Take a look at the picture. What do you notice? Nothing at first right? Just your typical everyday light switch... sitting on a window... wait, on a window?
So this past week the University's Energy and Environment Engineer (Faizal) decided to try out a new piece of tech in the office. It is a wireless light switch with a piezometre activator. He did this because our office is a giant open space and we needed to divide up the lights in the area. I mean come on... this is an office full of environmentalists. Do you know how close we were to taring each other apart over having the lights on?
So let me dissect this wireless light switch with a piezometre activator thingy.
First, the light switch is wireless, so that means there is no need to make a giant hole in the wall and run a bunch of copper wires everywhere. This is super handy if you have to move a wall for example. Rather than pulling our the light switch and all the wires that go along with it, you just remove the two-way tape and place the switch somewhere else. Neat and tidy, less raw materials and less construction.
Second, the switch has no batteries. The way it works is to use a piezometer (a pressure sensing device) which generates electricity with the force you use to turn the light on. This eliminates the waste coming from batteries altogether.
And third, this switch uses radio waves. This might not seem important at first glance but radio waves are not microwaves and as far as I know, there is no controversy about if they give you cancer. Each switch has it's own radio frequency and they can work from up to 300 feet.
Can a light switch change the world? Probably not but it can certainly make it a whole lot more sustainable.