Mar 1, 2010

Science Scene - Wireless Light Switches

Most houses require hundreds of feet of electrical wire to connect light switches to a main power source. Popular Science's green house project has installed a wireless lighting system called Verve that uses radio waves instead of copper wiring to command all the lights and outlets in the house. The system not only saves copper (imagine the savings in a skyscraper) but also allows flexible light switch location(s).


A small module inside each light switch harvests energy from the motion of turning the switch on or off and uses it to transmit radio signals up to 300 feet away to a central 10-channel controller that’s hardwired to the fuse box. Since the switches generate their own power, they require no batteries, wires or messy electrical channels carved into my brand-new insulated wall panels.

Other whole-home lighting control systems offer more programming options, but they’re also more expensive and cost more to install because of all the wiring. At $3,500, Verve runs me only a bit more than the price of a home’s worth of fancy dimmers. The downside? The system is designed mostly for new construction—retrofits get messy and costly because they require ripping out wires.

http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2010-01/green-dream-swappable-switches

9 comments:

  1. Sounds awesome. Too bad retrofitting is too costly and messy. If I'm ever in the market for a new house Verve is in it.

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  2. I have a friend who runs a company that fits new construction all over the world with systems like these, but that specializes in retrofitting heritage buildings. Most of his work is in Europe and the Middle East. THAT says something. Come on, America, let's get on with the job!

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  3. That really is awesome ~ todays technology is wonderful ~ Ally x

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  4. Really cool! I like the self-generating especially! I had not heard of this one. Thanks for sharing, Ken!

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  5. Years ago I knew I guy who had an apartment rigged up so that when he came through the door and clapped the lights would come on. If he wanted to turn one of he'd clap again. Was he ahead of his time?

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  6. The high performance interconnect for both the world’s top research institutions on the list, as well as for commercial and industrial customers who rely on HPC technologies to run their businesses.

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  7. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, this is very interesting. I like it a lot.

    Hugs, Rose

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  8. Given that the switches produce their own power, they need no batteries, wires or messy electrical canals carved into the brand-new protected wall panels.

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