Remote Control Switching
A little “why” background: We have a “decorator” lamp in our TV room. It’s actually a hand painted figurine of a 16th century acrobat. It is very colorful and rests atop a tall floor speaker in a corner between the entertainment center and the wall. The lamp certainly is unique and is therefore a wonderful conversation piece. That’s the good part. Turning the lamp on and off is the bad. The lamp switch is on the cord instead of the lamp itself, which is not the big bad. However, getting to the switch is somewhat difficult because we drape the cord over the back of the speaker to keep it concealed. That isn’t the bad part. The bad part stems from the fact that the area surrounding the lamp is congested – television cabinet, speaker and lamp all crammed in a corner. Therefore, GETTING TO the switch is a big pain. Fortunately, we’ve found a solution to our problem and that’s why we think you will find this weeks offering so interesting.
Sometimes it’s hit and miss. And sometimes you hit first time round. Read on and we will clear things up for you. Recently, a company that makes very unusual electrical products solicited us about their wares. Companies do this because they hope that we will mention their product on our radio program or here in the column. This is excellent for us because we get to review the latest and greatest and pass our findings on to you. This particular company makes – among other things – motion activated light switches. They were dying to tell us all about them. They even sent us a big box of their wares. Switches galore. As we were rummaging through their shipment we noticed a box that looked like a wall receptacle. It was packaged in a plastic container side by side with a devise that looked exactly like a garage door opener – gray with a white button.
We talked about it for a minute or two and realized that what was in the package was another form of electronic switch. However, it wasn’t motion activated – it was button activated – remote button activated. Wow! What a discovery, an adaptor for a wall plug that could be switched on and off remotely. What a concept. It was only a few hours later when the two-piece contraption had made its way to our house and was immediately plugged into the receptacle where our showpiece lamp with the inconvenient switch control was connected.
All we had to do was plug the adaptor into the receptacle and the lamp cord into the adaptor. The switch on the lamp cord was turned to the on position and from that point the remote control did all the work. How cool is that — a remote control for lights and other small appliances? Who knew?
It wasn’t long before Christmas made it around the corner and it was again time to put up a tree. Only this year we had help from a devise we previously didn’t know existed. What a kick it was to arrange the lights on the tree, plug them into our adaptor and flick the tree lights off and on with a remote control. Can you see us standing there like a couple of goofs holding the remote between our legs from behind and shooting at the tree? Pow – lights on – pow – lights off! Around the back – pow!
By the time Christmas rolled around we were intimately familiar with their other products. We had learned that they also offer a similar unit that was developed for use outdoors. Want to turn your decorative house lights on and off at the flick of a switch – without opening the front door! Whoa!
And that’s not all. Did you ever wish that a certain light fixture (or fixtures) in your home could be controlled from more than one location? You know, like from a 3 way switching system? Well, know it’s possible and without any wiring at all. You can now purchase devices that look exactly like wall switches that remotely control lamps, ceiling lights, wall lights – practically any kind of electric fixture – and from up to 10 locations. Not that you will ever want to control a light fixture from 10 locations, but it is possible and without wiring.
Remote control switching uses radio wave technology to turn household power to a specific appliance on or off. We couldn’t believe it when we discovered how inexpensive these units were to purchase. $12 dollars – can you believe it? There didn’t used to be television and there didn’t used to be telephone – not to mention computers and space travel. Now we can control devices in our home without adding more electric wire. What a country! And that’s all there is to it.
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