The Fake TV – A Simple and Ingenious Burglar Deterrent

According to statistics, most break-ins take place in unoccupied houses. The Fake TV, a simple device that uses LED lights to give the impression someone is watching television inside promises to keep burglars away.

Leaving the TV on to make it look like someone is at home when you step out for the evening is a simple and effective way of tricking burglars, but what happens when you’re away for a long period of time or if the power runs out while you’re away? Blaine C. Readler, an engineer and award-winning novelist from Rancho Bernardo, California, has created a simple and effective device that mimics the alternating colors and vibrancy common in television shows, news programs and commercials, and runs on a timer programmed to turn on at dusk and run for four or seven hours. “I was stepping out for dinner and as my routine, was leaving the TV on to indicate somebody was home,” Readler told Pomerado News. “I turned to see if there was a visible signal flickering on the blinds and it came to me that you do not see the TV, just the light shining on the blinds.” He started experimenting with LEDs and watching hundreds of hours of television programs to see if he could replicate the images without a steady blink or flicker. After a long trial and error period, he manged to get the Fake TV to render scene changes, camera fade effects and the natural dynamic effects of television programming.


When he first started working on Fake TV, in 2008, Blaine Readler intended to make it a lot more energy-efficient and save the use life of actual TV sets. Even new flat screen TVs need a lot of energy to function, his invention uses just a tiny fraction of that.  He also says his burglar deterrent is more effective than lights set on timers, as burglars can become familiar with the lights’schedule. The Fake TV has a built in sensor that turns on the device when the light is low, usually at dusk, and runs for four or seven hours. The FTV-10 model simulates a 27-inch television and costs $29.95, while the newer FTV-11 model shines brighter, mimicking a 40-inch television and costs $39.95.


The Fake TV has been commercially available since 2010, and Readler says around 200,000 units have been sold all around the world. Judging by the positive reviews it got on stores like Amazon, it looks very realistic, and it’s way cheaper than having a police car parked outside your home to keep burglars away.

Source: Pomerado News

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