Lady bug lamp switcher

Lazy guy that I am, I installed "touch switches" in the bases of four metal bodied table lamps in our home, two on the end tables next to our living room sofa and one on each of our bedside lamps.
It's a heck of a lot easier to just reach out and tap the lamps than to have to stretch and reach up under the lampshades to twist the typical socket switch knob. And, they provide four levels of lamp brightness from an ordinary bulb.
I might add that after I installed those switches about 15 years ago I learned the hard way that I had to install fuse holders and 2 amp fast blow fuses in those lamps because when a lamp bulb burned out there was sometimes a "tungsten arc" which drew a surge of current large enough to blow out the touch switch's electronics. If that happens now I only have to replace a 20 cent fuse along with the lamp bulb.
SWMBO and I were sitting on the sofa last night watching the election returns when the lamp next to me turned off. I thought WTF? and touched the lamp which turned it on again. I went back to watching TV when a few minutes later the lamp turned off again.
I figured maybe the lamp bulb had somehow gotten loose in its socket and stood up to reach down from the top to tighten it.
When I looked down I saw a ladybug crawling around near the lamp socket. A few ladybugs appear in our home every fall, seeking warmth I guess.
I stood there and watched as the ladybug crawled up the side of the lamp socket shell and turned to walk around the neck of the bulb.
The moment its legs touched both the lamp socket shell and the side of the bulb's screw base the light went out.
Mystery solved. The bug was creating a connection between the lamp body and the bulb's base (Which was connected to one side or the other of the 120 volt line). That connection drew enough current to make the touch switch think someone had touched the lamp and drawn enough capacitive current to activate the touch switch.
Who woulda thought it? I kicked the ladybug outdoors again.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia posted for all of us...

Ever hear of the "The Clapper"? (g)
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tekkie® wrote:

Was that a lady of the night who gave you the clap?
Oh no, I remember now, it is one of those switches which responded to the sound of a hand clap. Prolly just an on-off device not able to modulate light intensity like the touch switch modules I used.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What is the sound of a ladybug clapping?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Neill Massello posted for all of us...

IDK grasshopper... Ask David Carridine - wait he rolled a 7.
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jeff Wisnia posted for all of us...

modulate this^^^^ (g)
--
Tekkie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.