For my first Raspberry Pi project i'd like to do some some of IR Door Security (sort of security - basically my landlord is conducting house viewings at anytime and when i'm not in i'd like to know whats going on).

The idea is to have an infrared transmitter attached to the door and the receiver attached to the frame. When the door is opened this connection will be broken. From there i'd like to do various things, such as record from a webcam and send an email to notify me that my door's been opened. and vice-versa for closing the door. (and yes i understand that if they open the door and close it behind them it counters the security but i don't see a way around this).

So my question is how to i get started?

  • What hardware do i need?
  • Any hints on how to set it up?
  • What software is needed and what language is suitable for this?

For me the hardest part is always starting, as soon as i know where to go i'm fine and enjoy experimenting and playing with various techniques. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

1 Answer 1


I would forget about IR and use a "reed switch" instead. It´s a very simple magnetic switch, very cheap and easy to set up - because after all it´s really nothing more than a switch. It usually comes with everything you need (2 parts, one with a cable).

About the language: Python is usually the way to go on the Raspberry. just search for something like this in Google: "raspberry pi gpio python".

Of course you can also choose another language, Node.js is very nice for that, i would suggest using the "onoff" module then. For sending emails, there is "nodemailer" and others. If you want to get an SMS, there are some services with a small amount of messages for free.

As webcam, you should take a look at the "Raspicam", it´s a camera just for the Raspberry Pi with a nice quality and resolution.

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