specifically for entry on dark nights. 
(The other pull switch and light next to it, is a visual indicator as a reminder I had the compressor turned on... while it was sitting quietly idle. I used that switch to toggle the compressor... light off, compressor off, no neighbour noise in the middle of the night)
Now there is little that can be done for my stupidity, however, what I have done is to have a warning light up in the house to indicate that the workshop light is still on,
If I pass by and see the light on at night, it can’t be missed as it’s on the path from my office to the fridge/casks, and if it was a nice day or manage to remember putting the blinds up, I used to zip down and switch the light off...  it may have been a bit late, but better late than never.
Just to digress a tad, the neighbour across the road used to deck his house out at Christmas, much like Sparky in the NL Christmas Vacation movie and it was a warm balmy pre-Christmas night this particular day. I remembered putting the blinds up and saw the warning light was on.  By that time I had the lift fitted so in desperation I jumped in the lift and descended to turn the lights off.  It was dark and there was a large gathering of people on my side of the road filling half my driveway viewing the spectacle across the road.  As I descended in the lift someone noticed the movement, as the view into the workshop was crystal clear, and they all seemed to turn in unison to observed this naked old codger unashamedly pushing the down button on the lift… all I can say is that it’s lucky I was not proud (or excited)… and to think some of yazall though my animal nighty was too much.  Unfortunately what all those families saw cannot be unsawn.
Not that the incident phased me, but I thought there must be an easier way to turn the light off.
I replaced the pull cord with an smart in-line switch,
which I eventually fitted out with a “paddle” for easy, “feel in the dark” operation, 
... and being a smart device, I can voice toggle it using a bark to Alexa.
PS. The bottom two neons

supply power to my two external security camera/floodlights.  
The top left neon will be another tip/hint to follow.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Now I can't unthink parts of that one! Nice solution though.
You bring up a lot of good points about security etc. I don't have any windows that really allow people to see in, especially at night, but now I'm wondering about some of the electric LCD blinds. They go opaque when triggered so It'd be a neat way to "black out" the windows when the shop is lit up at night.

Relying on Alexa is another fine solution to avoid the sojourns out to the shop to shut things down, but I'd fear Alexa would start getting bitchy when I need it the most.
That opaque sounds good Splinter, however, you'd still need to realise the situation to flip it. 

However, you've now got me thinking that I could put the smart switch on a time-off cycle (though it'd have to be continually changed as the daylight expands/shrinks.

I though that auto switching the light odd when I'm in the shop would be a PITA, however, on hindsight, I'd be in the shop, can voice activate it and ensure the blind is down.

I might go and set it to 5:00pm off (to cover winter or just leave the blinds down) and in summer it would be a reminder to check the blind.

Thanks for the heads up... will look into smart blinds.

As for Alaxa, I swear at her more than SWMBO does with me.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD