A dummy TV light simulator can put off an impulsive burglar, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It is a useful security add-on for those on a budget.
Your dreams of a fully-fledged home security system might be rendered unachievable by the high cost. What options do you have to add layers of security? You'll need to think outside of the box.
I present to you the glorious and unabashed security add-on known as a fake TV light simulator - an inexpensive and creative way to deter intruders.
But before we present our favoured 5 simulators, let's give you our winner, the budget choice and one that you should probably avoid!
As you might think, a TV light simulator flickers and changes the color the same way that a real TV would. These props trick burglars into thinking that there are people home and make a break-in significantly less likely, if it would even happen at all, to occur.
If a dummy type is an option that sounds appealing, hang tight because we've compiled a list and selected the best ones for staging an occupied household. In addition to the winning item, we'll go through a further four that come close.
“You could leave the TV on all night, but these run at 6% of the cost and have the same effect”
Our Top Dummy TV Light Simulators
I have to say that I'm blown away with just how effective it is...
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Get Latest Price
This fake television light is made by a relatively unknown company called 1 BY ONE.
It's a model that can be wall-mounted and has an adjustable tilt to set things up.
The built-in LEDs mimic the changing intensities, fades, color changes, and real television swells. There are thousands of possible ways that the color of the lights combines, and it displays color changes that can mimic the motion of an action sequence, for example.
It comes equipped with a sensor that starts at dusk and can be set to four-hour or seven-hour intervals or plugged into a separate timer.
The light comes with both a wall plug and a USB cable so you can hook it up to an external power source if you need to. It doesn't use a whole lot of power and will run for as long as you need it to.
You can set the "television" to come on at different intervals...
Our Rating: 4.1/5
Get Latest Price
The FTV-10 by Hydreon Corporation comes equipped with 12 bright LED lights that mimic a 40-inch LCD TV.
A polished chrome reflector enhances the flickering effect, swells, and color changes to give the light show an authentic television look.
The device comes with a 5-foot power chord, so all you need to do is plug it in and turn it on.
A built-in timer allows you to either select having the light run for four hours or seven hours, starting once the item detects when the sun has gone down. It doesn't have to be all that dark for the thing to work, so it might turn on slightly earlier than expected.
To work with your the times you want, you can plug it into a separate lamp timer or another programmable electronic timer.
Through closed curtains, it really does look like the television is on....
Our Rating: 4/5
Get Latest Price
Having 20 LEDs, the dummy TV light by 4VWIN is a compact device that mimics the a 42-inch television's brightness.
The device can be mounted onto the wall and has an adjustable tilt for making sure you can get the positioning just right.
A USB charging cable lets you keep it powered up, and you can plug it into the wall with an AC adapter.
Like the previous product on the list, the dummy TV can be set to four hours after dusk or seven hours after sunset, though there is the option always to have it on.
The sensor isn't the most reliable all the time, though, so you may want to consider attaching it to a separate lamp timer instead.
Was really surprised how small, compact and effective this little device is....
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Check Price at Amazon
This product is by the same company that manufacture the FakeTV FTV-10.
If you have the Hydreon Corporation model and find it isn't bright , the FTV-11 is three times brighter and performs the same genuine television-imitating effects.
The 12 LEDs are powerful and last a long time, even with the lights illuminating stronger than the previous model.
Like the FTV-10, the FTV-11 can perform at 4-hour or 7-hour intervals after the product detects dusk falling. Plugging the device into a separate timer is a smart option, so you can exercise more control over when your light turns off and on if the built-in intervals don't do it for you.
Sensitive out of the box. It takes a bit of trial and error to dial in the sensitivity settings....
Our Rating: 4.5/5
Check Price at Amazon
For our last recommendation, this product by Avantek is a small and capable unit able to mounted on the wall to get that perfect positioning.
The device mimics the appearance of a 42-inch high definition television and is soft enough that it isn't evident you have artificial light.
The product is energy-efficient, using little power when you leave it plugged in.
It can be set to intervals of four hours or seven hours and starts once it detects nightfall.
The repeating light pattern isn't noticeable after watching it for a while, making this is one of the more authentic-looking simulators you can get.
Some people have had issues with the sensor not switching on. You may want to invest in a separate timer to set up with the light.
To wrap up our post, we crown the final product on our list, the 1 BY ONE Simulator, to be the winner.
While the wall-mounting, adjustable tilt, bright LEDs, built-in light sensor, and USB cable are not exclusive to this light, each feature functions the best out of the items on this list.
While most people opt to hook their TV light simulators to separate timers - and this one can too - the LRY fake TV has the most reliable light sensor out of the five.
A reliable sensor is ideal if you can't get around to buying a separate timer at the moment. The light effects are top quality. As long as you keep the light a safe distance from the window, the LRY fake TV is your best bet at deterring intruders.
Because all the lights on our list have desirable features and work to do the job, everything else is worth reviewing. Whether this is your one shot to keeping intruders at bay or an addition to your existing security system, you're setting yourself up for a secure and stress-free way of living.
The obvious benefit is being able to trick intruders i.e., into thinking that there is someone in the household that would spot them. There are other advantages.
For example, having a fake TV light saves a tremendous amount of power that you would waste by leaving on your real TV. Artificial versions use about the same power as a nightlight i.e., you'll hardly have to worry about racking up the numbers on your electricity bill.
Using your real television can decrease its life expectancy, and your real TV, unless you have a smart home, can't be turned on when you're out of the house.
On the other hand, many dummy TV lights boxes can be turned on via smartphone applications, making them ideal to have when you're out of the house.
These props are best to use when you're out of the house, like when you're having a late-night with friends or a pleasant evening date and don't want to worry about anyone robbing your home while you're away.
If you're on vacation or are keeping a summer home safe, having one of these can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your property safe as well.
You don't need to limit yourself to being out of the house. If you live alone and know that you're a heavy sleeper, having such an item in your living room would prevent break-ins that you might sleep through.
Installation is nothing; all you have to do is plug them in, set them up with the screen facing the window, and turn them on. It's best to draw the curtains, so no one can take a peek and see the little prop sitting on the table.
If you know a proper place to position it to be entirely out of sight and ably perform, that is key. You'll have an idea of the best positioning for maximum security.
You want to avoid placing these in many rooms. Buying extra is terrific so that you have backups, but putting them in every room of your house will giveaway that something is up.
The living room is the ideal place, though having one in your bedroom is helpful. If you live alone, only having a single device in one room is the smartest idea. One is enough to do the trick.
Before investing in a simulator, understand that it's a smoke-and-mirrors type of protection.
If you mess up and place your device fully visible for what it is, the intruder will have half a mind to assume you can't afford a real security system and break-in, i.e., you need to be careful when it comes to how you position your box.
You need to be mindful of how long you leave it on because the brightness may bother your neighbors and send them knocking on the door of your empty house if it prevents them from sleeping.
In summary, a television simulator is a worthwhile investment. To get you a head start, this page has a list to offer you the best fake TV lights we could find.
To see other reviews in the security section, please go to our security reviews page.