The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Light, Sound and Waves

Remote Detector

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • A remote control
  • A digital or phone camera, with a screen


  1. Look at the end of the remote while pressing its buttons – you shouldn’t see anything happening
  2. Now switch on the camera, point the remote at the camera screen and press the buttons
  3. The screen should show a flashing blue or purple light at the end of the remote. (If not, try a friend’s camera or remote)

Results and Explanation

Your remote sends signals using waves of infrared light. The light’s invisible to you, but not to your camera, which picks it up and converts it to a colour that you can see.

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

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