6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 10, 2015 12:05 PM by Michael Woodhouse RSS

Looking for a solution to use an occupancy sensor for stairwell lighting

Newbie

Hello,

 

I'm looking for a solution to a light switch problem I am having with the stairwell that goes from the main floor to the upper floor in my home.  Currently, I have an occupancy sensor (I believe it is single pole) on the upper floor facing the stairs.  At the bottom of the stairs, I have a toggle switch.  The way the switches work right now is that if the toggle switch is in the "on" position, then the occupancy sensor at the top of the stairs works fine.  If the toggle switch is in the "off" position, then the occupancy sensor does not work (i.e. won't turn the lights on).  This is how the previous home owner had the wiring done.

 

The reason I'm looking to change this wiring setup is that the placement of the occupancy sensor at the top of the stairs does not detect motion until I am near the top of the stairs.  I would like to change it so that I can toggle the lights from the bottom of the stairs without adding an occupancy sensor at the bottom of the stairs or affecting the sensor operation at the top of the stairs.  Ideally, I would like to be able to toggle the lights on at the bottom of the stairs and still have the occupancy sensor be able to turn the lights off.  Does Leviton have a pair of switches for such an application?

 

Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided.

 

Shin

  • Looking for a solution to use an occupancy sensor for stairwell lighting
    Tracker

    The sensor you can use for that application would be the PR180-1L.  You can use the existing standard 3-way switch at the bottom of the stairs and the sensor at the top.  You will be able to shut the lights on from 3-way switch and once the sensor no longer detects occupancy it will shut the lights off automatically.

    • Re: Looking for a solution to use an occupancy sensor for stairwell lighting
      Newbie

      I have a similar issue but I don't think the question has really been answered anywhere that I can see. We have a long winding stairway with two 3-way switches at each end. We purchased two Lutron 3-way occupancy sensor switches and after installing the first one it worked great. Once we installed the second one it did not work at all. Lutron support politely informed us that we could not have two occupancy sensors on the same 3-way switch circuit.

       

      I cannot imagine why anyone would want anything other than this configuration. I had exactly this setup in stairway in my prior home - two 3-way occupancy sensor switches at the top and bottom of the stairs.

       

      So...we went to the Leviton website and watched a nice video that illustrated exactly the only configuration I could imagine anyone would want and we ordered two of the Leviton IPSD6-1LZ 3-way switches. However, the wiring diagrams all suggest that only one occupancy sensor can be used and that the second switch must be a standard switch.

       

      Is this really true? It is clearly possible engineer a 3-way occupancy sensor switch that allows two occupancy sensors on the same circuit, although I understand it is a little tricky to figure out how the switch on the remote (load-side) end is getting power.

       

      Please tell me you have a solution to the only way anyone would really want to use a 3-way occupancy sensor switch. Because otherwise, my choice is am I in the dark and falling on my way up the stairs or in the dark and falling on my way down the stairs

       

      Janet

      • Re: Looking for a solution to use an occupancy sensor for stairwell lighting
        Adventurer

        Janet,

         

        We offer a couple of sensors that can behave like a pair of 3-way switches.  You can wire multiple ODS10-IDW sensors in parallel with each other to have them behave similarly to a 3-way setup, or you can install an IPS15-1LZ sensor along with an IPV0R-1LZ wall switch remote sensor, to create a multi-location control.  The IPSD6, however, is only designed for single-pole set-ups.  Please call our support line at 800.824.3005 if you have any further questions regarding your application.

         

        Thanks,

         

        Greg

      • Re: Looking for a solution to use an occupancy sensor for stairwell lighting
        Newbie

        Hi Janet, i totally agree with you, i think that the obvious configuration for sensor switches on stairs is that they will turn on the lights automatically BOTH on the top and on the bottom of the stairs. I'm currently trying to figure out what sensors to buy in order to accomplish that.  I wonder if you found a solution.


        As Greg said you can use a combo with IPS15-1LZ sensor along with an IPV0R-1LZ, but according to IPV0R specifications it will MANUALLY turn On so with this configuration lights will turn automatically at the end with the IPS15 but manually on the other end. Please correct me if i'm wrong.


        Regards,

        • Re: Looking for a solution to use an occupancy sensor for stairwell lighting
          Newbie

          Hi Juan, did you even come up with a solution?  I don't agree with many of the comments made by some of the other people, and I think the simple solution is to take two single pole switches/Sensors (and least expensive option) and put them in parallel. There are already three wires from one switch to another (for 3-way operation) so in theory it should work and there are enough wires to make this work).  If you understand an OR gate (in electronics) then the light will be ON if either switch or both single pole switches are on. This is what I plan on doing. I have done this with single pole switches and timers to control one central fan that turned on when either bathroom was used.  If this works, then I see EITHER switch/SENSOR (or both)  turning on the lights and then the lights will turn OFF only after the sensor times out, so the time ON is only dependent on the sensor with the longest ON TIME setting.  This way if you are going down (or up) the stairs, either SENSOR should work, and you should also be able to also hit the button to override and turn on the lights.  I plan to get two IPSo2 or IPVo2 (Least expensive), but I still have to figure out the difference, which I see is the MANUAL ON versus AUTO ON, so that's why I'm asking if you figured it out. I'm thinking the MANUAL ON will also work and should be an override to also allow that sensor to either keep the lights on or off.  I still have to figure that out.

      • Re: Looking for a solution to use an occupancy sensor for stairwell lighting
        Newbie

        Did this get an answer?  I'm also looking to put sensors at either end of a stairwell.  I researched both of the sensors that GOrrigo mentioned, but I don't see anything on their product page that talk about using them in the configuration we are all asking for.

         

        Cheers,

         

        Michael