What is Vivint Deter Mode and How Can It Protect Your Home? January 31, 2024

What is Vivint Deter Mode and How Can It Protect Your Home?

Overview of Vivint’s Deter Mode


Deter Mode is an optional setting available on Vivint home security systems that is designed to deter potential intruders. When activated, Deter Mode will trigger your Vivint system to audibly announce that it has detected an intruder and authorities have been notified. This serves as an extra layer of protection by scaring off burglars before they even gain entry into your home. 

Deter Mode works by using your existing Vivint equipment like motion sensors, door/window sensors, glass break sensors etc. If any of those detect activity while the system is armed in Deter Mode, it will initiate the deterrent voice alerts. The goal is to make intruders think they have tripped the alarm and police are on their way, causing them to flee before actually entering your home.


How Deter Mode Works


Deter Mode works by activating lights, TVs, and other electronics in your home according to a customized schedule. This makes it look like someone is home even when the house is empty. 

Specifically, Deter Mode will:

Turn lights on and off in different areas of the house at different times. This makes it seem like someone is moving throughout the home.

Turn the TV on and off at various times, simulating normal viewing habits. The TV may be set to a certain channel or input as well.

Play music or radio stations out loud, then stop them at scheduled times.

Prompt other devices like thermostats and door locks to activate on a schedule. For example, the thermostat could be set to 71°F from 6-8pm like when someone is home in the evenings.

Together, these automated actions make it seem like people are actively living in the home even when no one is physically present. Deter Mode aims to trick potential intruders into thinking the house is occupied, deterring break-ins.

When Does Deter Mode Activate?

Deter mode on the Vivint smart home security system activates automatically according to a set schedule or when the system is armed in Away mode. 

According to Set Schedule: With Vivint, homeowners can customize a schedule for when deter mode is active. For example, you may want deter mode on every weekday from 9am to 5pm when nobody is home. Vivint allows you to set these time windows accordingly. Deter mode will then activate and deactivate automatically based on the schedule.

 When System is Armed in Away Mode: Deter mode will also activate any time the Vivint system is armed in Away mode. Away mode means that all sensors are activated and the system will detect any entry into the home. This is in contrast to Stay mode where only perimeter sensors are active. So when arming the system in Away mode for maximum security before leaving the house, deter mode will be triggered as well.

Deter Mode Features

Deter Mode has several customizable features that help make homes look occupied when the residents are away:

Turn lights and TVs on and off: With Deter Mode, you can set lights and TVs throughout the home to turn on and off at varying intervals. This makes it appear as if someone is moving throughout the home.

Varies patterns to look natural: The timing at which Deter Mode turns lights and electronics on and off is randomized within certain set parameters. This ensures the activity patterns appear natural and don’t seem obviously automated.

Adjustable settings: Within the Vivint app or through your control panel, you can customize Deter Mode settings like which lights/TVs are activated, the length of time they stay on, frequency of switching on, and more. This allows you to configure Deter Mode based on your specific home setup and needs.

With these configurable features, Deter Mode makes residences seem occupied even when homeowners are away on vacation or a work trip. The randomized home activity patterns deter potential burglars scoping out empty homes to target.

Customizing Deter Mode

One of the best features of Deter Mode is the ability to customize it to your home and schedule. Here are some of the customization options available:

Choose Devices to Include

When setting up Deter Mode, you can select which lights and devices you want to have activate when it turns on. For example, you may want to include only exterior lights, or add some interior lights on the first floor. Vivint systems are fully customizable, so you can hand pick the exact lights that will be part of your Deter Mode.

Set the Time Schedule

Deter Mode does not have to run 24/7. With Vivint, you can set a schedule for when you want Deter Mode enabled. For instance, you may want it overnight between 10pm to 6am. Or you can have it active only when the home is vacant. Schedules are fully programmable so Deter Mode fits your lifestyle.

Adjust Activation Cycles 

Within the Deter Mode schedule, you can specify how long you want the lights to stay on with each activation cycle. The normal setting is for lights to turn on for 3-5 minutes then off again for 5-20 minutes. But this can be adjusted as needed. Cycles can be made shorter or longer. For example, if you have Deter Mode enabled all night, you may prefer cycles only 15 minutes apart so the lights activate more frequently.

Pros of Using Deter Mode

Deter Mode offers homeowners several advantages that make it a useful feature to enable. 

Added layer of security – By activating Deter Mode, homeowners add a visible deterrent that signals to potential intruders that the home is protected. The audible alarms and bright floodlights may cause burglars to think twice before attempting to enter the home.

Peace of mind when away – Homeowners who travel frequently can feel more assured knowing their home appears occupied even while they are gone. Deter Mode mimics normal home activity like television audio, so the home seems lived-in.

Potentially deters break-ins – While there is no guarantee against crime, Deter Mode provides an active deterrence system. The lights, sirens, and simulated audio may convince opportunistic burglars to move on to an easier, less protected target. Studies show burglars often scan for and avoid homes that signal security systems.

Cons of Using Deter Mode

Deter Mode can have some potential downsides to be aware of:

Increased energy costs: Having your lights turn on and off frequently while you’re away can lead to higher electricity bills. Deter Mode keeps your lights switching on and off all night, which can add up over time. This is especially true if you have many lights set to Deter Mode or lights that use a lot of energy.

Limited deterrent effect alone: While Deter Mode can help make your home look occupied, it has limits in actually preventing break-ins. Sophisticated burglars may be able to tell the difference between normal living patterns and automated lights. For maximum home security, Deter Mode is best used alongside alarms, cameras, and other systems.

Disruption if home: The frequent light switching can be disruptive if you are home in the evening but forgot to turn off Deter Mode


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