Overview on Sensors
There are many different types of sensors that can be used in a home or commercial building for energy & water conservation, security and ease of operation of lighting systems. In comparison to the overall cost of the project, sensors are in inexpensive way to make any lighting design more effective.
Two of the most common types of sensors used for controlling lighting are motion IR sensors and door contact sensors. Motion IR sensors can be used to automatically turn lights on and off when occupants enter or leave a room. Many provide options for tuning sensitivity of detection and timing to determine how long the lights will stay on after a person leaves the space. Door contact sensors can be easily installed in a door jamb to turn a closet light or cabinet light on when the door is opened and turn off the lights when the door is closed.
There are also daylighting sensors that are extremely effective in conserving energy and controlling UV and IR. Daylighting sensors take a reading of the amount of daylight coming into a room through doors and windows. Based on the amount of daylight in the room, the electric light sources will be adjusted accordingly. For lights that are typically left on all day and/or night, the levels will be adjusted so that the overall lighting level in the room can be the same at all hours if desired. In spaces that need more personal control, an override switch can be installed on the room for users to easily access. Motorized shades can also be controlled by the sensors to protect sensitive items such as artwork.
Other types of sensors that can be incorporated into a control system/home automation system are rain sensors, driveway probes, water sensors, and humidity sensors. A great example of saving resources is by using a rain sensor to turn off a sprinkler system on a rainy day. All types of sensors can be connected to a control system via a keypad or contact input station. Here are just a few photos of some examples of sensors that can be seamlessly incorporated into a control system or used as a stand-alone component: