Friday, April 10, 2009
As I have previously expressed, I have wished for motion sensor lights that fade in and fade out (so they aren't as jarring). I think this way people would be more willing to embrace motion sensors, and thus not leave lights on in a room that the might come back to shortly.
Make magazine has a question from "Shawin" on their website on how to make one of these yourself. He asks:
"We are renovating an old house we just bought and I wanted to have the rooms fitted with motion-sensors so that lights automatically turn on when someone walks in, and off when the room is empty. The problem is that I want the lights to fade-in/out instead of suddenly turning on/off.
Can someone please tell me how to do that? Are there existing switches that I could use?"
There are some suggested approaches on how to do this but no existing products mentioned.
For those of the less diy electronics set I found some ledon the web:
"Upon detecting motion at night, StumbleLight instantly provides light at full intensity for 12 seconds and, if no motion is detected after 12 seconds, will slowly fade from full intensity to off."
Philips press release
"Light fades out gently when no motion is detected
No wiring required (requires 4C sized batteries)
Minimal battery consumption provides up to 6 months use
Only works at night due to a built in a photo sensor"
Most of the motion sensor lights I found have a limited motion sensor range. Some add infrared detection to the motion to reduce false activations. Many turn off after thirty seconds (not really long enough in my book as there are too many things for people to stand behind in a house for 30 seconds)
Some have a photo cell so they don't waste energy turning on when it's light out.
This one glows dimly then turns on full bright when it senses motion
So does the 2nd one and it also has a photo cell
Stairs product from smart home depected at top
Many of the ones I have bought suffer from being too dim and a lot of the reviews agree.
One note for those making their own with motion sensor switches, using LEDs will give you a much nicer experience than fluorescents because they don't have the pause and flicker on turn on. LEDs are being used for brake lights because they turn on so fast (of course I'm asking for gradual turn on which doesn't require fast, but if there is a pause before it starts to do anything people think the motion sensor isn't working and get annoyed)
On amazon I found a motion sensor LED light that advertised:
"the sudden activation startles unwanted visitors but also provides safe entrance and room lighting for your family and guests."
Am I barking up the wrong tree here?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Also of quantitative energy measurement interest, they state below that 20% of electricity is used for lighting, They also quote the DOE saying LEDs could save 30% of energy consumption.
Maybe I'm not getting it, but it seems to me if you assume that LEDs use 0 energy, and replace all lights, if you believe the first number that would only reduce our energy consumption by 20%.
Chinese researchers have LED manufacturing breakthrough that could lead to new white LEDs for indoor use
Furthermore, the US Department of Energy previously said LEDs could help reduce the country's national energy consumption by 30 percent by 2025. If true, that will help households in the U.S. save $125 billion total in power bills per year.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
"We've seen compact fluorescent lamps start to take over shelf space at the local hardware store. Replacing a 60 watt incandescent with a 13 watt CFL seems like a great savings, though many consumers are disappointed with the slow warm-up times, lower-than-advertised lifetimes, and hassles of disposing the mercury-containing bulbs. Now EDN reports they may use more energy than claimed due to their poor power factor. Mike Grather, of Lumenaire Testing Laboratory, 'checked the power factor for the CFLs and found they ranged from .45 to .50. Their "real" load was about twice that implied by their wattage.' The good news: you're only billed for the 13 watts of real power used. The bad news: the utilities have to generate the equivalent of 28 watts (that is, 28 VA of apparent power for you EEs out there) to light that bulb. Until they fix these issues, I'll hold on to my incandescents and carbon arc lamps, thanks."
Friday, April 3, 2009
It's on Amazon's friday sale (today only -- I'm not sure how much of a discount relative to normal days)
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Here's a blogger who graphs his home power usage every 10 seconds.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
However Garmin has announced that they have created "ecoroute" a route planning algorithm for nuvi 200 and 700 series GPS units
Garmin's website ecoroute page says:
"users will have a “less fuel” option as a routing preference. When selected, nüvi will determine the best route for saving gas."
"Fuel Report tracks fuel usage over time, and Mileage Report monitors mileage and fuel usage on a per-trip basis. You can also customize your nüvi by entering vehicle type, your car’s fuel economy and the current price of gas."
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I would suggest taping the remote to the door frame so it's like a switch you can hit when you leave the room.
Of course, you need to make sure you are going to save $23 worth of energy (but be a good citizen and calculate sustainable energy costs based on solar not our subsidized coal!)