FREE PLANS ... Build automatic night light and security system for your coop.

Add-a-Motor does not sell the components described in these plans, and does not represent component manufactures or sellers.



Here is how it works, and how it can help you

  • When the motor closes your coop door, a light outside automatically switches ON.

  • The light provides visual confirmation that your door has closed and eliminates any doubt.

  • The area around your coop will be lit so you can see if any of your chickens are still outside.  The light actively discourages predators, and lets you see if any are bold enough to be around.

  • The light can be seen from a great distance; even a low wattage bulb is clearly visible.  Ideal if you cannot see your coop door, or if coop is located in an isolated area.

  • Light automatically switches OFF when motor opens the door.

  • At night, if light is ON that indicates your door is closed.  However, if light is OFF warns you that door is still open.  In morning, if light switches OFF confirms your door has opened as you expect.

  • Choose high or low wattage, exterior-rated AC lighting fixture.

  • In winter, you can also have a second light automatically switch ON inside the coop to add warmth.

  • Works with or without motor.  Light turns ON and OFF if door is manually opened and closed.


Primary components ... About $75 excluding light fixture


Most components can be found at Home Depot, or at on-line retailers.  You can also GOOGLE the component name to find source.  One source may have all components.


1.  Magnetic Door Switch parts A & B.  Switch “gap” specification should be 3/4 inches or more.  Switch is a common component in home security systems; sometimes called a door or window magnet.  VIP: Use only “Normally Open" type (NO or N.O. or open loop).  About $7.


2.  X10 Powerflash Module.  About $35.  Buy new from a known source, never buy used.


3.  X10 Appliance Module.  About $18.  Buy new from a known source, never buy used.


4.  AC Power Strip (example Belkin F9D160-12, or comparable).


5.  Several feet of low voltage insulated wire.


6.  Exterior Light Fixture (120-volts AC) to mount on outside of coop.


7.  High or low wattage bulb, or energy efficient CFL bulb (compact fluorescent light).



 1. A & B                                  2.                                 3.                                 4.  








Instructions and example


1.    Start with door in closed position.


2.    Position the Power Strip near the AC electric outlet you plan to use, but do not plug it in at this time.  Power Strip should be located inside coop in moisture proof area and out of reach of your chickens.  Power Strip does not require a surge protector.


3.    The Magnetic Door Switch has two parts, A and B.  Part B has 2 wires or screw terminals.  Part B is mounted on

coop frame in a stationary position.  Part A has no wires.  Part A mounts on door and moves when door moves.


4.    Mount Magnetic Switch Parts A and B as shown in following illustration.  VIP: From our experience, the gap between Part A and Part B must be 1/4” for reliable operation, even if Switch specification says 3/4" gap.


5.    Connect or splice in 2 wires between Magnetic Door Switch Part B and the 2 screw terminals at base of Powerflash module.  You may connect these wires to in any order; polarity not an issue.


6.    Set Powerflash Unit Code Dial to 5, and then set House Code Dial to “C”.  These are example settings only; you can set any Unit or House Code as long they are same throughout the installation.


7.    VIP: Set Powerflash Slide Switches to Input B, and Mode 3.  This is required settings.


8.    Plug Powerflash module (PF) into a Power Strip outlet.


9.    Set AM486 Unit Code Dial to 5, plus set House Code Dial to “C” (VIP same as Powerflash example above). Plug AM486 Appliance Module (AM) into Power Strip outlet. 


10.  Plug cord from your light fixture into outlet of Appliance Module.


11.  Plug Power strip into AC outlet.  Test by operating motor to open door.  Light should turn ON when door is closed, and OFF when door opens.  (continued after below illustration)





















How system functions


A.  When door is closed, Magnetic Door Switch Part A and B must be adjacent to each other.  This

     causes an internal magnet to complete a circuit to the Powerflash module.

B.  The Powerflash then sends an ON command to the Appliance Module.

C.  The Appliance Module switches electric power ON to the light which turns ON.

D.  When motor opens door, Part A moves away from Part B.  This opens the circuit and causes the Powerflash to send an OFF command to the Appliance Module.

E.  The Appliance Module then switches electric power OFF and light goes out.

D.  Only low voltage flows in the wires between Magnetic Door Switch Part B and the Powerflash module.



Problem Solving:  Light does not turn ON.


Solution:  Verify that power strip is plugged into AC outlet.

Solution:  If light fixture has a switch, turn it ON.  Test: Plug light directly into AC outlet, move switch to ON.  If light does not illuminate, bulb is burned-out, or there is no AC power at outlet.

Solution:  Verify that Powerflash Slide Switches are set to Input B, and Mode 3.

Solution:  Verify that Powerflash Slide Switches and Appliance Module are both set to the same House and Unit Codes.  Example: House Code C, Unit 5.

Solution:  Verify that Magnetic Door Switch is “Normally Open” (NO) or "open loop" type.

Solution:  Verify wires from Part B are connected to terminals of Powerflash, and not touching.

Solution:  Verify that Part A and B are adjacent, on the same plane, with only a small gap.




Please tell us if you use these plans, and send your comments and recommendations to  Thank you. 



Plans are compliments of Add-a-Motor, Inc., manufacturer of Models D20 and  H90U chicken coop motors.  Anyone is welcome to use design and reproduce plan pages without obligation.  Add-a-Motor tested the system to confirm reliability and functionality. Add-a-Motor does not sell the components described in the plans, and does not represent component manufactures or sellers. Add-a-Motor does not warrant the plans, and is not responsible for any outcome from using the plans.  Powerflash and AM486 Appliance Modules are manufactured and warranted by X-10.



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