The Proper Commissioning of Occupancy Sensors

occupancy sensors, commissioning   April 30, 2009

This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is understanding how to commission your occupancy sensors.

Commissioning begins during the design phase by selecting the right occupancy sensor and locating it correctly on the plans.

During field commissioning, installers should verify that the wiring connecting the sensor or power pack to the power and loads is correct. They also should verify sensor placement and orientation against specifications and drawings. Installation might require two or even three primary adjustments.

The system’s time-delay setting allows installers or in-house technicians to change the amount of time before the sensor turns off lights after it perceives the room is unoccupied. Shorter time delays produce higher energy savings, but they also result in shorter lamp life due to more frequent switching. Longer time delays avoid continual on-off cycles because occupants might enter and leave a space frequently.

The sensitivity setting allows the installer or in-house technician to determine the amount of movement that will trigger the lights to turn on and stay on, or shut off. If the sensitivity level is too high, the sensor might turn on the lights, even though the space is unoccupied. If it is too low, the sensor might turn off the lights, even though the space is occupied.

The light-level setting is available with models that offer a daylight-switching feature. It allows the installer or in-house technician to delay turning on the lights if the room receives enough daylight.


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