Occupancy Sensors: Crucial Things to Know

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Do you know the role of occupancy sensors? As technology advances, business enterprises are adopting cutting-edge and smart building technologies to streamline and optimize operations while cutting costs.

According to research, corporates have invested more than 25% of their assets in real estate, with a total occupancy cost taking between 40% to 50% of the net income. To stay competitive, cut costs and increase their market share, enterprises need to adopt smart solutions that optimize operations and save on energy use.

This article highlights all you need to know about occupancy sensors and the opportunities they present to an enterprise.

Occupancy Sensors: What Are They?

An occupancy sensor is an indoor motion-detecting device that automatically detects the presence of a person in a building to control lights, ventilation, or temperature systems to automate workflows and enhance employee experience.

According to Friendly Power, occupancy sensors detect whether people are present and turn lights on and off accordingly. Used properly, they can be a cost-effective tool for decreasing the operating time and lumen output, cutting energy consumption up to 50%, and reducing peak demand.”

How Occupancy Sensors Work

Sensors are made of different components such as optic fibers, lenses, and electronic platforms and are programmed to react to stimuli such as motion or infrared. Occupancy sensors utilize various technologies such as ultrasonic, infrared, radar, or microwave as a stand-in for visual body representation to trigger responses in a building system automatically. The response can range from setting the alarm off, turning on a light, or logging a data point into a smart workplace platform.

Occupancy sensors are installed strategically to detect motion in isolated or high-traffic areas. They are designed to be discrete and are mounted on the ceiling to detect groups or individuals entering or exiting a zone in a building, room, or floor.

The devices collect data transmitted to a cloud-based server that runs an AI algorithm to calculate real-time space utilization and occupancy levels. When the predetermined levels are achieved, the data is integrated with HVAC, booking systems, or lighting systems.

Types of Occupancy Sensors

Here are different types of occupancy sensors and their applications:

  • PIR Sensors: Respond to heat movement emitted by people in motion and detect motion in a coverage area with a straight line of sight. A desk sensor installed under a desk can detect and report desk occupancy.
  • Camera-Based Occupancy Sensors: Uses an onboard camera for image processing and recording upon detecting motion.
  • Microwave Sensors: Uses microwaves to detect motion and activate lighting controls or alarms
  •  Ultrasonic Sensors: Emits ultrasonic high-frequency signals in space to monitor changes in the reflected signal and interpret any change in frequency as motion. The sensor can provide an accurate reading of people entering or exiting a room and are more precise in lighting control.

The 8 Benefits of Occupancy Sensors

Occupancy sensors are more accurate when determining occupancy in areas with no motion and present several benefits in a building. Occupancy sensors are most effective in unoccupied spaces, such as warehouses, corridors, and conference rooms.

Here are the benefits of occupancy sensors that you can harness:

1.    Determining Vacancy Rates

Occupancy sensors can accurately track occupied and unoccupied desks in an office. It enables enterprises to generate insights that ensure the workspaces are well utilized since you can see how often workspaces are vacant.

2.    Determining Vacancy Without Motion

Occupancy sensors are very accurate and generate valuable data that allow you to view how much time a desk is in use. The sensor tracks multiple desks enabling you to monitor desk usage across the floor.

3.    Increasing Capacity

Occupancy sensors allow you to analyze your workspace usage. It enables you to increase your office space capacity without additional investment in real estate, which is quite expensive. The sensors identify wasted capacity in the workspace, which can be repurposed to increase overall capacity if needed.

4.    Analyzing Meeting Room Usage

Occupancy sensors allow you to analyze meeting room utilization when you have multiple meeting rooms. It enables you to redesign the space if your meeting room capacity is large and repurpose the unused office capacity.

5.    Freeing Unused Space

Occupancy sensors generate insights that highlight the rarely used spaces in an office, enabling you to repurpose the spaces for better use. The analysis enables you to find alternative capacity for the seldom-used rooms, freeing up the space.

6.    Reducing Costs

Occupancy sensors control heating and lighting, enabling enterprises to lower their energy cost by lighting or heating a room that is in use.

7.    Developing Multipurpose Spaces

Occupancy sensors generate data on how much time an office uses daily. A meeting room may be in use for a few hours a day or week and remain unused for a longer duration leading to a waste of capacity. The sensors give insights that enable you to repurpose your rooms to meet the lifestyle demands and well-being of the employees.

8.    Improving Overall Sustainability

By adopting occupancy sensors, companies enhance sustainability by reducing their energy usage and square footage. Organizations can also attract top talent by going green and adopting climate-aware policies.

Do you want to adopt a Workplace Management Platform to optimize and streamline your real estate operations? Schedule a demo today to learn more about how we can help with occupancy sensors. We have custom solutions and products to meet your diverse industry needs. We are your tried and tested partner.

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