sensor and sensibility

Shanghai, 12th November 2013

After a long day of site meetings in Anji and a 300km/h speed train ride back from Hangzhou, I have checked into my Shanghai Hotel for my last bits of meetings tomorrow. Every time I stay in a hotel (and I stay in many!) I look around how they did the lighting obviously…you can call that professional curiosity…

In last night’s hotel in the “small” town of Anji (still a few million people living there!) I was puzzled about the guestrooms hallway down light that kept going on and off without any logic. Being an LED down light and not reacting to any switch action I thought initially it was just a typical LED Cowboys cheap light failure. It is only much later that it dawned on me that the light was activated by a sensor! Not obvious when you enter the room as the first thing you do is put your key card in the slot to activate the master controls. So as long as you move in your room the light stays on, but the moment you sit down behind the desk or lay down on your bed the light switches off after a while. It was not the most obvious thing that it was on a sensor and I wonder how many like me were trying all switches to switch the damn light off!

Hotels do use more and more sensors to activate/ deactivate lights when not needed. Guest room corridors are typical application areas where this is used fairly successfully, though I remember one hotel where the sensor only worked when you came out of the elevator into the corridor to your room, but not when you came out of your room.

Another area of use is in the wardrobe cabinet where a sensor is being used instead of a micro-switch. Interesting thought, but in practice it is not perfect. While the micro-switch has it frailty, the sensor seems to work also when you walk through the room when your cabinet door is open, in the process creating a light that switches on and off as you walk past…not ideal either. The use of sensors is obviously “sensitive” to the correct application!

Light Watch 4-193:
No images of sensors but some mood images from site in Anji today where works are in full progress of installing the electrical infrastructure…

12. November 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting applications, lighting design, lighting standards | Leave a comment

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