Evaluate: 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 coming into the room, turns the lights on, then turns them off 5 minutes after it detects no one is in the room. The timeout period is adjustable. It comes in 4 models: MS-OPS2-WH (white), -AL (almond), -LA (light almond), and -IV (ivory) and retails for $29. Set up was surprisingly easy-it took about quarter-hour, which is about how long it takes me to vary an everyday switch, and unlike most fashions in its price range it works with trendy CFL and LED lighting, however I like to recommend some prep work ahead of time. It solves a real problem. Most days after i come home, each mild in the house is on. I do know why. I have two young boys who can’t reach the lights, in order that they can’t flip them off and on themselves. But besides that, they’re demanding. My wife goes all the way down to the basement to get something, turns on the light or lights she wants, comes back upstairs, and can’t flip the lights off because her palms are full. The bathroom lights keep on most of the time because the boys can’t reach. I go back around and turn the lights off, but let’s face it. Even though I make a aware effort to show off lights, a number of unoccupied rooms in the home keep lit even when I’m home. Lutron claims its switches can prevent as much as $25 a year. We’ll discuss that math in a bit. But there’s a caveat. Before you purchase one, double-test your light switches. Most automated switches require a ground connection, and it’s solely been in comparatively latest years that electrical codes have required floor wires on mild switches. In older houses, you could find there is no such thing as a floor wire. If the light switch is in a metallic field, the metal field may be grounded, however you can’t necessarily assume that. If there’s no ground wire, use a unique swap. My house dates to the early 1960s but has been renovated not less than twice. A few of my switches have the ground connection and a few don’t. I've steel boxes at lots of my switches, which are presupposed to be grounded. In some circumstances, I can see they are, but you can’t assume all metal boxes are grounded. At my rental house, 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 have to return them. The upside to the MS-OPS2, versus many others like it, is that you just only want the two wires that go into the change, plus floor. Many related switches want the white neutral wires too, in addition to ground of course. Putting in is definitely a bit of bit simpler than swapping a conventional switch. Flip off the breaker box (crucial), then remove the old switch, straighten the wires, attach one wire from the previous switch to one of many black wires on the Lutron with a wire nut, then attach the other wire from the outdated swap to the opposite black wire with a wire nut, then attach all of the naked floor wires within the box to the bare ground wire on the Lutron and the green wire. In some instances you might have an even bigger wire nut than the ones the Lutron contains. You possibly can manually flip the change off and on utilizing the large pushbutton. I put one in my basement, and it detects me from 15 ft away. It makes an audible click on when it turns on the lights, but the clicking sounds much like another gentle switch. The final common change 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 swap, as it uses an infrared sensor that a door won’t trip. You can regulate the default settings using instructions included within the bundle. For example, you may modify the timeout to 20 minutes if you’re concerned in regards to the longevity of your CFL bulbs. You can even enable a daylight sensor, so it doesn’t routinely flip the lights on if there’s already a number of sunlight in the room. To figure out what the Lutron might save you, estimate how many hours a particular light stays on. Calculate the wattage of the bulbs. Multiply these 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 a good estimate, if you happen to don’t know. 11. I get $14.45. With the Lutron, the bathroom lights would in all probability 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 lower than three years. You’ll realize extra savings from the elevated life expectancy of the bulbs and a slight decrease in your cooling prices through the summer time months. If the life expectancy of the bulbs doubles or triples, $2 per 12 months is a reasonable tough estimate. If you use greater bulbs than me, the payoff can be sooner. And if you still have incandescent bulbs, the payoff could be much quicker. If your property wiring allows you to put in these switches with out a lot difficulty, they’re a good vitality-saving and high quality-of-life improve. The one thing you’ll need that doesn’t come in the bundle, in addition to a screwdriver and needle-nostril pliers in fact, is a GFI/decora-type plate the same dimension because the one it’s changing. You possibly can take a look at it as a superb investment, too. I can’t think of many things-not to mention things that value lower than $30-that give me a 30% return on investment every year. The cost of bulbs will come down over time, of course, however the cost of electricity is going nowhere however up. I’ve accomplished plenty of other things to help me save energy over the years. Most are pretty inexpensive. I put in thermal blinds and thermal curtains. Then I insulated my electrical outlets and added child security plates. After all I use LED bulbs. I additionally insulated my hot water pipes.