Energy Efficiency
Motion Sensors

What Is It?

Occupancy or motion sensors are an energy efficient lighting strategy. They detect the movement of room occupants, turning off lights in unoccupied areas and turning them back on when occupants return. The most effective areas for sensors are areas that are not frequently used, areas with irregular use patterns, or areas where lights are often and inadvertently left on, such as meeting or conference rooms, individual offices, copier rooms, bathrooms, and storage areas.


Motion sensors are inexpensive and effective devices that can quickly and easily be installed on a wall or ceiling. Most pay for themselves in two to three years without rebates. Where utility rebates are available, the payback can be less than one year. Savings will vary depending on the area size, type of lighting, and occupancy pattern. Manufacturers claim that in some applications, energy savings can approach 75 percent. The CA Energy Commission estimates that typical savings range from 35-45 percent.

Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice

  • Beacon Capital Partners
  • The Colonnade Hotel
  • Equity

Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates

Additional Resources

Examples of places in the Boston Area using Motion Senors

A Small Sample of Some Motion Sensor Suppliers and Providers in Boston


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