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An occupancy sensor is an affordable technology that often delivers energy efficiency through convenient lighting control and adds a touch of luxury to the space it is installed in. However, there are several uses of occupancy sensor switches that are often overlooked, and many more that have yet to have been imagined.  After all, a wall switch occupancy sensor is simply a replacement light switch. Simply imagine anything that can be plugged into an outlet that is controlled by a light switch on a circuit; a lamp, for example.  Now consider that lamp being controlled automatically at the convenience of an occupancy sensor.  While this example is still related to lighting controls, it will get you thinking about alternative uses of occupancy sensors the right way.

 Here are three examples of additional uses to get your mind thinking:

A fan or space heater. Fans or space heaters can perhaps use more electricity per usage than lighting.  For this reason they are good components to control using occupancy sensors. In addition these appliances, when left unattended can become hazards.  If they are controlled automatically and turn off in the absence of human occupancy, they will not only save electricity and your money, but also can avoid dangerous events.  Implementing a fan on an occupancy sensor in a room that might get a lot of sun in the summer, will help circulate the air only when needed; which is when someone is occupying the space.

Coffee makers, toasters, and other small kitchen appliances.  Typically these appliances are left plugged in all the time, and depending what you own, they could be consuming power even when not in use, even when you aren’t even
home.  If you have light switch operated outlets on the same circuit as your occupancy sensor controlled lights, these appliances will draw power only when needed; which is a safety feature as well!  You could only possibly be using these appliances when you are in the kitchen and should also only be using them when the lights are on.  This is a smart way to decrease electrical consumption while increasing electrical safety in your home.  Don’t worry; you will never be inconvenienced with lack of power to these appliances.  Since you have to be up on your feet and moving around to use them, a well-positioned occupancy sensor switch will never let you down.  Just make sure that the automatic shut off time on the switch is set for over 10 minutes to make sure your coffee is fully brewed and your toast is fully toasted if you happen to leave the room.  Be aware of placing appliances such as microwave on an occupancy sensor control.  These appliances with clocks may often show false times if they lose power which could be a major
inconvenience.

 So hopefully these examples will get your mind thinking accordingly.  Take a lap around your living space and see that items are plugged in to the wall and then ask yourself, “Does this need to work when the lights are off or if I am not in the room?”  If the answer is yes, then chances are it is a good candidate to be controlled by an occupancy sensor switch.  


10/6/2013 11:18:41 pm

Just taking a quick coffee break and wanted to post a hello

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