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Old 09-22-12, 09:59 AM   #11
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We have a home automation system. It uses a time/occupancy criteria. If you step in the front door after dusk the interior light will come on. After sunrise no light activation. There are areas of the house that have no switchs just the occupancy detectors. (hallways and stair areas) It is very handy it controls HVAC, waters the plants,lighting,and even the bathroom fans (whole home system). Would it save us money?? maybe enough over its complete life time. It is very vigilant for the exterior lighting. It never leaves a light on longer than programmed. Home ventilation is kicked on high for 10mins after someone has left the bathroom and not forgotten. Heating and cooling set-backs are nicely handled. The system is quite expensive and really needs to be installed while building the home new (lots of low voltage wiring). You would have to live in the house a very very long time to even think of ROI. The best bang for the buck is the new LEDs coupled with some of the new switches with timers built in. Even if a LED is forgotten and left on its just a few watts and life expectancy is exceptionally long. Even the new switches for bathroom fans have timers. A good programable thermostat will save plenty. Although the home automation has a cool factor I think the money could be spent in other areas to enhance energy savings. CFL/LED lighting, energy efficient windows, high performance insulation and more efficient heating cooling.


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Old 09-23-12, 04:14 PM   #12
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Two good uses for motion/occupancy sensors are closets and certain outside lights.

The neighbors had a 150 watt floodlight on for 3 days straight the other day because they could not see it from inside the house. Unfortunately, it was aimed straight at our house.
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Old 09-23-12, 09:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by S-F View Post
Being an ecorenovator is a state of mind. I mainly use incandescent bulbs because dimming is important to me
I really like the LEDs that can be dimmed, one of the local restaurants uses them above their tables and dim them different amounts depending on the time of day/evening, dimming them is a very smooth transition and the light is nice and warm too! I recently picked up some $12 LED's that can be dimmed and my room mate doesn't like my old LED's because they are too blue, she didn't even notice that I put these new LEDs in!

I also like the twist timer switches for places like closets and basement lights where a motion sensor might not work but you don't want that light left on for days.
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Old 10-01-12, 03:35 PM   #14
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Default Occupnacy Sensors...

I'm experimenting with this also, and even though I'm using LED lighting, and the wattage is low, I really like the occupancy sensor.

My sensor is in the kitchen... in my house, the kitchen entry is the main entry used, so it's kind of a friendly feeling to come into a dark room and have the lights go on, especially if your hands are full. My sensor is built into a light switch.

Also, I used to have a sensor in the bathroom, because I couldn't get my children to turn the lights off (now that they pay their own bills, they are relentless watt watchers).

However, I really came to like the auto-on / auto-off switch.

I think that occupancy controlled lighting would find far more enthusiastic acceptance if it had a built in adjustable fader function, with a short ramp up and a longer ramp down. Such a feature is not yet being built into light switches but there is DIY activity on that topic.

It would be just too cool to not have...



(* OOPS, I just discovered that such a product is available... *)

This one looks to be for incandescent only... PCM faders, where are you?
I'm not an HVAC technician. In fact, I'm barely even a hacker...
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Old 10-01-12, 09:56 PM   #15
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The timer in my bathroom has been on the fritz and stays on constantly sometimes but what you said about using a motion sensor set at ten minutes would be a perfect replacement. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 10-02-12, 06:26 AM   #16
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Default Occupancy sensors can work well

The office lighting in my workplace is connected to occupancy sensors. These work very well and don't switch off the lights when people sit too still for too long (as we all do when sitting at computers). I don't have details on what type they are, but they must be standard off-the shelf models. The lights usually go off about 15 mins after the last person leaves.

The fact that commercial sensors are avaiable which work well is encouraging. Unlike the cheap sensor I have in my pantry which turns the light off if you take too long to make a decision on which bottle of wine you want :-)

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