While many teenagers in the South West were blowing off steam recently on school holidays, 15-year-old Dunsborough local Will Lavington was following his passion for all things electrical to uncover an arachnid invasion and keep the community safe.
Will’s fascination for electricity – and in particular lighting – led him to notice that some streetlights in front of his house and along his street were coming on during the day.
He said curiosity, and his trusty bike, drove him to investigate his broader neighbourhood where he discovered more and more streetlights were on while the sun was up.
“It started as a bit of a wander around the street but quickly became a bit of an adventure as I kept finding more and more lights on during the day, the further I rode,” Will said.
Will Lavington (aka Spider Boy) and Vasse Depot's Matt Davey
Will alerted Western Power on his mobile phone, through the ‘report a faulty streetlight’ page on the website.
Vasse Depot Field Operations Team Leader Gary Smith remembered the report coming in and wondered what was going on.
“We might normally get one or two reports a week but the number jumped to more than 40 in one week – and they were all coming from the same number.” Gary said.
“We sent a crew out to check the circuits and poles and that’s when we discovered there was a spider infestation in the streetlight heads and the webs were interfering with the light sensors which detect the level of ambient light,” he said.
These streetlights are fitted with photo electronic sensors which detect the level of ambient light. Rather than being set to a timer, the sensors work to switch on when it starts to get dark.
Our Vasse team were understandably chuffed to find out about Will’s community-mindedness and passion for electricity and, after a spring clean of the spiderwebs from the streetlights, invited him to the depot for a visit to meet this budding expert.
Unsurprisingly Will’s dream is to become an electrician, and has already enrolled for a pre-apprenticeship TAFE course for next year.
Spider photo for heeby-jeeby purposes only