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  1. #1
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    Automatic light switches

    So they are retrofitting all of the buildings here at work with the automatic light switches that detect movement to turn on.

    I'd like to know how much energy this really saves. There is a light just outside of my office that i don't think has been on in 3 years and now its been on and off about 20 times today from me walking by it.

  2. #2
    Misfit Toy
    Reputation: snapdragen's Avatar
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    I have one in my office. If I veg out and don't move, the light will go off.
    It's all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone.

    Don't make me go all honey badger on your ass

  3. #3
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    that should signify nap time

  4. #4
    Matnlely Dregaend
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    I have them for my driveway. It did seem to save me a significant amount of electricity. Then again I use cfls pretty much everywhere except for the driveway, where I use 100 watt floods.
    "I haven't @#&$ed like that since I was an altar boy." - Hank Moody
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  5. #5
    your text here
    Reputation: weltyed's Avatar
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    there should be an override switch somewhere, to keep it off.

    they installed them in a few bathrooms at work. at install but the timer was set at something crazy like 45 seconds. some people drink lots of coffee.
    and some people used to eat lots of mexican.
    it became an issue.
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  6. #6
    still shedding season
    Reputation: kykr13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uwhuskies View Post
    I'd like to know how much energy this really saves. There is a light just outside of my office that i don't think has been on in 3 years and now its been on and off about 20 times today from me walking by it.
    If you do it right, about 30%.

    Your not doing it right.

    (Either wrong kind of sensor, bad location, or some of the wall-mount ones have 'blinders' to block some of its view in a case like this. The one in my office? 100% perfect for about three years now.)

  7. #7
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    They can save energy, but depending on which kind lamps are on them the energy saving could be used up in maintainence costs. The life of a fluorescent lamp is greatly reduced by turning it on and off. I think you will find in areas with a large number of fluorescent lamps that those types of switches will disappear pretty fast.

  8. #8
    First one home gets beer
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    They save significant energy, but only if set up properly. If the light is switching on more than a 30 minute interval, there is a problem. If it's controlled by a wallbox sensor (looks like a regular sized switch, with a Decora style cutout, rectangular, about 1" wide by 2-1/2" high), it should have a lens and a pushbutton.You should be able to pull the cover off the button and reveal either DIP switches or rotary dials. Inside the cover there will be switch setting info. You should be able to set the timeout, sensitivity, or both. Bugeater's right, switching them repeatedly shortens lamp life. The inrush current using more power on startup is a myth.

    Or call the maintenance guy.

  9. #9
    still shedding season
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stockli Boy View Post
    Bugeater's right, switching them repeatedly shortens lamp life. The inrush current using more power on startup is a myth.
    Right - it's a bigger deal than taking it out of the box and just hooking it up. There are dials and dip switches on them for a reason. You gots to have the right ballasts in the fixtures and/or time them out a little farther or you be hatin' on them. Done right, they're great. Done like most people do them, they suck.

  10. #10
    Seat's not level
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    I have a few in my house. One in the laundry room and another on the stairs going to the basement. Both areas I usually have my hands full with something and don't want to fiddle with turning on and off the lights. There is a 3 minute timer on each.

    I need to install one on the pantry. That light always gets left on, but the switch is on the outside of the pantry. I guess I could put a switch on the wall and a remote sensor in the pantry.
    Bad decisions make great stories - JP

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