Occupancy Sensors: What They Are And Who To Hire For Installation

You’ll most often see occupancy sensors installed in a commercial setting like in an office building. In other instances, a person may use occupancy sensors for personal use for their residential property. Whether for a business or a home, an occupancy sensor installation is best done by a licensed and insured professional like the master electricians at KB Electric LLC. Let’s go over what an occupancy sensor is, why it’s best to hire an electrician, and why you might want this device for your business or home setting.


occupancy sensor

Occupancy Sensor Installation for Residential Garage Lighting


What Is An Occupancy Sensor?

An occupancy sensor is a device that detects when a person enters a room or area. When a person enters a room, the occupancy sensor will turn lights ON automatically. The lights in a room will then turn OFF when a person has left a room and a preset time has gone by. Occupancy sensors can also control other things besides lighting like heating and cooling systems.


Difference Between An Occupancy Sensor And A “Motion Sensor”

An occupancy sensor is considered a type of a motion sensor, but not the one you might think of that hangs above your garage on your floodlight. Most motion sensors that are on a residential flood light have what is called a photocell, which works at nighttime by detecting the dark. Also, while both an occupancy sensor and a motion sensor detect movement of a person, an occupancy sensor is designed to detect subtle motions of people in a room/area AND when a person is stationary. Motion sensors are thus more sensitive than occupancy sensors to moving objects, picking up on mostly clear walking motions. 


How Do Occupancy Sensors Work?

There are many types of occupancy sensors based on different technologies. All detect movement of a person in a room/area. There are three main types used today:

  • Passive Infrared (PIR)
  • Ultrasonic Sensors
  • Dual Technology (Both PIR and Ultrasonic)


PIR occupancy sensors use a person’s body temperature to detect when someone is in a room. 

Ultrasonic sensors for an occupancy sensor use sound waves that have a very high frequency. When the sound wave frequency changes by the presence of a person in a room, the lights on this type of occupancy sensor will then turn on.

Dual technology occupancy sensors use both PIR and ultrasonic technology to detect the motion of a person in an area. These devices with both technologies working in conjunction with each other eliminates room for error. Pairing these two technologies creates a seamless way for automatic control for lighting and heating/cooling systems. You want to use these two together in certain environments where people aren’t moving as much, but are still present in the area/room, like a lecture hall.


Best Places To Install An Occupancy Sensor

  • Classrooms
  • Conference rooms
  • Open office areas (large space with cubicles)
  • Small office rooms
  • Hallways
  • Warehouses
  • Bathrooms
  • Gyms
  • Commercial/Residential Garages
  • Utility Closets
  • Cafeterias/Lunchrooms


Benefits of Occupancy Sensors For Your Business

  • Save on energy costs for lighting, heating, cooling, or all three.
  • Automatic control option.
  • Never forget to turn off the lights.
  • Helps meet building code requirements.


Who To Call For Occupancy Sensor Installation

Hire a licensed and insured electrician for occupancy sensor installation. The electricians at KB Electric LLC can help with:

  • Placement of your occupancy sensors.
  • Wiring of your occupancy sensors.
  • Choosing the right type of occupancy sensor for your specific need.
  • Ensuring smooth installation up to NEC standards.


KB Electric LLC can install occupancy sensors in and around the Montgomery County, PA area. Our main office is located in Pottstown, PA, but we serve all of the surrounding Southeastern, PA counties of Berks, Bucks, Delaware, and Chester counties. Call us today for a consultation for occupancy sensor installation services for your commercial property or residential property! (267) 467-3178