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A Very Smart Purchase

July 26, 2010

OK, so everybody’s trying to “go green” these days. You’ve done pretty well yourself haven’t you? You have re-usable fabric bags for your groceries, you refill your refillable water bottle from your faucet water filter, you have a programmable thermostat installed, and you’ve even screwed in a few of those spiral-twist compact fluorescent bulbs.

Or maybe you haven’t.

Even if going “green” is not high on your priority list, I bet you that saving money is. It’s a proven fact that no matter what type of light bulb is used, one that is off always uses less power!

I don’t know about you, but I get very upset with myself when I forget to turn off the lights when I leave a room, wasting electricity and adding to that month’s electric bill. This problem is easily solved with the simple installation of an occupancy sensor (some brands even call it a vacancy sensor).

When I tell you that there is a solution for every situation, there really is. To make things simpler, the world of occupancy sensors can be boiled down to two types: wall-mount sensors, and ceiling-mount sensors.

An existing wall switch can be replaced with a unit that fits right into the existing switch box. There are many different technologies that exist now to avoid nuisance shut-offs when you still might be in that room. The older sensors of years past, with the technology of their day, might have certainly caused these types of annoying shut-offs. We actually have a sensor installed in our home office that will sense slight hand movement from more than 20 feet away, and it always “knows” when someone is or isn’t in that room. Plus, you can change the timer on the unit to shut off in a few seconds or a few hours. That’s pretty impressive.

The other type of occupancy sensor that is available is mounted in or on the ceiling. This version is decidedly more of a “commercial” application, but of course this technology can be used anywhere. The benefits of a ceiling-mounted sensor is that you can really focus on an area where motion will be detected. For instance, where a wall-mounted unit might not recognize movement because of the location of the existing switch box, the ceiling unit can be put directly in a spot where it will guarantee to pick up motion.

A really cool new product that just came out is the best of both worlds:


No Wires, No Batteries, No Limits

The product shown above is truly an innovation. Basically, it’s a solar-powered ceiling sensor unit which never needs batteries. The ceiling sensor unit “talks” to the corresponding wall switch unit that replaces your existing switch. This allows for ultimate flexibility and control, and saves the possibility of having to cut holes in walls and ceilings to run wires. There are no wires!

In our opinion, an occupancy sensor is one of the smartest purchases you can make. Lighting energy is a major portion of an electric bill – it’s sometimes even the largest portion.

Like I said before – no matter what type of light bulb is used, a light bulb that is off always uses less power!

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