Idea: Light Tokens

If you’re like me, your mind is constantly wandering, jumping from one half-formed idea to the next all throughout the day.  Most of the time, they’re just random musings, maybe a random memory pops up, but every once in a while, I’m able to linger on a thought long enough to let it really take shape.  Problem is, this usually happens at the times I’m least able to make a note of it, like when I’m driving or a meeting where pulling out my phone is considered rude.  Other times I’ll have an idea so great that it wakes me up in the middle of the night.  I tell myself, “I don’t need to write it down, it’s so awesome, I can’t possibly forget about this.  I’m going to change the world, after I get a full night’s rest”.  I can’t count how many life changing inventions I’ve dreamed up and subsequently forgotten to create.  Well, today is not one of those days.  Today I had an idea, and being in a comfortable location with nothing better to be doing, I wrote it down.  That’s a novel idea in and of itself!

Anyway, about this idea.  Do you live in a house?  Does this house have… lights?  Do you find yourself forgetting to turn off the light when you leave a room?  Worse, do you always have to go behind everyone else to make sure they aren’t leaving lights on throughout the house?  Is all of this mindlessness running up your electricity bill?  Then do I have a solution for you!

My idea is for a light switch that isn’t even a light switch at all!  In place of a switch, your lights would be controlled with a port on the wall that would look like a coin receiver from a gum ball machine.  You would slide your token into the receiver, and the light would turn on.  Want a dimmer switch?  You could have a slider bar for the lights, and the token would simply be an on-off switch.  There are of course a few hurdles for a device like this.  First of all, the receiver would be lower profile than a light switch, and potentially harder to turn on in the dark.  There are two answers to this, 1) you would eventually get used to it given a little time, and 2) we could add a small indicator light above the receiver, dim enough to not light up the room at all, but bright enough to stand out in the dark.  Another option is to have the token double as an LED light.  This will be useful not only in helping to find the receiver, but helping find anything.  The most pressing problem is how to keep from losing one’s token.  I believe it would be as simple as a necklace.  You could punch a hole in the token and tie it around your neck, and when you aren’t using a light, it will never get lost.

With this system, it will be near impossible to forget to turn off lights when someone is done in a room, because they will need their token to turn on the light in another room.

What do you think?  Any ideas of how I could change or maybe improve upon this idea?  Would you use this system, or would it seem like too much work to save a few bucks a year?


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