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

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I put in a Lutron occupancy sensor switch this weekend. It detects you coming into the room, turns the lights on, then turns them off 5 minutes after it detects no person is within the room. The timeout period is adjustable. It is available in 4 models: MS-OPS2-WH (white), -AL (almond), -LA (gentle almond), and -IV (ivory) and retails for $29. Installation was surprisingly simple-it took about quarter-hour, which is about how long it takes me to alter a daily swap, and in contrast to most models in its price range it really works with trendy CFL and LED lighting, however I like to recommend some prep work forward of time. It solves an actual downside. Most days after i come house, every gentle within the home is on. I know why. I have two younger boys who can’t reach the lights, so that they can’t turn them off and on themselves. But apart from that, they’re demanding. My spouse goes right down to the basement to get something, turns on the light or lights she wants, comes back upstairs, and can’t turn the lights off as a result of her fingers are full. The bathroom lights keep on most of the time as a result of the boys can’t attain. I return around and turn the lights off, however let’s face it. Despite the fact that I make a conscious effort to show off lights, a number of unoccupied rooms within the house stay 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. But there’s a caveat. Before you purchase one, double-examine your mild switches. Most automatic switches require a floor connection, and it’s solely been in comparatively recent years that electrical codes have required ground wires on light switches. In older homes, it's possible you'll discover there is no such thing as a floor wire. If the light switch is in a metallic box, the metal box may be grounded, but you can’t necessarily assume that. If there’s no floor wire, use a unique change. My home dates to the early 1960s however has been renovated no less than twice. A few of my switches have the bottom connection and some don’t. I have metal boxes at many of my switches, which are purported to be grounded. In some instances, I can see they're, however you can’t assume all steel boxes are grounded. At my rental home, built within the 1950s, some are and some aren’t. So examine first, before you purchase a bunch of switches, discover they won’t give you the results you want, and need to return them. The upside to the MS-OPS2, versus many others prefer it, is that you just solely want the two wires that go into the swap, plus ground. Many related switches need the white impartial wires too, in addition to ground after all. Installing is definitely a bit of bit easier than swapping a standard swap. Turn off the breaker box (very important), then remove the previous swap, straighten the wires, attach one wire from the outdated switch to one of the black wires on the Lutron with a wire nut, then attach the other wire from the previous switch to the other black wire with a wire nut, then attach the entire bare floor wires within the field to the bare floor wire on the Lutron and the inexperienced wire. In some circumstances you might have a bigger wire nut than those the Lutron includes. You can manually turn the switch off and on using the large pushbutton. I put one in my basement, and it detects me from 15 feet away. It makes an audible click on when it turns on the lights, but the press sounds very like any other mild swap. The final common change I bought is quieter than the Lutron, but it surely doesn’t hassle me. I put another one in my L-shaped kitchen. If I can see the swap, it sees me and turns on the sunshine. Opening a door won’t journey the switch, as it makes use of an infrared sensor that a door won’t journey. You can modify the default settings utilizing directions included within the package deal. For instance, you'll be able to adjust the timeout to 20 minutes if you’re concerned about the longevity of your CFL bulbs. You can even enable a daylight sensor, so it doesn’t automatically turn the lights on if there’s already a whole lot of sunlight in the room. To determine what the Lutron might prevent, estimate what number of hours a particular light stays on. Calculate the wattage of the bulbs. Multiply those two numbers, then multiply by 365. Divide that quantity by $1,000 after which multiply that quantity by what you pay per kilowatt/hour of electricity. Ten or eleven cents is an effective estimate, if you happen to don’t know. 11. I get $14.45. With the Lutron, the bathroom lights would probably be on less than 2 hours per day. 11. I get $3.61, for a financial savings of $10.84 per year, which means it could pay for itself in less than three years. You’ll realize additional savings from the increased life expectancy of the bulbs and a slight lower in your cooling costs during the summer season months. If the life expectancy of the bulbs doubles or triples, $2 per year is an affordable tough estimate. If you employ bigger bulbs than me, the payoff could be quicker. And if you continue to have incandescent bulbs, the payoff would be a lot faster. If your house wiring allows you to install these switches with out a lot problem, they’re a great energy-saving and high quality-of-life upgrade. The only thing you’ll need that doesn’t come in the package deal, apart from a screwdriver and needle-nose pliers after all, is a GFI/decora-kind plate the identical size as the one it’s replacing. You possibly can look at it as a very good investment, too. I can’t consider many things-let alone things that value less than $30-that give me a 30% return on funding every year. The cost of bulbs will come down over time, of course, however the cost of electricity goes nowhere but up. I’ve finished various different issues to assist me save power over time. Most are pretty inexpensive. I installed thermal blinds and thermal curtains. Then I insulated my electrical retailers and added child security plates. Of course I use LED bulbs. I also insulated my sizzling water pipes.