Andy Douglas, Managing Director at Timeguard, offers his advice when deciding on the right type of PIR to suit the application you’re working on.
When did you last install lighting in a commercial setting that didn’t present an opportunity to add PIR detection with automatic switching for safety, convenience and energy saving? PIRs are devices typically installed high up as surface mounted, or flush into ceiling apertures, so you want reliability that you can fit and forget. Furthermore, ease of set-up and reconfiguration should rank high on your list too. In addition, be sure to check the ratings and that the PIR is tested and rated for the right LED load, as you may want it to switch multiple lights. Next in your checklist might be the way the product looks. People spend a lot on interior decor and won’t appreciate you wiring in ugly accessories! Last but not least is functionality. Presence detection was once prohibitively expensive compared to motion detection. Now, sensitivity should never be an issue thanks to technical advances. Any decent PIR supplier will offer highly sensitive presence detection at the core of their detection fields so you can ensure even the most sedentary desk workers remain safely lit at all times.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
The next challenge for the market is meeting a growing awareness of – and demand for – absence detection in the mass market. The main difference between presence and absence detection is that presence detection is fully automated and involves devices detecting someone entering an area, switching on the lights, and then turning them off again at a pre-set time after the area is clear. Absence detection is where people switch the light on manually then, as with presence detection, the lights turn off when the area is empty of people. Presence detection is most commonly used in areas that are likely to have regular and/or high traffic and where there is never much natural light, such as WCs, corridors, stairwells, and store cupboards. Absence detection may be preferred for the likes of classrooms, meeting rooms and break areas, where you want to avoid nuisance switching as people pass by.
Both options in one package
The good news is that both sorts of detection can now be catered for by a single device, where you can change their functionality from one form of occupancy detection to the other. The new Timeguard presence and absence detectors can switch up to 600W of LEDs while an optional remote control is also available to make them easy to set-up and adjust when used singly or in parallel. These detectors are available in single channel and dual channel models, and enable you to align systems like heating or air conditioning with presence/absence for that extra energy saving economy.
To learn more about Timeguard’s range of presence detectors click here