I will be mounting this externally in view of the neighbor's house on
a seasonal cottage. I make few trips there in the winter, but would
like to have the neighbor (all year round resident) be easily able to
tell me if my power is off. (He has a phone, there is none at the
What should I use, neon, led,etc? It needs to be wall mountable,
and be easily seen, though it need not be very bright or large.
Suggestions appreciated. I just want to be sure it has a long
life so a burnt-out bulb won't be confused with no power.
Thanks in advance.
Since bulb longevity is paramount, here's an idea: one of the
longest-lasting type of bulbs is an ordinary incandescent bulb, operated
well below its rated voltage. (They say that some of Edison's original
bulbs are still burning to this day.)
All you need to do is rig up an incandescent bulb to run on less than
full power. You could use a series resistor to lower the voltage, or you
could try running two 120-volt bulbs in series. They'd probably last
forever that way.
Close, but I re4ad that the accepted record holding light bulb, at 108
plus years now, is marked "Shelby", not "Edison".
According to this site Shelby was manufacturing bulbs before Edison did:
You two have different power feed line?
I'd try high intensity LED of your color choice in a smal enclosure.
They are very bright and lasts LONG time using VERY small amount of
power like couple Watts.
An SKU or manufacturer part number please?
Our local HD only had a 2 fer $4.95 three led nightlight
bulb replacement. The help can only find stuff if we can
give them a number, the manager said it might be in the new
lighting department re-do in scheduled for June.
Leds have light directed as a spot and use little power as a directed
spot light source, my 1/4 watt HD $1.50 ledflashlight is bright as a
mini mag light, one 1 watt led can be seen maybe 1 mile, my 1 watt
bicycle led is the brighest bike lite ive seen. With a phone line you
could have a freeze detection dialer. Whith some looking you might get
a Radio Frequency system to warn him of many things, temp, intrusion,
Essentially you are asking the neighbor to make a daily effort to
remember to check and to notice if the light is out. That way lays
trouble. The neighbor will have some resentment and/or just tune out
It would be hard to see that signal bulb during the day anyway. It
makes a lot more sense to have a battery-backed-up alarm and/or phone
If you're stuck on your original idea, go with a colored LED bulb.
Happened at my brother's place. His (cottage/trailer) power went out
and everyone else had power. Some rogue hunter had shot THROUGH the
roadside service/meter panel, and the bullet continued on, through the
siding of the trailer and hit the main buss bar of the service panel
inside. That's what ended up taking out the power. Chances of that
happening? Likely a million to one, at best. But it happened.
His dialer and alarm system are backed up by a UPS with a large bank
of batteries so he was notified. (his alarm blows a large Fiamm
electric air horn which his neighbours for 2 miles in all directions
have no choice but to notice).
It's been a couple of years now with no breakins - seams the
neighbourhood scum have figured out even with the power out they won't
get in - and there are security cameras as well. Not worth the hassle
to try to get in.
What a great list of suggestions! Thanks to all. Hmmm, now which one
BTW I wasn't planning to have the neighbor check daily. I would
call them to check just before I was planning to come down.
As for their power being on and mine not, it could happen. I
agree odds wouldn't favor it, but this is a heavily pine-treed area.
Thanks again for all your great ideas. At present (although I
love the novelty of the relay idea) I am favoring an always-on LED of
Will check HD.
Well if that's all you want to do just install a line powered phone
answering machine at your place and call it when you're curious about
the power. If it answers, the power must be on.
That scheme was described in a recent Car Talk "Puzzler".
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