Review: 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 getting into the room, turns the lights on, then turns them off five minutes after it detects nobody is in the room. The timeout interval is adjustable. It comes in 4 fashions: MS-OPS2-WH (white), -AL (almond), -LA (light almond), and -IV (ivory) and retails for $29. Set up was surprisingly simple-it took about quarter-hour, which is about how long it takes me to change a regular change, and unlike most fashions in its value range it works with trendy CFL and LED lighting, however I recommend some prep work forward of time. It solves an actual downside. Most days once i come house, every mild in the house is on. I do know why. I have two younger boys who can’t reach the lights, so they can’t turn them off and on themselves. However moreover that, they’re demanding. My spouse goes down to the basement to get something, 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 most of the time as a result of the boys can’t attain. I return round and switch the lights off, however let’s face it. Although I make a conscious effort to show off lights, several unoccupied rooms within the home keep 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-examine your gentle switches. Most computerized switches require a floor connection, and it’s solely been in relatively latest years that electrical codes have required ground wires on mild switches. In older properties, you could find there is no floor wire. If the sunshine change is in a metallic field, the steel box may be grounded, however you can’t essentially assume that. If there’s no floor wire, use a different swap. My residence dates to the early 1960s however has been renovated at the very least twice. A few of my switches have the bottom connection and a few don’t. I have metallic containers at many of my switches, that are presupposed to be grounded. In some cases, I can see they're, but you can’t assume all metallic containers are grounded. At my rental home, built within the 1950s, some are and a few aren’t. So check first, before you purchase a bunch of switches, find they won’t work for you, and must 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 related switches need the white neutral wires too, along with floor after all. Installing is definitely somewhat bit easier than swapping a traditional swap. Turn off the breaker field (essential), then take away the outdated change, straighten the wires, attach one wire from the old change to one of the black wires on the Lutron with a wire nut, then attach the other wire from the previous change to the opposite black wire with a wire nut, then attach all of the naked ground wires within the box to the naked floor wire on the Lutron and the green wire. In some circumstances you might have an even bigger wire nut than those the Lutron consists of. You possibly can manually turn the switch off and on using the massive 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 click sounds very similar to another mild change. The final common swap I bought is quieter than the Lutron, however it 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 light. Opening a door won’t trip the switch, because it uses an infrared sensor that a door won’t journey. You'll be able to adjust the default settings using instructions included in the package deal. For example, you possibly can modify the timeout to 20 minutes if you’re involved concerning the longevity of your CFL bulbs. You may as well enable a daylight sensor, so it doesn’t mechanically turn the lights on if there’s already quite a lot of sunlight in the room. To determine what the Lutron could save you, estimate what number of hours a specific gentle 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 quantity by what you pay per kilowatt/hour of electricity. Ten or 11 cents is a good estimate, should you 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 might pay for itself in lower than three years. You’ll realize additional financial savings from the elevated life expectancy of the bulbs and a slight decrease in your cooling prices during the summer season months. If the life expectancy of the bulbs doubles or triples, $2 per 12 months is an affordable tough estimate. If you employ bigger bulbs than me, the payoff could be faster. And if you continue to have incandescent bulbs, the payoff could be a lot faster. If your property wiring allows you to put in these switches without a lot problem, they’re a very good vitality-saving and high quality-of-life improve. The only factor you’ll want that doesn’t come in the bundle, moreover a screwdriver and needle-nostril pliers after all, is a GFI/decora-sort plate the identical dimension because the one it’s replacing. You can look at it as an excellent investment, too. I can’t think of many issues-not to mention issues that value less than $30-that give me a 30% return on investment yearly. The price of bulbs will come down over time, of course, but the price of electricity goes nowhere however up. I’ve finished a variety of other things to assist me save energy over the years. Most are fairly inexpensive. I put in thermal blinds and thermal curtains. Then I insulated my electrical outlets and added child safety plates. After all I use LED bulbs. I also insulated my scorching water pipes.