Product: Light: Motion
Motion Sensor Porch Darkness   (+11, -3)  [vote for, against]

It was nine o'clock at night, and nearing the end of a rainy New England October, that meant it was dark. The Walker walked on the edge of the street, heeding the local custom of avoiding the unshoveled sidewalks. There was no snow yet, just moisture, but it was habit. Everyone walks on the streets. The Walker was wearing cargo pants and a dull hoodie pulled over his golf cap. He was finishing off the crust of his peanut butter banana sandwich as he walked, but he looked just disheveled enough to be pegged as a cigarette smoker from a distance.

The moon was stuck behind a curtain of diaphanous clouds but the streets were dimly yet consistently lit from an unending corridor of dim porch lights. Seeing the nearest stop sign illuminate itself with the glow of a car distantly behind him, the Walker crossed a poorly kept grass strip onto the craggly sidewalk. Immediately the porch light whose walkway he had entered sensed his motion and shut itself off. He had finished his crust by this point. The Walker continued on, past the next porch, which also darkened itself. The next did the same. They remained dark for some time as the Walker continued on, carrying the darkness with him everywhere he went. The moon shone brighter as he passed under it.
-- jellydoughnut, Sep 14 2009

Another stupid idea http://www.fotocomm...c/pc/display/706237
[zeno, Sep 16 2009]

the next two or three porch lights were broken as he walked on and he tripped falling face first into his peanut butter sandwich...
-- po, Sep 14 2009

Very H P Lovecraft ....... [+]
-- 8th of 7, Sep 14 2009

I don't, I prefer my (rather mundane) mid-night walkies unperturbed by spotlights. [+]
-- FlyingToaster, Sep 14 2009

I love this idea and how it was presented. I understood it, and I would like it. Even if it were only in a "dream like" state, and something that would be unsafe to do, I want one.

I place this rather dimly lit croissant at your feet, oh doughnut person.
-- blissmiss, Sep 14 2009

You could have them turn back on if the person came sufficiently close. Glad you found your random idea to dislike today, though, 21.

Also, I can't believe you tried calling this a let's all. You really don't get that one yet.
-- daseva, Sep 14 2009

I think 21 has lost touch with his inner child. (I hope he can find him again.)
-- blissmiss, Sep 14 2009

A nice courtesy to passers-by, in some circumstances. They could go back on again, brighter, if the passer approaches.
-- afinehowdoyoudo, Sep 15 2009

[21Quest], I agree it is a very stupid idea to have a security light turn off upon approach. It is as stupid as taking of your saddle and steering from your bicycle, welding them together and hanging them on the wall, stupid and ugly. Except when you look at it in a certain way it resembles the head of a bull and that is brilliant and by Picasso and one of the most famous artworks ever. Check my link and when you see the bull, check this idea again.
-- zeno, Sep 16 2009

I always imagine this is what's happening when a street light I am passing beneath extinguishes itself. Well written, perfect mood, thank you.

[21 Quest], this one went completely over your head, // Sorry to be so blunt, but that's the way it is. //
-- tatterdemalion, Sep 16 2009

The bull is a great image, but remember, the goal of the game is to compel [21] to google something less than appealing.
-- normzone, Sep 16 2009

The bull does ask. very quietly. Can you hear it? That's the art talking to you.
-- daseva, Sep 16 2009

Flight of whimsy or nay, anything that cuts down urban light pollution gets my bun [+]
-- BunsenHoneydew, Sep 27 2009

I agree this idea is dangerous and it requires participation by other homeowners for it to work. There is however some appeal to being able to safely walk down the street at night and have it remain dark.

I propose that the porch lights (and possibly even street lights) be off by default to reduce light pollution and energy usage and normally turn on when motion is detected, providing light to avoid tripping and to deter crime. Anyone who wants to walk in the dark for benign purposes can carry an infrared beacon that pulses a special pattern. The motion detector can avoid turning the light on when there is a moving object with a valid pattern flashing close to it.

To reduce the risk of criminals using this to work in the dark, each transponder flashes a unique rolling crystallographic code (similar to a secure garage door opener). That code is transmitted back to the central database over the internet by all of the motion detectors that see it. This verification should be done before leaving the light off. Purchase of a transponder (or registration of a transponder code) requires ID verification.

As an added bonus, as you are walking in the night and see a shadowy figure approaching, if the lights are not turning on for them either, you can be reasonably confident that they also have a valid transponder and are out enjoying the darkness just like you. This is best used by those more afraid of the average crook than of big brother. This could also be used to automatically request a low-priority police drive-by if a transponder suddenly stops moving. They can retrieve a dropped transponder to avoid it falling into criminal hands or make sure you didn't collapse on the sidewalk not to be found until the next morning. Alternately the system may call the registered phone number of the user before requesting the police drive-by.
-- scad mientist, Oct 24 2014

Properly complex. I'd do it differently, but that's properly complex. And remember, the goal is to get [21] to not Google shit.
-- normzone, Oct 24 2014

Thanks for recycling this. It is well written. Porch lights being a sign of invitation and welcome, these turn off: this man, "pegged as a cigarette smoker from a distance" is not welcome. It is the sort of thing one would see in a Terry Gilliam movie.

Also I am tickled by 21's annos.
-- bungston, Oct 24 2014

random, halfbakery