Good Thinking

LED warning lamp changes color as rooms get noisier

LED warning lamp changes color...
The lamp illuminates green when the room is quiet, amber as it's getting noisier, then red if it's too loud
The lamp illuminates green when the room is quiet, amber as it's getting noisier, then red if it's too loud
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The lamp illuminates green when the room is quiet, amber as it's getting noisier, then red if it's too loud
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The lamp illuminates green when the room is quiet, amber as it's getting noisier, then red if it's too loud
Markus Kraetzig and Sophie Kupke with two of the prototypes – one of the lamps was donated to the Rückenwind für Leher Kinder (Tailwind for Leher Children) non-profit daycare
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Markus Kraetzig and Sophie Kupke with two of the prototypes – one of the lamps was donated to the Rückenwind für Leher Kinder (Tailwind for Leher Children) non-profit daycare

It can get tiresome, continually having to tell groups of children – or even adults – to be quiet. That's where a new sound-sensitive lamp comes in, as it does the job for you by changing color in response to rising noise levels.

The prototype device was designed by Markus Kraetzig and Sophie Kupke, both of whom are trainees at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems. Along with serving as a light source, the lamp monitors a room's ambient sound utilizing integrated microphones.

If the room is quiet, the lamp's RGB LEDs illuminate in a green color. As things get noisier, that color changes to amber. Finally, if the room's inhabitants get too loud, the lamp starts flashing red. If the noise levels don't drop within the next five seconds, the device sounds an audible alarm.

Markus Kraetzig and Sophie Kupke with two of the prototypes – one of the lamps was donated to the Rückenwind für Leher Kinder (Tailwind for Leher Children) non-profit daycare
Markus Kraetzig and Sophie Kupke with two of the prototypes – one of the lamps was donated to the Rückenwind für Leher Kinder (Tailwind for Leher Children) non-profit daycare

The volume of the alarm can be adjusted from a range of 70 to 100 decibels. Additionally, the noise sensitivity of the lamp can also be set to one of three levels. At Level 1, which might be useful for scenarios such as children's rest periods, pretty much any noise beyond complete silence will cause the LEDs to change from green to amber. At Level 3, on the other hand, it's possible for people to have conversations without triggering a color-change.

Users can also manually set the lamp to stay at one of the three colors, if they just want some funky lighting. Power is provided by a USB power cord or an onboard battery, the latter of which should reportedly be good for about 14 hours of use per charge.

There's currently no word on when or if the lamp will be commercially available.

Source: Fraunhofer

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