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1:03pm on Thursday, 17th April, 2008:

Light Touch


When we were up north last week, my dad got some new lamps from The Range. They were touch-sensitive: they come on when you touch them, get brighter if you touch them again, brighter still if you touch them a third time, then go off when you touch them a fourth time.

To my younger daughter, this said one word: COOL.

So, when we went to The Range earlier this week to get a new lamp for the guest room, that's the one that we went for. They came in pairs, so naturally my daughter claimed the other one. They worked very well, too.

However, we did notice a problem with them...

So, it's midnight and I'm going to bed. I switch off all the lights downstairs, and ... what's this? There are two lights on upstairs? Yes indeed: it transpires that when you switch off the strip light in our kitchen, it creates some kind of inductance effect that switches on the touch-sensitive lights. It occasionally does it for the motion-sensor lights outside, but these lamps have a much lower threshhold.

Yesterday, we therefore went out and bought another new lamp for the guest room, not wishing to wake our exchange student up in the middle of the night. My daughter decided to keep hers, though, on the grounds that it didn't wake her up and I could go into her room and switch the light off if I was worried about wasting electricity.

Hmm, it'll be interesting to see what happens to it in a thunderstorm.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).