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My Invention (By David)
I hold the patent for an inventionwhich has great possibilities in the as yet untapped field of domestic emergency lighting. An artists impression of the lamp is shown.
At present no product caters for providing an automatic response to a failure in the lighting of an average house. It is true that most houses have a torch or candle somewhere but the inconvenience of finding them at just that awkward moment when a lamp fails can be considerable and in some cases may even be dangerous. On the other hand it has to be acknowledged that (in England at least) power cuts are comparatively rare, but when electrical faults occur they have a tendency to activate the protective trips of the power supply. Power cuts in other countries are more common.
The Multi Light was conceived to provide a unit which would have a number of functions, each useful in their own right, yet not compromising the usefulness of any because of the different functions offered.
Unlike commercial security lighting which requires professional installation, the Multi Light may be brought 'over the counter' and simply plugs into any convenient standard domestic electricity supply socket outlet.
The lamp has a number of features. A base which supplies power for using as a conventional table lamp also charges a small pack of rechargeable batteries. A light sensor which discriminates between gradual loss of light and sudden loss of light gives security, emergency and convenience functions. In practical every day use the Multi Light provides:-
# Operation as a conventional table lamp.
# An emergency type light - automatically illuminating when lights fail.
# A portable light - (and easy to find).
# A security light - can be set to illuminate as night falls.
# An exit light. Can be set to illuminate for a minute or so as a room is exited.
# A decorative or novelty light.
The lamp would normally stand in a base similar to that used in a cordless kettle. Taking the lamp out of it's base would automatically switch it on and without trailing a cord would eliminate any hazard caused by trailing cords.
The Multi Light can be made in a variety of styles. These would include a conventional table lamp style, a standard lamp, a decorative lamp (ideal for providing low level lighting during an evening meal?) and even be built into various types of cabinets.
A recent development exploits an aspect of the patent which covers the unit’s response to the sudden failure of a lamp. This is a simple unit which detects that a lamp has failed due to a sudden loss of light and will automatically illuminate for a short period to provide a light for long enough to find out why the main light has failed. If a longer period of illumination is needed it will also provide that at the touch of a button. The retail price of such a unit would be comparable to good smoke alarms. It would be powered by a simple plug in mains transformer of the type which often powers mobile phones etc.
The market for these devices is vast. Although the main market would be in parts of the world which are dependant on electric lighting for long periods, this is a still an immense market - and as yet it is untapped! This is indeed a time of great opportunity for this product. There is a sense of insecurity in much of the world at present. Regrettable though this is, it is a major marketing point for the lamps.
To illustrate the wider market possibilities note that, at this moment in time, Denmark is a country which suffers from long power cuts. Many homes in Denmark have an endless supply of candles and torches but no device resembling anything like the Multi Light. Although the Danish market is smaller than the UK, that market alone would still justify considerable investment and effort if the market could be fully exploited. Denmark is one of a number of countries that suffer similarly. The nature of the Multi light is such that in countries/area's where power cuts are frequent and prolonged a version may be manufactured which has larger than normal battery capacity to give prolonged standby lighting. Also, the advent of high intensity LEDs will make for very extended periods of emergency illumination.
The product variations and marketing possibilities are very wide indeed!