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The Difference Between an Occupancy Sensor and a Vacancy Sensor


Conserving energy and saving money appeals to just about everyone, which is why lighting sensors are such a popular home item these days. New homes and offices often come equipped with light sensors that turn off when a room is empty, or those that turn on when motion is detected. However, all types of these motion sensors allow you to still manually turn on and off your lights.

Companies such as WattStopper, Intermatic, Lutron and Leviton offer dozens of motion detecting sensors which can help you to not only save money on your electric bill, but help you reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the amount of energy your home, office or commercial space is consuming. These motion detecting sensors are available in colors including white, light almond, black, ivory, and gray to match with any color scheme. They are also available as wall mounted or ceiling mounted sensors.

Some vacancy sensors may require that you manually turn on the light switch. However, should you leave a room, or leave your home for the evening without turning your lights off; these types of vacancy sensor light switches will automatically turn off after a period of time has lapsed. Many have countdown timers as well.

Occupancy sensors work by detecting heat generated by humans, and turn on upon detection of that heat. Some of these may require that you manually turn off the lights when you leave the room.

However, although some sensors only trigger the light to turn on or off, many others serve the dual role of turning lights on when needed and off when rooms are vacant.

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