The idea for our product came up when we noticed at our faculty that there were too many light bulbs turned on in spaces where there was nobody present. Following that problem we noticed that it was possible to decrease the number of lights that were turned on by implementing sensors that would detect the presence of somebody walking under specific sources of light, that way only the lights that needed to be on would turn on as the sensors detected that there was someone walking though those specific light bulbs. The main potential benefit of this solution would be noticed in the electrical bills paid by the user.
In the current market there are motion detector appliances that would sense if there is anybody present in a certain area, but as their name indicates: they detect movement, so if the person stops moving lights would turn off even if they are still occupying that space. We implemented ultrasonic sensors that would sense the level change of a certain area and turning on the lights if needed. Also, motion detector light switches work as a regular switch which is integrated into a wall; our solution proposes that the sensors would be integrated directly into the light source eliminating the need of the wall integrated light switch. By eliminating the wall integrated switch it will also be necessary to implement a device that allows the user to turn lights on and off at will, that is where we implement the remote access to each individual light source by using ZigBee technology. Summing up, our device contains two main modules: the ultrasonic sensor for autonomous operation and a remote control that communicates through ZigBee for user controlled operation.
Our device would be very useful for environments where there is the need of having light sources but they are not needed to be on all the time like office building corridors or residential hallways. It would be a great solution for not wasting electrical power.
Our design has a very simple way of operation. It detects if somebody is present though the ultrasonic sensors and it also operates as a regular light switch through the ZigBee communicant remote control. This device could be manufactured as a mass market device since it only needs a microcontroller that enables the autonomous operation of the device and a couple of ZigBee devices which allow the remote operation of the same. It also integrates a light intensity sensor that will disable operation if there is enough light to illuminate a certain area. Another feature of this product is the integration of an emergency light, LED source, in case of a power blackout.
Comparing our device with the ones available already in the market it would cost proportionally the same but offering the user the option of not having the need to break walls in order to install wall integrated light switches and giving the user the option of an intelligent, autonomous and energy saving device.