How to Find Energy Efficiency Savings from Occupancy Sensors

Posted by Dave VanTol on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 @ 08:11 AM

Occupancy sensor; What do they do?

Occupancy sensor, Occ sensor, motion sensor. They have various names but they all do basically the same function.

They monitor a certain area for activity, if there's no activity they shut the lighting in that area off until needed. If no one is in the area, and lighting is not required, Occupancy sensors save you money. 

They shut the lights off automatically saving you money.


Types of Occupancy Sensors:

Old Technology-Single function

Years ago when these sensors hit the market they were basically a single technology motion sensor, similar to a security light on the outside of your house. Todays sensors are huge improvements over the old design, incorporating both (PIR)infra-red, and ultra-sonic technologies.


Infra-red (PIR)sensors sense the difference in heat emitted by humans in motion from that of the background space.


Ultra-sonic sensors detect occupancy through emitting an ultrasonic high-frequency signal throughout a space, sense the frequency of the reflected signal, and interpret change in frequency as motion in the space.

New Technology-Dual Function

Dual technology sensors use both PIR and ultrasonic technologies. It only activates the lights only when both technologies detect the presence of people. 

This virtually eliminates the possibility of false-on, and requiring either one of the two technologies to hold the lights on. This  significantly reduces the possibility of false-off.

Applications for occupancy Sensors:

Occupancy sensors have a broad range of applications;

  • They can be designed into new installations
  • They can be added to existing installations to capitalize on energy savings.

They work great anywhere you have any light technology that utilizes instant on/off lamps.

From large warehouses to smaller confined areas, occupancy sensors should be a part of any lighting system.

How Much Do They Save?

The amount of savings you can expect from an occupancy sensor depends on an estimate of how much the space is occupied. 

If the space is occupied 20% of the day, then you have the potential to save 80% of the energy consumption for that day. 

The results of your savings will be determined by the application and by individual location. 

FREE Energy Analysis

The best way to determine the savings from energy efficiency is through a complete analysis of your facility. Click here for a No Obligation FREE walk through analysis of your facility to show you where occupancy sensors can save you money. 

Already using occupancy sensors in your facility?  Comment below on the amount of savings you are experiencing. 

Topics: motion sensor, occ sensor, occupancy sensor