Assessment: The Lutron MS-OPS2 Occupancy Sensor Switch - The Silicon Underground
I installed 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 nobody is in the room. The timeout period is adjustable. It is available in four fashions: MS-OPS2-WH (white), -AL (almond), -LA (gentle almond), and -IV (ivory) and retails for $29. Set up was surprisingly easy-it took about 15 minutes, which is about how lengthy it takes me to vary a regular swap, and in contrast to most models in its price vary it works with fashionable CFL and LED lighting, but I recommend some prep work ahead of time. It solves a real problem. Most days after i come residence, every mild in the house is on. I do know why. I have two younger boys who can’t attain the lights, so they can’t turn them off and on themselves. But apart from that, they’re demanding. My spouse goes down to the basement to get one thing, turns on the light or lights she needs, comes again upstairs, and can’t flip the lights off as a result of her arms are full. The bathroom lights stay on more often than not because the boys can’t reach. I go back around and turn the lights off, however let’s face it. Regardless that I make a acutely aware effort to turn off lights, several unoccupied rooms within the house stay lit even when I’m home. Lutron claims its switches can prevent up to $25 a year. We’ll speak about that math in a bit. However there’s a caveat. Before you purchase one, double-test your gentle switches. Most automatic switches require a floor connection, and it’s only been in relatively recent years that electrical codes have required floor wires on gentle switches. In older homes, you might find there is no ground wire. If the sunshine change is in a steel box, the metal box could also be grounded, but you can’t essentially assume that. If there’s no floor wire, use a different switch. My dwelling dates to the early 1960s however has been renovated no less than twice. Some of my switches have the ground connection and a few don’t. I have metallic bins at many of my switches, which are supposed to be grounded. In some circumstances, I can see they are, but you can’t assume all metal bins are grounded. At my rental house, constructed in the 1950s, some are and some aren’t. So verify first, before you buy 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 need the 2 wires that go into the change, plus ground. Many comparable switches want the white neutral wires too, in addition to ground of course. Putting in is definitely a bit of bit easier than swapping a standard swap. Turn off the breaker box (very important), then take away the previous change, straighten the wires, attach one wire from the old swap to one of the black wires on the Lutron with a wire nut, then attach the opposite wire from the outdated change to the opposite black wire with a wire nut, then attach all of the naked ground wires in the box to the bare floor wire on the Lutron and the green wire. In some cases you might have a bigger wire nut than the ones the Lutron contains. You may manually turn the swap off and on utilizing the large pushbutton. I put one in my basement, and it detects me from 15 feet away. It makes an audible click when it turns on the lights, but the clicking sounds much like every other gentle change. The last regular change I purchased is quieter than the Lutron, nevertheless it doesn’t trouble me. I put one other one in my L-formed kitchen. If I can see the swap, it sees me and turns on the sunshine. Opening a door won’t journey the swap, because it uses an infrared sensor that a door won’t trip. You can adjust the default settings using instructions included within the package deal. For example, you may modify the timeout to 20 minutes if you’re concerned about the longevity of your CFL bulbs. You can also enable a daylight sensor, so it doesn’t robotically flip the lights on if there’s already plenty of sunlight in the room. To figure out what the Lutron might prevent, estimate how many hours a particular light stays on. Calculate the wattage of the bulbs. Multiply those two numbers, then multiply by 365. Divide that number by $1,000 after which multiply that quantity by what you pay per kilowatt/hour of electricity. Ten or eleven cents is a good estimate, in the event you don’t know. 11. I get $14.45. With the Lutron, the bathroom lights would probably be on lower than 2 hours per day. 11. I get $3.61, for a financial savings of $10.84 per yr, which implies it will pay for itself in less than three years. You’ll realize extra savings from the increased life expectancy of the bulbs and a slight lower in your cooling costs through the summer time months. If the life expectancy of the bulbs doubles or triples, $2 per 12 months is a reasonable rough estimate. If you utilize larger bulbs than me, the payoff can be faster. And if you continue to have incandescent bulbs, the payoff would be a lot faster. If your property wiring allows you to put in these switches with out a lot difficulty, they’re a great energy-saving and quality-of-life upgrade. The one factor you’ll want that doesn’t come within the package deal, besides a screwdriver and needle-nostril pliers after all, is a GFI/decora-type plate the identical size as the one it’s replacing. You can have a look at it as an excellent investment, too. I can’t consider many things-not to mention issues that price 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 price of electricity goes nowhere but up. I’ve accomplished a number of other things to assist me save power over time. Most are fairly inexpensive. I installed thermal blinds and thermal curtains. Then I insulated my electrical shops and added baby safety plates. After all I take advantage of LED bulbs. I also insulated my hot water pipes.