Saturday, October 29, 2011

Motion detecting lights

The very first day I set foot into Brazil was a tad bit overwhelming.  I remember trying to take in the city, the traffic.  I remember reading the signs, the heaviness of the humidity, and trying to make sense of everything I was encountering.  Our friends Marcio and Luiza hosted us at their apartment, because the hotel room provided by the Filarmonica was pretty small and only had 3 beds.  They drove us to their building, and when the garage opened, it was dark.  But as the car entered, all the lights clicked on.  Then we went up the elevator, and when we got out at their floor, it was dark.  I remember thinking it was so odd, but then all of the sudden the lights clicked on.  My husband had to explain the motion sensors on the lights.  And now a little Google researching, I've learned a little about why there are just so many motion sensors here.

In 2001, there was a very bad drought in Brazil.  Brazil at that time got 90% of it's electricity from dams.  The drought and the increasing demand for electricity caused HUGE problems, and government stepped in with a campaign to conserve energy.  Gas stations were closed at night, lights were turned off in some neighborhoods, some night time concerts and sports events were cancelled, and electricity was rationed.  Those individuals who reduced their energy usage by 20% were given a cash bonus, and companies that significantly reduced energy consumption were able to sell their savings to other businesses.  So, there was a lot of motivation to find ways to save energy.  Hence, motion sensor lights became the norm. 
I think it is brilliant (ha ha).  Or as a fellow blogger says, "Brazilliant." 

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