‘Tis the season for festive displays and pranking fans of your Christmas lights or deterring criminal activity! With photocells, it’s easy to create eye-catching Christmas decor that will surprise passersby. But photocells don’t always cooperate as desired – so how can you fool them into doing exactly what you want? Read on for some tips!
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How Do Photocells Work?
Photocells are devices that use a beam of light to measure and control current in a circuit. The key to photocell trickery is understanding how photocells operate. When light passes through a photocell, the photocell will open the circuit and enable current to pass through it. This means that if someone blocks the photocell’s beam of light, they can “trick” the photocell into keeping the circuit closed and enable the lights or decorations to turn on. They are often used as photoelectric sensors in automation applications, or to turn lights on and off. Pranksters have found creative ways to use photocells for holiday displays; by setting up photocells that control Christmas lights and other decorations, pranksters can trick guests who come along!
Use a Photocell to Detect the Presence of a Person
Because a photocell turns off electric current with the presence of light, you can trick the photocell. By pointing a powerful spotlight at the photocell, the photocell will not allow electric current to pass unless the spotlight’s illumination to the photocell is obstructed. Let’s say you have a walkway and you want to trigger a section of your Christmas display when a person is present. By placing a photocell on one side of the walkway with a spotlight illuminating the photocell from the other side of the walkway, when a person blocks the spotlight the photocell will be triggered.
Trouble-shooting Photocell Tricks
If you’re having trouble making your photocell trick work, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue. First, make sure that the photocell is getting enough light – often photocells need an adequate amount of light in order to function properly. Additionally, if the photocell is not responding to changes in light, it may need to be adjusted or replaced.
With a little bit of creativity and knowledge about photocells, you can easily create one-of-a-kind holiday displays that will surprise your friends and family. By understanding how photocells work, you can troubleshoot any issues that arise and ensure that your photocell-controlled Christmas decorations look perfect throughout the season. Happy pranking!