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Old 11-30-2017, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default Occupancy Sensors: Advice needed

Did a stupid thing, roughed in for an occupancy sensor ABOVE a closet door. Poor solution to an issue where there is limited wall space inside and outside the door for the wall switch. Customer asked for a door switch and I explained it would take a little longer to install than a regular switch due to having to mortise door , and run LV wiring back to light. HO suggested occupancy sensor instead (I should have said no.)

Well big surprise , it works like crap being 7 ft off the floor.

Here's the odd thing , I walk around in circles in the closet, I swing the door open and shut a bunch of times- nothing happens . Closet light stays off, no LED indicators illuminating on the switch .

Here's where it gets weird (to me at least), I wave my hand directly in front of it , now it turns on. But now, once it's on, the little red Blinky indicator on the lens is registering my every move, including opening and shutting the door. It blinks in step with my movements precisely.

Can someone explain to me why it seems to be more sensitive once the light is turned on then when its off? Does it need more Vitamin A, carrots ? I need it to be more sensitive in a dark state .

Okay- but seriously . Can someone perhaps direct me to a product that might bail me out? I did a little research, sounds like a sensor utilizing ultrasonic tech would work better for my application.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:06 AM   #2
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You need the type of sensor that detects human activity, an occupancy sensor not a motion sensor.
I've put a few in that are impossible to sneak up on.
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Old 12-01-2017, 12:39 AM   #3
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http://www.leviton.com/en/products/9...=1462825649110

I put these in closets above the door all the time.
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Old 12-01-2017, 01:00 AM   #4
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I would switch around the wires feeding the switch. It always seems to fix the problems with occupancy switches. I don't know why they don't have different color Leeds to differentiate between feed and switch leg? Probably because it shouldn't matter?

The sensors need a warm up time to operate normally. I believe that when the hot is feeding the the wrong side of the switch, the sensor electronics don't work properly and don't stay warmed up. I know call me crazy.

I love door jam switches. I've cut in hundreds of them. I have them on all my closets. There is no low voltage though. The box is only big enough for one 14-2, so you need a dead end switch leg. I've never failed an inspection for them, but there not UL listed. At least none of the ones I've ever installed. An inspector pointed that out to me.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:58 AM   #5
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Okay, so it sounds like if I get the right one, maybe this can work.

The one I installed is a Hubbell H-Moss ws2000 . It has a lead for hot and load, but maybe my load wire was mislabeled in the box.

I agree that door jamb switch is a better choice. I don't really like the line voltage ones because it's hard not to ruin the rabbet on the jamb stop
and reveal the profile of the switch cover.

I recently used a few low voltage ones that weren't bad. Little chrome 1" round button in the jamb, fed by tstat wire up to the light where's there's a little contactor that's fits in the light jbox. Probably shouldn't have those voltages in the same box though.....

This seems promising:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00KW...L7L&ref=plSrch

Anyway, these occupancy sensors you can't sneak up on, I want to know about them!

Last edited by boot; 12-01-2017 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:22 AM   #6
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I wired a remodel on a commercial job a few years back.
there was a room dedicated for large servers and the
owner asked me to put in a sensor so the lights would
come on whenever someone entered the room.

I provided an occupancy sensor that mounts on the ceiling
above the man door. I think it was Leviton brand.

Well it worked fine UNTIL later after my job was done , I
get a warranty call . Owner said light will not shut off.

I go there , long story short , he had an HVAC company put
one of those rectangular shaped air conditioning units in
the wall up high about 1-2' away from the occupancy sensor
and the cold air hitting it was screwin with it.

I tried my utmost best to explain this , but he just demanded
I replace it under warranty.
So , I yielded and replaced it and the guy called within a week
and started screaming that it was doing it again.

I'll give you one guess what my response was. Hint - I wasn't
nice about it.
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Old 12-01-2017, 09:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boot View Post
Okay, so it sounds like if I get the right one, maybe this can work.

The one I installed is a Hubbell H-Moss ws2000 . It has a lead for hot and load, but maybe my load wire was mislabeled in the box.

I agree that door jamb switch is a better choice. I don't really like the line voltage ones because it's hard not to ruin the rabbet on the jamb stop
and reveal the profile of the switch cover.

I recently used a few low voltage ones that weren't bad. Little chrome 1" round button in the jamb, fed by tstat wire up to the light where's there's a little contactor that's fits in the light jbox. Probably shouldn't have those voltages in the same box though.....

This seems promising:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00KW...L7L&ref=plSrch

Anyway, these occupancy sensors you can't sneak up on, I want to know about them!
Make sure it is set to occ and not vac under the manual button. They come in the box set on vacancy so they are manual on and use the sensor to shut them off.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boot View Post

Can someone explain to me why it seems to be more sensitive once the light is turned on then when its off? Does it need more Vitamin A, carrots ? I need it to be more sensitive in a dark state .
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:59 PM   #9
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I had set my switch to OCC, it's not on VAC, too bad , wish it had been that easy .
@lighterup: that sounds like a nightmare, haha. My boss had a similar issue last year . Office remodel, commercial. We replaced this guys old white occupancy sensor with a new gray one to match his new gray devices . Lights kept coming on in the middle of the night. Owner was adamant we installed a faulty OCC sensor. Turns out because he added a mini split, the louvers were turning the lights on!

Oh boy, even if I get a sensor that turns on the lights, I'll probably get a call back for false ONs. I already see my future of cutting in a toggle switch into a built in shelving unit ....
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:37 PM   #10
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