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Occupancy Sensors Are More Than Just Energy Saving Devices

Lighting controls come in an array of different flavors, from occupancy sensing to daylight sensing and harvesting (I will talk about that more in an article to come). Today’s occupancy sensors come with a lot different technologies built into them. One sensor can have a microphone, infrared sensors, motion sensors, some include optical cameras and so on. But they all have a simple purpose, to turn off lighting within in an empty room. Some have the convenience of turning them on also and the various types of sensors are used to avoid nuisance trips off (which minimizes users overriding the control). The ability to turn on the lights is what gives occupancy sensor their multitude of usage.

So, what other purpose do occupancy controls serve in addition to saving energy?

One other main use of occupancy controls, in addition to energy efficiency, is safety. The way occupancy controls keep us safe is by making us aware that there are people in the controlled space. We are afraid of the dark and occupancy sensors are flipping that ideology on its head. With occupancy sensors installed a dark room is an empty room. Our schools have security lights to illuminate empty spaces. But if we install occupancy sensors we can shut them down and when our local police patrol the area, they can tell right away that no one has broken into the building as the rooms are dark. While we do not recommend occupancy sensors as a replacement of the alarm system, adding them as an additional level provides us with information to make better decisions.

Next time technology is being considered for energy efficiency, find out new and creative ways it can be utilized.


Energy ESC, LLP By Bjorn Londo, CEM.

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