The Sensor Light

In the 1970’s It was customary that when a family or family member returned home after dark the front light was left on to light up the path and porch for safe entry. This meant that a 100 Watt light was on for up to 12 hours wasting energy and signalling to thieves that the the house may be empty.    

Once the Movement sensor Australian Patent was granted my thoughts turned to what would be the best product to use its unique capabilities.  I decided that an automatic light which would turn on when humans were in the vicinity was now possible. This device would be a very useful invention as it provided security by responding to prowlers, welcome visitors and also power savings since it used miniscule amounts of energy when the light was off.

The Sensor Light design project began in 1981 and a Specification was drawn up to cover all aspects of the project.

It would need to have the following functionality :

(1) A Human movement sensor of 6M range
(2) A mains powered DC power supply
(3) A 3 minute timer (re triggerable)
(4) A day/night sensor            
(5) A Range control to set sensitivity
(6) A power switching circuit for the globe

It was important that once the light was turned on, it remained on until 3 minutes after the last movements had stopped and also that the day/night sensor inhibited the light on status during daylight hours. Logic circuitry was devised to ensure that all of the functionality was achieved to create a reliable and easily installed product. A prototype was constructed and the product was demonstrated to Arlec management. Within 3 weeks a License Agreement was signed to cover Tooling, Manufacturing and Marketing on a world wide basis.  

The tooling was designed and made to the highest specifications and a first class product resulted allowing the light to be installed by a handyman in a few minutes. The Automatic Light was launched in 1982 and manufactured for the next 8 years after which a new movement sensor was discovered resulting in a model change with the new sensor included. To this day, the design principals embodied in the original prototype remain and worldwide millions of sensor lights are made each month in a variety of forms from night lights, internal and external house lights, to factory lighting.