Remote light switches – switches which permit you to turn lights (or other appliances) off or on without having to manually toggle the switch – are getting pretty commonplace nowadays. From internet searches to infomercials to the shelves of your local home improvement stores, these devices are everywhere.
Wireless television remotes were first developed in the 1950’s. By today’s standard these mechanical devices were primitive. While you pushed a button it will hit a metal bar with an audible “click” (hence the term “clicker”). The tv circuits would respond to the resultant frequency and the television would activate, turn off, change channels, etc. Unfortunately, anything that resulted in the same frequency would have the identical result as my family discovered after we discovered we could manipulate the television while eating simply by the sounds of our knives and forks hitting one another or the plate (my brother was especially adept at this).
Technology improved and the variety of practical applications for remote controls increased. Remote light switches typically send signals to receivers either wired to the device to be controlled itself or receivers which have been plugged into an outlet with the device then plugged into the receiver. The receiver is programmed to respond to certain remote control transmitters. While you push a button on the remote, the device responds to the transmitters as programmed. This technology is sometimes employed during remodeling of rooms and in the development of log homes, when accessing the electrical wiring to the house directly can be difficult.
When was the last time you were in the basement and absent-mindedly turned off one light before you turned on another and also you were literally feeling your way along the walls to activate a light so you could possibly see? Or the last time you hit your shin on something in the living room stumbling around at the hours of darkness? How in regards to the last time you stayed out later than you planned and came home to a dark house?