Auto Sensor Bins: How they work and why you need oneTaps UK Blog Auto Sensor Bins: How they work and why you need one

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Auto Sensor Bins: How they work and why you need one



10–12 minutes to read

Automatic sensor bins offer convenient and hygienic waste disposal, they are more hygienic and convenient than other types of waste bins as you do not have to touch any part of the bin directly to dispose of rubbish. This avoids any contamination and helps to keep your house more germ-free. Even with both hands full you can open the bin to dispose of waste easily with a simple gesture.

What is an Auto Sensor Bin?

Here is a short video on the sensor bins demonstrating their functionality and benefits.

Specification & Features

Available in a range of sizes and colours to suit every household and décor. Wave your hand above the sensor located at the front of the lid to automatically open the lid using infrared technology, without further movement the lid will close automatically after a few seconds. A flashing red LED indicates the automatic bin lid is active and ready for use, should you need the lid open for a longer period of time you can also override the sensor using the toggle switch at the back of the lid to operate it manually, allowing the lid to stay permanently open for as long as is needed. For a faster acting lid, you can also use the open and close buttons near the sensor instead of the sensor itself.

Made from high quality chrome and ASB plastic, the lid requires four D batteries but should these run out, the lid can also be used manually with the handle on top until they are able to be replaced. The strengthened inner hinged lid also allows for the bin to be positioned against a wall or cupboard, preventing scratching to the wall or damage to the bin lid. The Chrome coating allows the lid to be cleaned easily with a soft, damp cloth to remove any residue or fingerprints.

Our Inmotion waste bin comes with an inner bin bag retainer clip to help keep bin bags in place, this makes changing bin bags much easier and keeps the bin lighter for easier cleaning. The bins are also fitted with a non-skid, protective plastic ring on the base to prevent movement of the bin and damage to floors. Both stylish and functional, for quick and easy waste disposal our coated stainless-steel bases are available in a wide range of colours and in sizes of 30 litres, 42 litres and 50 litres so there’s one to suit every size of household.

How it works – Infrared Technology

Auto sensor bins make use of an Infrared sensor. Infrared is used across many industries and is more common than a lot of people realise, changing the TV channel with a remote, security systems, automatic doors, heat lamps and toasters all use Infrared. Infrared Radiation (IR) or Infrared light is a type of radiant energy which is not visible to the naked eye. It is thought that an astronomer, William Herchel discovered Infrared accidentally whilst measuring the temperature of each colour of light emitted by a prism. He noticed that the temperature just beyond red visible light was highest. Within the electromagnetic spectrum, Infrared waves occur at a range of frequencies just below those of visible red light and above those of microwaves, hence the term Infrared.

All objects on Earth emit IR radiation in the form of heat. This can be detected using electronic sensors such as those found in night vision and infrared cameras. An infrared sensor is an electronic device that detects and measures infrared radiation in the immediate environment, low on power usage, simple in design and convenient.

How does Infrared light open a bin?

The sensors used in our Inmotion waste bins are Active Infrared sensors (AIR), these emit and receive infrared radiation and can detect general movement, in this case usually the wave of a hand to open the bin automatically.

An AIR sensor, consists of two parts, an LED and a receiver. An infrared light not visible to the naked eye is projected from the LED outwards into the room, if the receiver does not pick up this signal, then in this instance the bin remains closed. If you placed an object in front of the LED, then the IR rays would reflect off the object back into the receiver which then triggers a switch that in turn opens the lid. It is important that you use a firm action to trigger the switch otherwise you may not reflect enough rays into the receiver to activate the lid.

Auto Sensor Bins Tips & Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to get your bin working perfectly, and maybe even better than it already is.

So firstly it’s important to note – if you manually open and close the lid without using the buttons you are likely to damage the internals of the lid which ultimately will lead to damage and failure of the gears inside. If you need to open or close the bin for extended periods of time, there are manual open and close buttons on the front to do this.

Here are a few tips and tricks that we suggest a lot when troubleshooting issues with the bins.

  • There is often a clear film over the buttons and sensor section of the bin, this needs to be removed for correct function of the infrared LED and sensor. If this is still present your bin will likely be less responsive to anyone trying to open it.
  • Cheap batteries can sometimes be such poor quality that they are unable to power the mechanism so always make sure that the batteries you buy are decent quality and from a reputable retailer.
  • There is a main isolater switch on the back of the bin lid, if this is off the bin will not work (sounds simple I know but you would be suprised how many customers miss it) – so make sure it’s switched on!
  • Give it a couple of seconds when you turn it on, it can take up to 10 seconds to initialise correctly. Once working correctly it should flash every 7-10 seconds.
  • As I explained before with the sensors, you need to use slow assured movements to activate the lid, if you are moving too fast the IR rays wont activate the switch.

If all of the above has failed and you still dont have a working bin – we need to do a full factory reset of the motherboard. The only way to do this currently is to remove the batteries for 24 hours and allow the system to discharge. This normally resolves any issues with the sensor unit on the bin as it restores everything to the original factory settings.

Where can I buy Sensor Bins?

You have probably seen them all over the place, but our Inmotion range is available exclusively from TapsUK. We do however sell on eBay and Amazon so you can find us on there too.

Until the next time..

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