Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

My lamp is messed up

  1. Mar 23, 2005 #1


    User Avatar

    ok first of all this is not a puzzler and i dont know the answer, so dont make stuff up since i wont be able to tell :).

    with that said, i have a a lamp that turns on when you touch it. (you could probably figure that out since i posted stuff about it before.) it is near my bed, and it is not unlikely that i touch it accidentaly in the night, turning it on. it has three levels of brightness (controlled solely by touch).

    this night, i remember waking up constantly to turn it off because it was turning on. so this morning, i turned it off when i woke up. about 10 minutes later, it just turned on again. i was in the room those 10 minutes and didnt touch it. so, i got confused and turned it off again. about 7 minutes later ( i timed it sort of) it turns on again. so i turn it off for the last time and it doesnt turn on at all (on its own).

    my question is (duh) how does it do that? from my previous post i know that theres a capacitor in it, and when you touch it, you briefly charge the teeny capacitor and it turns on. so either something messed up inside it, or the capacitor just charged itself. anyone have an idea?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2005 #2

    Chi Meson

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Is there any thing that is touching the lamp at all? Including moist air? Do you have a cat? Is there an ionizing air filter in the room? Have you questioned all your gnomes and elves? I'm just tossing ideas here.
  4. Mar 23, 2005 #3


    User Avatar

    lol actually i figured it out. no cats ;) its quite funny and probably figure-outable from what said before.

    in case its not, heres a hint: the lightbulb is old. and i wasnt sitting motionless in a chair while i waited (after turning it off). but i wasnt exactly making earthquakes either.

    oh and this would work in a prison cell that contained only my lamp and me (i.e. no ionozing filters etc.)
  5. Mar 23, 2005 #4


    User Avatar

    aww no one gets it. well, ill give my explanation then: the lightbulb was messed up, and the wire was barely touching. that way, when i touched it, i didnt turn it off, i simply moved it which un-aligned the filament in the lightbulb which made it go off. then when i moved something else, the vibration restored contact and it went on again. after two times like this it stayed off for good. see? what tipped me off was when it started blinking rapidly... lol
  6. Mar 23, 2005 #5
    That susually a sign :)
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook