For many years, interior lighting design has existed within the confines of the light switch. The nature of the traditional light switch has created societies bad habit of leaving the lights on. Businesses noticed a hefty portion of their operating costs were being contributed to lighting their buildings. The solution to this problem was the introduction of automated lighting controls, and the most notable component of them all would be the occupancy sensor switch. An occupancy sensor replaces or supplements a traditional light switch to turn the lights on when an occupant is detected in a room and turn the lights off automatically when no one is detected in the room for a designated period of time. First introduced for commercial buildings, occupancy sensor controls are now being developed for residential applications, and deliver proportional benefits at an affordable price. Three advantages of employing these controls in your home include; convenience, energy efficiency, and versatility.
There are many instances in our daily lives that we become troubled by flicking a light switch to illuminate a hallway or room we are entering. For example, entering a room where the light switch is far away and hard to find in the dark. Another would be entering a room where our hands are often full, such as a laundry room or walk-in storage closet. Installing an occupancy sensor switch is an easy solution to eliminate the hassle of putting down what you are carrying and hitting the light switch. Also, on your way out, don’t worry about leaving the lights on because they will turn off automatically after you are no longer in the room.
Perhaps the sole reason for developing the occupancy sensor is to create a more energy efficient lighting system and inherently contribute to the whole building’s energy efficiency. The concept is clear; make it impossible to leave the lights on when a space is not occupied. This is exactly what an occupancy sensor switch does. Not only is reducing energy consumption good for the planet, it is also good for your monthly budget. Residential wall switch occupancy sensors can cost less than 20 dollars, and provide a lifetime of savings on your energy bill as it lowers unnecessary consumption.
Versatility is an advantage of occupancy sensors that is often overlooked. The main reason for their use is to control lighting, but they are also just as capable of controlling other equipment and appliances in your home that operate on an outlet controlled by a light switch. Creative thinking may lead to unconventional additional uses for your occupancy sensor, and save you more money on your utility bills. To begin thinking of uses look around a room in your home and consider what is plugged in but never used when you are not in the room. Some examples could include a fan or space heater, or possibly a coffee maker or toaster. While not much, some of these appliances draw power even when not in use. Controlling these household items with an automated light switch is a perfect solution to cut down on unnecessary energy consumption.
These three advantages of occupancy sensor controls can improve your home in many ways. The convenient and luxurious nature of this automated lighting component is enough to justify its use. However, some building codes are starting to require the use of occupancy sensors in many cases; for example, Title 24 regulations for California energy efficient homes.