Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Let There Be Light, Already...

I am not convinced that putting motion detectors in office lighting systems is a good thing.

Oh, sure, they save energy by turning out the lights after you leave and then turning them on again when you come back, usually because you have forgotten something and need to just run in and grab it but you have to wait a few seconds while you try to remember whether the switch was left in the On position so that eventually the lights will, in fact, go on, or whether the fact that the lights are off is because they are Off and you have to switch them On, which you don’t want to do in case they are already On and you are, instead, switching them Off, in which case they won’t go on.

Really, is this saving anyone anything? How much psychodrama do we need with our lighting systems?

The real problem for me is that I tend to get fairly well absorbed into my work, much of which involves reading. Reading is not something motion detectors are very good at detecting, so very often I find myself plunged into utter darkness in the middle of a sentence. At that point I have to wave my arms or jump up and down or do some other fool thing just to get the attention of an inanimate object so it will turn the lights back on.

Perhaps I should just bring candles to work.

But that brings up all sorts of other issues, such as overeager sprinkler systems ready to drown even the merest hint of combustion in fetid water (really folks – sprinkler water isn’t nice and clean like it is in the movies; it’s been sitting in those pipes for YEARS) and bring down the wrath of soggy coworkers upon your head. Or worse, there might not be any sprinkler system at all and then you will end up telling stories that, somewhere about halfway in, contain the line, “That’s what the firemen told me, anyway.”

Switches. Regular, on/off switches. There’s a good little engineer …

1 comment:

Beatrice Desper said...

My friend Susan once got a "clap on clap off" Clapper so that she could easily turn on and off the lights. She quickly got rid of it because when her dogs would hear something outside, they'd bark, bark, bark and turn the house into a discotheque.