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January 24, 2011 11:13 AM   Subscribe

We have motion-activated lights in our new office, and office plants that need light over the weekend. I'm looking for some kind of plug-in kinetic sculpture that we can have on a plant timer, that'll run (hopefully without being too annoying) during the day to keep the lights on.
posted by you're a kitty! to Shopping (4 answers total)
Those motion sensors are often infrared-based, which means you won't be able to fool them as easily as you might like (a room-temperature kinetic sculpture might not do it). If you're going to put in a timer anyway, your best bet might be to put a grow-light on the timer. Bonus: a grow light may produce better light for the plants than your standard office lights.
posted by spacewrench at 11:26 AM on January 24, 2011

Do you have forced air heat in the office? My previous office had motion-sensor security alarms that were set off a number of times one weekend. It wasn't until much later we realized that every time the heat kicked on some balloons I had gotten for my birthday moved enough to set off the security alarms. Although not on a specific timer, perhaps the air kicking on/off all weekend and moving a balloon would trigger the lights enough for the plants.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:28 AM on January 24, 2011

and office plants that need light over the weekend.

Are you sure? For fluorescent lighting to work without any sort of natural light, it needs to be very, very close to the plant. I'm assuming that it is getting indirect, natural light that provides most of its lighting needs.

Most people at my office did not believe me until I offered to pay for any dead plants due to lack of light. So far we have had one plant die to lack of hydration, but the rest of have done fine.
posted by geoff. at 11:40 AM on January 24, 2011

It's a difficult question to answer because all motion sensors work a little differently. In my office, you'd need something roughly person-sized to trip to the sensor (and even then, you'd need substantial motion -- the lights often go out if I'm not moving much and just typing on the computer). It's possible that even if you find a moving sculpture or fountain, it may not be large enough for what you want.

I recommend putting a bright lamp on a $5 timer.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:03 PM on January 24, 2011

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