Wake Forest University

FAQ: Occupancy Sensors - Sustainability at Wake Forest

Sustainability at Wake Forest

FAQ: Occupancy Sensors

Q: How does the occupancy sensor in my room operate?

A: Occupancy sensors have been installed in a number of buildings to ensure that lights turn off when not in use. Many of these sensors respond to motion, while others are activated by both motion and sound. It is important to treat these light switches just like the old-fashioned toggle switches. When you enter a room, hit the button if the light does not come on automatically. If you are the last to leave a room, including the bathroom, make sure you press the button again to turn the light off.  This is important for two reasons. First, even though the light may turn off on its own after a period of inactivity, those precious minutes can really add up. If you leave your room four times a day and do not turn off the light upon leaving, you are allowing the lights to burn for an additional hour each day, or 10 full days over the course of the school year. That is a lot of energy that could be saved by a single student. Second, if the light is activated by sound as well, as it is in a number of residence halls, it may turn back on while you are gone if someone next door or above you makes a lot of noise. This is exactly what happens when students do not hit the button to turn off the light before going to bed. Rolling over in bed or coughing in the middle of the night is enough to trigger the light and wake you out of your peaceful slumber. Leave no doubt; turn it out.