Installing occupancy sensors in your home or business

Posted in: Residential on May 29th, 2013

When someone enters your home or business, you want to know about it. Similarly, when there’s no one around, why waste money to keep the lights on continuously?

Here’s another thing to consider: since no one wants to be left in the dark, who should be in control of the lights?

The answer is as simple as installing an occupancy sensor.

As home and business owners become more aware of the impact their habits have on the environment, as well as the rising cost of living, they begin to look for ways to save money and conserve energy. Occupancy sensors are typically installed in places in which the lights are expected to be on continuously, such as restrooms, warehouses, offices, and classrooms. After a few minutes of inactivity, the sensor automatically shuts off all lights, fans or other devices in the room, but will restart them if it detects motion.

Occupancy sensors operate using any one of the following three technologies:

1) Passive Infrared

How they work: detect heat energy.

Pros: work well in enclosed offices, warehouses and hallways where there is clear visibility and limited obstruction.

Cons: more sensitive to cross-motion than approaching motion; do not work well in restrooms or offices containing high-walled cubicles.

2) Ultrasonic

How they work: using high frequency, inaudible pressure waves that trigger the sensor when interrupted by a passing object.

Pros: work well in walled areas such as washrooms, as they are highly sensitive to any kind of movement and unaffected by physical barriers.

Cons: sensor effectiveness decreases as the distance between an object and the sensor increases.

3) Dual Technology: combines passive infrared and ultrasonic technology to prevent false on-off switching. In dual-operated sensors, both technologies are required to activate a device, but only one is needed to keep it on.

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