Evaluation: The Lutron MS-OPS2 Occupancy Sensor Switch - The Silicon Underground

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I installed a Lutron occupancy sensor switch this weekend. It detects you entering the room, turns the lights on, then turns them off 5 minutes after it detects no person is within the room. The timeout interval is adjustable. It comes in four models: MS-OPS2-WH (white), -AL (almond), -LA (light almond), and -IV (ivory) and retails for $29. Installation was surprisingly easy-it took about 15 minutes, which is about how lengthy it takes me to alter an everyday switch, and in contrast to most fashions in its value range it really works with fashionable CFL and LED lighting, however I recommend some prep work ahead of time. It solves a real problem. Most days when i come dwelling, every gentle within the house is on. I know why. I have two young boys who can’t attain the lights, so that they can’t flip them off and on themselves. But besides that, they’re demanding. My wife goes right down to the basement to get one thing, turns on the light or lights she needs, comes back upstairs, and can’t flip the lights off as a result of her palms are full. The bathroom lights keep on more often than not because the boys can’t reach. I return around and turn the lights off, but let’s face it. Regardless that I make a acutely aware effort to show off lights, several unoccupied rooms within the home keep lit even when I’m house. Lutron claims its switches can prevent as much as $25 a yr. We’ll speak about that math in a bit. However there’s a caveat. Before you buy one, double-test your gentle switches. Most computerized switches require a floor connection, and it’s solely been in relatively current years that electrical codes have required floor wires on light switches. In older properties, you might discover there isn't a floor wire. If the sunshine change is in a metallic box, the metallic box may be grounded, however you can’t essentially assume that. If there’s no floor wire, use a special switch. My residence dates to the early 1960s but has been renovated at least twice. A few of my switches have the ground connection and some don’t. I've metal packing containers at a lot of my switches, which are speculated to be grounded. In some circumstances, I can see they are, but you can’t assume all metallic containers are grounded. At my rental house, built in the 1950s, some are and a few aren’t. So verify first, before you buy a bunch of switches, discover they won’t give you the results you want, and should return them. The upside to the MS-OPS2, as opposed to many others like it, is that you simply solely want the two wires that go into the swap, plus floor. Many related switches need the white neutral wires too, in addition to floor in fact. Installing is actually a bit bit easier than swapping a traditional change. Flip off the breaker field (very important), then remove the outdated swap, straighten the wires, attach one wire from the old change to one of many black wires on the Lutron with a wire nut, then attach the opposite wire from the outdated switch to the opposite black wire with a wire nut, then attach all of the naked floor wires within the field to the naked ground wire on the Lutron and the green wire. In some circumstances you may have an even bigger wire nut than the ones the Lutron consists of. You possibly can manually flip the swap off and on using the large pushbutton. I put one in my basement, and it detects me from 15 ft away. It makes an audible click when it turns on the lights, but the clicking sounds very like every other light change. The final common swap I purchased is quieter than the Lutron, but it surely doesn’t bother me. I put one other one in my L-formed kitchen. If I can see the change, it sees me and turns on the sunshine. Opening a door won’t journey the change, as it makes use of an infrared sensor that a door won’t trip. You can alter the default settings using instructions included within the package. For example, you may alter the timeout to 20 minutes if you’re involved in regards to the longevity of your CFL bulbs. You can even allow a daylight sensor, so it doesn’t robotically flip the lights on if there’s already a lot of sunlight in the room. To determine what the Lutron could save you, estimate how many hours a selected mild stays on. Calculate the wattage of the bulbs. Multiply these two numbers, then multiply by 365. Divide that quantity by $1,000 and then multiply that number by what you pay per kilowatt/hour of electricity. Ten or eleven cents is an efficient estimate, for those who don’t know. 11. I get $14.45. With the Lutron, the bathroom lights would in all probability be on lower than 2 hours per day. 11. I get $3.61, for a financial savings of $10.Eighty four per 12 months, which implies it might pay for itself in less than three years. You’ll notice additional financial savings from the elevated life expectancy of the bulbs and a slight decrease in your cooling costs through the summer season months. If the life expectancy of the bulbs doubles or triples, $2 per yr is a reasonable rough estimate. If you utilize larger bulbs than me, the payoff would be faster. And if you continue to have incandescent bulbs, the payoff would be a lot quicker. If your private home wiring allows you to install these switches with out a lot problem, they’re an excellent vitality-saving and high quality-of-life upgrade. The one factor you’ll want that doesn’t come in the bundle, apart from a screwdriver and needle-nostril pliers in fact, is a GFI/decora-sort plate the identical dimension as the one it’s replacing. You can have a look at it as a great funding, too. I can’t think of many things-not to mention things that cost lower than $30-that give me a 30% return on funding yearly. The price of bulbs will come down over time, of course, but the cost of electricity is going nowhere however up. I’ve achieved numerous different issues to assist me save vitality over the years. Most are pretty inexpensive. I installed thermal blinds and thermal curtains. Then I insulated my electrical retailers and added child safety plates. Of course I take advantage of LED bulbs. I additionally insulated my scorching water pipes.